Breaking up is hard to do. When a relationship comes to a painful end, however, there is one bright side — you get to enjoy breakup songs in a way you might not have before.
It’s true: Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and Alanis Morissette just hit different once you’ve actually gone through the tender-hearted scenarios they so poignantly describe in their lyrics. Maybe you, too, have had an ex hang on to your old scarf because it smells like you, even after calling you up again just to break you like a promise. Or, maybe you had to watch as your partner left you for the older blonde girl they had previously told you not to worry about, possibly right before you passed your driver’s license test.
Or god forbid, maybe you’ve even been dumped by someone you uhh … had an intimate moment with at a theater, a la “You Oughta Know” (which is absolutely, without a doubt, 1,000% on this list). Hey, Billboard doesn’t judge.
But just as not all breakups are sad, neither are all breakup songs. Just ask Lizzo, whose self-love, leave-his-behind, booty-shaking bangers will transform listeners from heartbroken to happily single and ready to mingle. Alternately, allow Beyoncé’s discography to remind you just how much you’re worth. Or better yet, take a cue from Ariana Grande and simply say to your ex, “Thank you, next.”
Whether you’re angry, relieved, wallowing in grief or gleefully moving on from your latest romantic split, allow Billboard‘s 50 favorite breakup songs to ease you through the aftermath.