10 Sad Love Songs to Mope, Cry, Break Up or Lick Your Wounds To

Some people like to run or work out to upbeat, happy songs. Me? I prefer to work out to sad and/or meditative songs. And while happy songs have a place in my road trip playlists, one of my best friends and my partner both independently pointed out to me that I play an unusual number of sad songs while driving. To appease them, I choose happier songs in their presence. The thing is, I don’t think of myself as a sad or depressive person. In fact, I think I’m one of the more energetic and upbeat people I know. Cheery, hyper, and excited are words that are often used to describe me. Maybe that’s why I’m able to withstand, and even bask in, the heartbreaking realities of sad, sad songs. There’s something about that depth of emotion that feels raw and real to me and I like to mull things over with songs like that, and sometimes to bask in nostalgia.

So, here are 10 of my favorite sad songs to sing, drive to or work out with. I’ve done my fair share of crying or moping with every single one of them and for my fair share of loves, betrayals, changes of hearts, and heartbreaks. Perhaps you have, too. They’re good love songs but also good break up songs or parting-ways songs. If you have favorite sad songs, I hope you’ll share them in the comments section below as I’m always looking for new tunes.

1. You Could Be Happy by Snow Patrol

2. If You Could Read My Mind (Johnny Cash; also very sad is the Gordon Lightfoot version)

3. Hope She’ll Be Happier (Bill Withers)

4. Wrong Turn (Jack Johnson)

5. Hallelujuah (Leonard Cohen)

6. Most of the Time (Bob Dylan)

7. She’s Out of My Life (Michael Jackson)

8. Winter (Rolling Stones)

9. If You Know What I Mean (Neil Diamond)

10. Don’t Leave Me This Way (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes)

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About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.

  • http://bloketoys.co.uk Mens Sex Toys

    I’d like to suggest Winterville – I don’t blame you. Can’t find it on youtube, but it is a great song.

  • Eve

    I love sad songs too. I could make a list a mile long!

    Even Now – Barry Manilow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6MpKd_BUBM

    Linda Rondstadt – Adios http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjCqTI2TxRo

    Lynn Miles – I Loved A Cowboy (no youtube link)

    Little Texas – What Might Have Been http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEE3ycDH9_8&ob=av2n

    Annie Lennox’s cover of Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bnKJjewcII

    Don Maclen – Vincent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRzlD5i-nnI

    Ben Taylor (James Taylor & Carly Simon’s son) – After It’s Over http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaA9NE7QGG4

    Black Lab – Lonely Boy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr6BxIxXS0k

    Del Amitri – Driving With The Brakes On http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mj8KDpoZnQ

  • Debby Herbenick

    Love this list!!! Most of them are new to me so thank you – I can see I’ll be downloading new music later tonight :)

  • http://twitter.com/MzHartz Michelle Hartz

    I think sad songs make for great road music because they’re fun to sing to: lots of emotion and long notes that are great to belt out in a car.

    My two favorites are BBM’s “Where in the World” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLSyBnwI3m0

    And Sammy Hagar’s “A Little Bit More”
    I can’t find a link, so here’s the lyrics:

    I felt you pull away a little bit more tonight
    A little bit more
    I recognize that face that you wore tonight
    A little bit more

    And I know I shouldn’t be surprised
    And I know I should believe my eyes
    But I don’t wanna see it

    I’m losing you a little bit more tonight
    A little bit more and I don’t wanna see it
    I’m losing you a little bit more tonight
    A little bit more

    More space between the lines a little bit more tonight
    Just a little bit more
    It’s like falling down three flights of love tonight
    Or more

    And I know I shouldn’t be surprised
    Yes and I know I should believe my eyes
    But I don’t wanna see it

    I’m losing you a little bit more tonight
    A little bit more and I don’t wanna see
    I’m losing you a little bit more tonight
    A little bit more

    So don’t think about it
    Go on and figure out it
    No place to lay the blame down
    Everyone’s a saint
    Her body’s in the bedroom
    But her head’s gone out the door

    ”(Na na na na na na)
    (Na na na na na na na na na na)”

    Yeah, and I know I shouldn’t be surprised
    Yes and I know I should believe my eyes
    But I don’t wanna see it

    I’m losing you a little bit more tonight
    A little bit more and I don’t wanna see
    I’m losing you a little bit more tonight
    A little bit more, oh no

    ”(Na na na na na na na na na na)”
    And I don’t wanna see
    ”(Na na na na na na na na na na)”
    That I’m losing you

    I felt you pull away a little bit more tonight
    A little bit more

  • Amanda Daugherty

    Also Snow Patrol, but with Martha Wainwright. Play really loud.