Getting dumped sucks.
When a heart breaks, it doesn’t break even. There are tears on your pillow and pain in your heart. Because breaking up is hard to do, and facing the reality that you’re all by yourself can tear you apart.
So, how can you mend a broken heart? While boxes of tissues, cheap wine, voodoo magic, and one-night stands can all help, the only constant you have along the stages of grieving a breakup, is music.
Here’s how popular songs can help you to work through the five stages of breakup grief.
Stage 1 | Denial
You are raw. Really raw. You also can’t/don’t believe what has happened and how your once-perfect relationship of cute couple pics and meeting the parents has crumbled to pieces. But! There is still hope and it’s important for you to embrace this hope. As you pretend to function normally, trying to fight the crazy theories as to why you’ve been dumped and strategise ways to get them back, play The Special Two by Missy Higgins. Even when Missy warbles about “bleeding together”, this song’s sense of depressing hope cannot be ignored.
Key Lyrics: “But I will fight for you, be sure that I will fight, until we’re the special two once again.”
Other worthy hits: I Have Nothing, Whitney Huston, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, The Righteous Brothers, or Love is a Battlefield, Pat Benatar.
Stage 2 | Mania
This can be a highly destructive phase. You’re an all-crusty, sweaty, drunk, over-emotional wreck of a human. You’re calling your ex at all hours (under the influence of alcohol and chocolate-injected doughnuts), one minute telling them to leave, and next minute that you want their babies. Listening to Michael Bolton’s gravelly voice singing How Can We Be Lovers will fuel your rollercoaster of emotions. This song has everything: confusion, passion and disappointment, combined with a killer guitar solo and key change. We would also recommend watching the video clip, nothing makes us more manic than seeing a man with a permed mullet.
Key lyrics: “Whoa, whoa, there’s no communication. Whoa, whoa, it’s a no-win situation.”
Other worthy hits: Stuck, Stacie Orrico, End of The Road, Boyz II Men, Don’t Speak, No Doubt, or Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac.
Stage 3 | Deep sadness
Entering this phase means that you are in survival mode. Everything is hard including showering, eating (to be fair, you ate enough in Stage 2), and making decisions. People also find it hard to cope with you. Best to avoid them altogether, then. After you’ve called in sick to work, close the curtains, pour a mug of wine and listen to Anyone Who Had a Heart. The Dusty Springfield version seems more painful than the others. Her pain and your pain will meld into super pain and you will feel your heart moan as you sing along.
Key Lyrics: “You couldn’t really have a heart and hurt me like you hurt me and be so untrue. What am I to do?”
Other worthy hits: When You Were Mine, Prince, Someone Like You, Adele, What Hurts The Most, Rascal Flats, or Unbreak My Heart, Toni Braxton.
Stage 4 | Anger
Being angry at yourself, or the other person for the breakup is normal. Psychologists will tell you to be responsible for your own anger and that will heal you. So, as much as hacking their Facebook account or keying their car in the throes of rage seems like a good idea, don’t do it. Be buoyed by the fact that if you can move through this phase without contacting your ex (and as such, reverting back to sadness), you are almost healed.
Scream into a pillow, shred/rip/burn anything they ever gave you, just make sure you have Caught Out There by Kelis at full volume. It’s ragey and sweary and it’s great.
Key Lyric: “I hate you so much right now. Ahhhhh…I hate you so much right now.”
Other worthy hits: You Oughta Know, Alanis Morisette, Somebody That I Used to Know, Goyte, Fuck It (I Don’t Want You) Back, Eamon, or the retort, Fuck You Right Back, Frankee.
Stage 5 | Moving on
You’ve done it, you’ve come out the other side. Who is that person you used to date? You don’t know or care, because you’re over it. However, it’s not quite time to go fishing in the shallow dating pool yet, empowered single life is calling you. Jump in your car, pump up the stereo and go cruising to White Snake’s, Here I Go Again. Another song of fuelled-up ‘80s feels, power chords, and perm-power.
Key Lyrics: “And here I go again on my own. Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known. Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.”
Other worthy hits: We Are Never (Getting Back Together), Taylor Swift, Since U Been Gone, Kellie Clarkson, or Ridin Solo, Jason Derulo.
Photo Credit: sporcle.com