16 Best Breakup Songs: Reclaiming Your Identity Through Music After A Breakup

This is another guest article by our dear friend and reader Darren Fletcher. As an experienced music expert, Darren spared no time and effort to create the ultimate break-up recovery music playlist for you.

Reclaiming Your Identity Through Music After A Breakup

“Ok, so I LOVE the song.”

So a letter from a friend started after sending her a sample from my current playlist.

I was trying to encourage her to get back into listening to music after a breakup, as she put it; “I stayed away from it for a long time due to past experiences.”

“But new music is new territory, isn’t it?”

Her terrible breakup had played a significant role in the negative emotions she was experiencing because she related much of what she heard with the unfortunate situation she now felt inside.

“But new music is new territory, isn’t it?” she finished.

And to all the readers and alumni that belong to lovesagame.com, this is my full intention.

As we progress through our recoveries at different levels, it is wonderful to discover new breakup recovery music that inspires us, the music we identify with now and moving forward.

Timeless and current classics that deliver a message that is undeniable. What is more, songs can be affirmations you sing to remind you of what is good in our lives.

For those recovering from a painful breakup, there is real value and benefit to listening to this playlist.

Take for instance the title track This is who I am.

As you reflect on the things you hold dear, can you say that you proudly share these with others?

That the pictures (real or figurative) that you hang on your wall accurately describe you and all of your passions and creativity?

This song helps us take a look inside and evaluate just who we are.

Who do you want to be … the choice is yours.

Remember the people and things we surround ourselves with tell our story.

Make it a good one!

“Alone doesn’t have to be lonely.”

(MORE: Why Aloneness Is A Path To Recovery)

Do you feel that way?

In going through the trauma of a breakup we may face this situation and feel we must be with someone to feel happy and fulfilled.

The truth is after we have recovered we will learn that alone can be a pretty good place to be. We work on ourselves, explore hobbies, travel, music and many things we could not enjoy if our time was split with another, at least to the degree we have as a single person.

Treasure this time in your recovery, and in your life, when the time is right you will be in a healthy relationship by choice and not by need.

Second Chances is a beautiful tune that tells us how we don’t get just one shot in life, we get many, and it takes many to get things right sometimes.

Never give up hope and think your last chance lies with only one person and if you don’t make it work with them, you won’t ever find happiness.

It’s just not true!

There are endless possibilities out there for us, and the more we are ourselves and become confident in the new person that has survived this storm the more we will attract positive, enchanting people to our lives.

Do you feel loved?

Keep an open mind and don’t rush, love will find you.

She tells the story of a man who has been affected greatly by the love of a woman.

It is an excellent example of how we can feel when another helps to elevate us beyond what we seemingly can accomplish alone.

ALL of us can feel this way about another. Feeling the warmth of love coming home is an incredible and exclusive privilege we can experience as humans.

Keep an open mind and don’t rush, love will find you.

All of these songs in the playlist invoke a state of mind that is positive, infectious and reassuring. You owe it to yourself to give them all a listen.

Even if some of the genres may not be your cup of tea or you have not heard the artist before. I guarantee you will find something inspiring and enduring here.

So give it a try, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Think about it, as you look in the mirror, can you say proudly:

“This Is Who I Am.”

So without further delay here is the CD I created for ALL of YOU.

Music After A Breakup Recovery Playlist: “This Is Who I Am.”

1. This Is Who I Am – Cause & Effect

This song from Synth Pop Band Cause & Effects newest EP “Artificial Construct Part 1” became the catalyst for this article.

As we reflect on the things that make “us” who we are, have you decided which pieces you will share with another to tell your story?

What would the posters on your wall look like, could they tell your story to someone? Do they define you?

2. After You’ve Gone – Toto

Timeless lyrics remind us that even after we may have lost someone we don’t have to be lonely – Fantastic Guitar work by Steve Lukather who still makes music as a solo artist. Lyrics here:

Your just a mile away
One thousand five tiny steps from here
But if I brought you near
Would you believe when I say,
It seems like yesterday
That I could reach out and touch your face,
But as I fall from grace
Into whose arms can I layIt’s always much too late
We get the signs
We can’t communicate
Or turn back timeSo what will be now, do you feel somehow
Not so together and not quite as strong
Now I believe
Alone doesn’t have to mean lonely after you’ve goneIf it’s a healing wind
That cools the flame burning in my sight
It must accelerate
For two wrongs they don’t make a rightAnd all these solitaires, lone victories
Wars fought in isolation, with none to please

The futures still uncertain, the past is done
So what will be now, do you feel somehow
Not so together and not quite as strong
Now I believe
Alone doesn’t have to mean lonely, after you’ve gone

3. Every Story Told – Kip Winger

Kip Winger is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, and composer who’s most recent work saw him compose classical pieces for the ballet and were recently performed by the San Francisco Ballet Company through April of 2011.

“From the Moon to the Sun” is an epic release that covers as much musical territory as one might imagine and then some. Check out this promo video for the CD:

4. Angels – Robbie Williams

This song really needs no introduction.

It is one of RW’s best songs and conveys such hope and emotion; you cannot help but feel better after a listen.

5. Second Chances – Oliver The Penguin

This song from Tommy Walter and Rie Sinclair rings perfectly true with a nice pop tempo.

The songwriting on this album reads like poetry and is filled with hope and reflection.

6. Trial By Fire – Journey

This was Journey’s last recording with Steve Perry as the lead singer (1996) and one of their most beautiful songs featuring a smooth jazz style influenced by Neil Schon on Guitar and Jonathan Cain on Keys.

The lyrics contain a lovely message of hope and endurance.

