How To Create The Perfect Breakup Playlist


Few things ice the wounds of a broken heart as quickly as that break up text was delivered, but we can only eat so many Bagel Bites before we start to feel numb in a literal rather than emotional sense. If you’re looking for a calorie-free way to get that same Bagel Bite effect, look no further. Using a break up playlist is a quick and virtually painless method of healing recommended by 4 out of 5 doctors.

Now, the perfect breakup playlist is comprised of three important sub-playlist categories. Think of these as the stages of your emotional healing.

1. The Sad

2. The Mad

3. The “I Don’t Give A F***”

Instead of skimming through your ex’s recent Facebook activity, let’s take a moment to break down this break up playlist one section at a time.

1. The Sad.

So you’re newly single. No one is going to blame you if you spend a day or two crying to a little Fleetwood Mac. You deserve a good cry. Getting that emotion out is an important part of the healing process.

When selecting songs for the “Sad” section of your playlist, imagine yourself on your hands and knees, picking up the pieces of your shattered heart and screaming “Someone Like You” through your tears.

Your playlist should contain about three or four acoustic tearjerkers about lost love, betrayal, or even a broken pickup truck if you prefer country music. Any more than that and you won’t hear the rest of the playlist over your wailing and crippling self-pity.

My breakup playlist included Kate Nash’s “Nicest Thing” because it feels like a perpetually twisting knife through my heart. Give it a listen! You’ll probably regret it immediately!

2. The Mad

I know what you’re thinking. How on earth am I supposed to transition neatly from broken hearts and pickup trucks to being mad? Believe me, it’s easier than you think.

This is the section of the playlist that allows you to really get creative. The only rule in the Mad section is that you can never play too dirty. Throw in a Lily Allen song about being bad in bed. Why not add “Roses” by Outkast, because you know your ex thinks his shit don’t stink. Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” is a great addition whether or not your ex cheated. Your playlist should include about six songs you can imagine singing to your ex if they got tied up and were forced to listen to your aggressive yet therapeutic musical stylings.

My playlist included Ben Folds’ “Song for the Dumped” for obvious reasons and Ke$ha’s  “Grow a Pear” because any song with the word “man-gina” in it is a perfect candidate for this section.

3. The “I Don’t Give a F***”:

Finish off your playlist with a bang. In fact, finish it off with a lot of bangs, or some autotune or maybe a little jazzy banjo if that’s your thing.

The rule to the perfect “I Don’t Give a F***” section is to add songs that make you happy, carefree, and eargasm in all the best ways. Any songs with references to partying, feeling sexy, DJs, or buying a new pickup truck, work just fine for this section. Basically, if you can imagine yourself throwing your hands up and screaming “WHOO! VEGAS!” during a song, put it on the playlist stat!

Add as many songs as you can before you run out of space on that blank CD you’re burning for your car, your friend’s car, your mom’s car, that spin class you’re taking, and wherever else you might find yourself on the verge of post-breakup tears. This section is the vital finale to the work of art you have been slaving over, the pièce de résistance, if you will. It’s your message to yourself and others that life goes on. You will feel good again and you don’t need a relationship to be happy.

My final section included “Cold War” by Janelle Monáe because belting like a fabulous black woman is what truly makes me happy. 

And there you have it! Listen to that baby until your heart is mended like new. Just remember, the ability to create the perfect breakup playlist is a talent that may take a while to hone. If you don’t get it just right the first time, you can always give it another try next time.