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)