7. Shining – Kristian Leontiou

Originally from London, Kristian released this single in 2004 which then appeared in the American film soundtrack; “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton” that same year.

It received limited US airplay but climbed to #13 on the UK charts. “Don’t take things lying down” and “never give up” are messages promoted in this catchy tune.

8. Unputdownable – De/Vision

De/Vision formed in 1988 as a four piece band from Germany (though most of their songs are in English) they have a massive worldwide following, and their lyrics run the full range from Rage to Love/Dark to Light.

In this song, Thomas Adam sings about a state of mind wherein one feels hopeful, full of love and fulfilled.

9. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

This song from now Glasgow based Snow Patrol made this playlist late after a recent listen and a test fitting which found both lyrically and musically it fit so nicely … and it is simply a great love song.

10. Let Go – Frou Frou

Frou Frou features one of my favorite female artists (Imogen Heap). The duo features both Imogen Heap and Guy Sigsworth who both write, produce and play instruments on the recording while Imogen handles the vocals as well.

This song starts with the following lyrics that pierce right to the heart of the subject:

Drink up baby doll
Are you in or are you out?
Leave your things behind
‘Cause it’s all going off without you
Excuse me too busy you’re writing your tragedy
These mishaps
You bubble-wrap
When you’ve no idea what you’re likeCHORUSSo, let go, let go
Jump in
Oh well, what you waiting for?
It’s all right
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown

11. Amazing – George Michael

I have received songs and suggestions from friends around the world, and this cut is no exception.

I found this song deeply touching and universal in its message. Love is out there for everyone, and it is amazing when we re-discover it.


“Tell me, I guess that cupid was in disguise
The day you walked in and changed my life
I think it’s amazing,
The way that love can set you free
So now I walk in the midday sun
I never thought that my savior would come
I think it’s amazing
I think you’re amazing”

12. She – Rick Springfield

Born Richard Lewis Springthorpe Aug 23rd, 1949 Rick Springfield has proven to be much more than a foregone conclusion at 61 yrs old. He still performs regularly and writes fantastic songs about real life and real love.

This song from his last studio release of original material (Venus in Overdrive, his 14th Album to date) creates a wall of harmony and poignancy that really sticks with you.

13. The Thought Of Losing You – Dredg

American Rock Group Dredg formed in 1993 in Los Gatos California. “Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy” is their latest release and has been well received and reviewed although more pop/rock than previous efforts.

The emphasis seems to be on more mature songwriting with themes we can easily relate to, and a melodic quality throughout that is refreshing in a world of “sounds like” copycats.

I completely agree with the recent statement online that it is a; “Great song, especially after several listens.” Enjoy!

14. All You Need Is Now – Duran Duran

Duran recently had this to say about the song; “It’s a message from us to us – and to the fans. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve come; it’s the bit your on now that really matters.”

15. How Long – Mesh

Mesh, who formed in 1991 are from Bristol. England. They feature catchy (and edgy) dance oriented tunes with guitars, synths and most certainly are a great band to see live (firsthand experience) with tons of energy.

This song was taken from 2009’s “A Perfect Solution.” The topic is indeed a question many of us should ask ourselves.


And how long?
And how much pain?
Do we need to feel?
Before we start again

16. Uprising – Muse

Well last but certainly not least are Muse. They are an English Rock band from Teignmouth, Devon.

Defining their style is an exercise in futility as one song may remind you of Queen then another of a beautiful Movie theme score.

They are simply fantastic and this release taken from (The Resistance) spent 17 weeks at #1 on Billboards Alternative Songs Chart.

For me it is a triumphant song that can mean many things, any way you slice it, sounds like victory!

  • I would recommend a song called “I don’t apologize(1000 pictures) ” by a rock band called Otherwise. When i feel down about my recent breakup I listen to that song and it reminds me that I can take back this life of MINE and not apologize. It’s really powerful. I heard it for the first time a day after my breakup(31 days, 8days NC)! I appreciate this website, knowing I’m not alone in this path.

  • Music really helps me to think a lot. The kind of music I listen to often affects my mood so I agree that music helps you get throusgh hard times like break ups.

  • I am a DJ and the music here is not what I would choose to listen to after a break up, it just isn’t my style… However,,, I like music and now what I will do for me, is make my own “Breakup” music list and play every time I am having a melt down. So, thanks for sharing the idea,, my quote has always been, “Music saved my Soul”.

    Please put your website url in the appropriate field. Thanks, Eddie

  • Angleafavs says:

    I like the songs has been given for any sides about life and all about this article it connects the reality about life and about love and relationship. 

  • Great addition and my favorite PC song!

    Thank you


  • Thanks so much for your kind words Tess. I am grateful to share a tiny bit of encouragement with all of you and we can all thank my good friend Eddie C for this wonderful site!


  • Renascent says:

    My addition to this list.  How you interpret it will really depend on where you are in your healing process.  For me its saying I showed you my best and you didn’t see it.  Oh well, your loss. 

    Good luck everyone!

  • Thanks for sharing Terr you are so right about new music and its abilty to uplift us.

    Glad to here you are doing well!


  • Thank you Darren for this wonderful article and playlist.

    I have to admit that most of the songs were new to me, but I like them very much.


    • Eddie my dear friend, thank YOU for allowing me again to express myself through words and music!

      To all the readers and alumni at LAG…enjoy!


  • Karlina Dolar says:

    I know most of the songs and I must say what a good choice. Love it! 🙂

    • Thank you Karlina, I am glad you are enjoying it. There really is something here we can all relate to and aspire to.

      Sometimes these songs are reminders to me when I need a tune up in my thinking needs to be adjusted. Being thankful for the things we have and enjoy is very important.


  • >