1. ‘My Heart’s Grave’ by Faouzia
In this somber tune, the up-and-comer sings about the loss of one’s confidence and sense of identity when trapped in an abusive relationship. This artist is someone to watch out for.
2. ‘Unhealthy’ by Bakar
This single by the rising British sensation talks eloquently, and rhythmically, about not having the guts to cut off from the toxic people in his life. It’s a kind of loss that you put off because it’ll be painful, but the song actually is meant to convey that that sort of loss is actually a good thing.
3. ‘Let You Go’ by Joshua Bassett, from the HSMTMTS soundtrack
Mourning the loss of a relationship, this sensational tune from Joshua Bassett speaks masterfully to that relatable feeling of needing to letting the connection end, even though it’s hard.
4. ‘Magic in the Madness’ by Lindsey Lomis
Breakout star Lindsey Lomis brings the power with this painful ballad about losing the sense of your former, happier self, to a more depressed present self. Sad as it is, it’s a cathartic experience to listen to whenever you want to know you’re not alone in your mental struggles.
5. ‘One of Those Days’ by Josie Man
The wonderful Josie Man brings her soulful voice to this single, about those days we all have where we lose our sense of certainty and overthink everything. Definitely take a listen whenever you’re feeling stressed out.
6. ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ by Green Day
This modern classic from Green Day empathizes with the gloomy emotions we all feel when we lose a loved one, whether friend, significant other, or family member.
7. ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele
Despite being so sad, this still stands as one of Adele’s most beloved and memorable hits. Also speaking about the pain of losing someone close to you, it’s an ideal song to listen to whenever you need some catharsis from your own grief.
8. ‘Bad Blood’ by Taylor Swift
This banger by Taylor Swift is all about the ‘bad blood’ created between two friends when the bond has slowly become toxic, and the connection must be severed. If you’ve ever gone through a friendship breakup, this perfectly encapsulates how that feels.
9. ‘Back to Life’ by Hailee Steinfeld
This original song from the soundtrack to the Transformers prequel Bumblebee (2018), performed by lead actress Hailee Steinfeld, this is an electric, energized piece of work. We all need someone we love by our side when we’re grieving, so that we can ‘come back to life’, so to speak. It’ll have you humming for days.
10. ‘Remember Me’, from the Coco soundtrack
This Oscar-winner from the Pixar film Coco (2017), used in the story to help protagonist Miguel come to grips with the impending loss of his abuela, is simultaneously a heartbreaking and heartrending meditation on, when a loved one has passed, remembering the good times you had with them, rather than dwelling on them not being around anymore.
11. ‘Live and Let Die’, from the James Bond film
There’s a good reason this tune is still featured in films almost fifty years after its release. Performed by former Beatle Paul McCartney in the 007 sequel of the same name, this iconic, moody piece touches more on the desire to just live your life after a huge loss, instead of acknowledging or dragging out your misery.
12. ‘If I Die Young’ by The Band Perry
Now here’s a more optimistic song about loss. The breakout smash from this incredible country trio looks more on the positive side of death, urging one to look at all they’ve accomplished if they were to die today.
13. ‘Supermarket Flowers’ by Ed Sheeran
If you’ve ever suffered the loss of a grandparent, this is something you’ve got to listen to. Ed Sheeran’s lyrical ode to his own late grandmother is a beauty, a perfect song to put on when you just need go through all the feels.
14. ‘Hurt’ by Johnny Cash
Another oldie-but-a-goodie, this immortal number is an emotional powerhouse about that painful state of not knowing wanting to stay on this earth or not, while knowing that if you leave it, you’d be hurting those you love by having them lose you. While heavy thematically, this quintessential nineties track is one for the ages.
15. ‘When She Loved Me’ from Toy Story 2 (1999)
This original song from the much-adored animated sequel, played over a flashback wherein Jesse was abandoned by her owner years ago, can easily be related to any time you’ve been abandoned by someone who used to love you. Written by songwriter/composer Randy Newman, and performed by Sarah MacLachlan, it never fails to bring a tear to the eye.
16. ‘Slipped Away’ by Avril Lavigne
Pop queen Avril Lavigne delivers a touching song about learning to let go of a loved one when they pass on. Originally written in honor of her grandfather, Lavigne’s lyrics and vocals make this a winner.
17. ‘Like I’m Gonna Lose You’ by Meghan Trainor
Less about actual loss, and more about the mere idea of loss, this Meghan Trainor single stresses the importance of making the most of the time you have with your loved ones, because you never know when you might lose them.
18. ‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion
Now, who can forget this song? Originally written for the soundtrack to Titanic (1997), vows that you will be able to heal and move on after saying goodbye to someone you care about. It may be a hard-won road getting there, but you’ll be okay.
19. ‘I Lost a Friend’ by FINNEAS
A song about exactly what it describes, this recounts a time when Finneas and a friend of his own parted ways. Perhaps you can put this song on if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
20. ‘In the End’ by Linkin Park
One of this group’s most popular tracks, its meaning has been interpreted in many ways. You could see it as being about a romantic breakup, a friendship breakup, or even about being bullied by someone. But as the lyrics go, “In the end/it doesn’t even matter.”