The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Culture staff recommends: best breakup songs

Stella Tavilla
Stella’s illi for the culture staff break up songs rec

Breakup season is upon us and if you are one of those afflicted, the culture staff is here to set a soundtrack to your sadness. 

“Pretty Pictures” by Indigo De Souza — Ashna Hille 

Imagine this niche but painfully relatable situation: you and your significant other, arguably your best friend, are breaking up. There’s still a lot of love, but you just aren’t growing together anymore. Boy, do I have the song for you. 

Indigo De Souza’s “Pretty Pictures” is the perfect three-minute listen to sum up this difficult situation. The song takes you through the stages of a breakup and does so all with a hopeful melody and honest, to-the-point lyrics. 

For example, the song touches on challenges with seeing “pretty pictures on a screen” of you and your partner, a reference to how easy it may be to romanticize your relationship based on a good image and look past its flaws.

The song also acknowledges the reality of the situation: this relationship or person is “so hard to give it up,” but ultimately, “it’s gonna be for the better.”

If you relate to this situation, this one’s a major crier upon first listen, but you’ll grow to appreciate the song for being exactly what you needed to hear. 

If you want to cry for a bit longer, “Waiting Room” by Phoebe Bridgers and “New Song” by Maggie Rogers and Del Water Gap are great tunes with a similar sentiment. Good luck. 

“Someone Like You” by Adele — Carolyn Kelly

This Adele classic is a great song to belt out in your bedroom, in your car or into a pillow during the throes of a breakup.

The louder you sing, the more you will feel the lyrics. The more you let yourself feel and cry, the more you will be able to shake off all the emotions running through you and be able to move on.  

The line, “Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead,” speaks to the chance you took putting your heart on the line, and how deeply a breakup can cut. Remember that it is, in the words of Alfred Tennyson, “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

“I miss you, I’m sorry” by Gracie Abrams — Maggie O’Shea

This song perfectly encapsulates the feelings and complicated emotions of a breakup. Through her voice, Gracie Abrams tells the story of a once good relationship turned bad. This song showcases the layers of relationships and that breakups aren’t one-sided.

The main character in this song, and in many of Abrams’ other songs, is flawed and is sometimes the problem. Her characters are multi-faceted, real and human. 

In the lyric “Everywhere I go brings me back to you,” Abrams speaks of not being able to forget this person. Especially during breakups, in my experience, it’s common to have the smallest things remind you of them, which makes her lyrics speak to the heart even more. 

“I miss you, I’m sorry” sounds the best in the car, perhaps when driving through old neighborhoods or old date spots, and reminiscing. It’s healing. 

“Only When I” by Alice Phoebe Lou — Grace Wang 

Every breakup is different. However, whether it is the end of a three-week “situationship” or a soul-crushing heartbreak, one song always comes back to me. The whimsical, drowsy “Only When I” by Alice Phoebe Lou captures the lost feeling that accompanies ending things with someone. 

The ups and downs of a breakup last far past the initial release of emotions. Once you’re done crying or yelling, and the residual confusion and feeling of needing someone linger, this song will get you through. 

That complex adrift feeling is potentially calmed by Lou’s opening lyrics. The artist illustrates finding value in oneself through the lyrics “You didn’t teach me, I taught myself through you / You didn’t heal me but I healed, from the things that you do.” 

Exploring themes of acceptance and appreciation of a relationship that had to end, Lou captures the kind of relationship that you just wish worked out, but inevitably could not. 

Lou simultaneously recognizes the intermittent ache of a breakup perfectly through one of her verses. “Sometimes it feels like I could give it all up to be held by you / But that’s not all the time / No, not all the time.” 

Navigating a breakup is difficult—there’s no doubt. But hopefully, with this in your headphones, things will feel a little bit easier because you most certainly are not alone. 


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