When your relationship ends, it’s normal to want to wallow in the negative feelings for a little while. Hey, we’ve all been there, and as long as you don’t drag it out for longer than necessary, it can be healthy. If you don’t allow yourself time to feel bad, you won’t be able to see how you can feel better.
But what if you’re looking for a soundtrack to represent these hurt feelings and tears? While lesbians tend to be pretty creative (on average), there still isn’t a very big selection of music out there that actually caters to us. Sure, you can just listen to the “straight” songs and substitute your own meanings, but where’s the fun in that? We have specific needs as women who love other women, and these aren’t always easily met by the mainstream media.
We have collected a list of powerful break up songs that are actually catered toward the needs of lesbians (or, at least were created by someone we consider a part of the lesbian community). No matter what type of break up you’re going through, rest assured that the following songs should help you work through the things you need to work through.
“Walking with a Ghost” by Tegan and Sara
I’m a huge Tegan and Sara fan, and this song in particular helps to remind you of the woman you really shouldn’t want to be with, such as the ex who just broke your heart or that girl with the smoking hot body who keyed your car. Take a little bit of their advice and let the girl go – hang onto the memories, but don’t let her take over! Truthfully, I wish I could list the entire “So Jealous” album here, but that would make the list very long – check out a few songs and see which ones fit your breakup the best.
“One More Hour” and “Good Things” by Sleater-Kinney
“One More Hour” tells the story of the guitarist (Carrie Brownstein) and vocalist (Corin Tucker) from Sleater-Kinney breaking up, shortly before the band went on “indefinite hiatus”. (Isn’t that how all good lesbian relationships seem to go?) It’s powerful to hear two musicians who were once in love performing a song together, probably because most break up songs are one-sided in nature. For those interested in Sleater-Kinney’s music, “Good Things” is another good track that helps to calm the questions of why good things can’t last. It hurts now, but it will get better!
“Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman
This right here would probably be my #1 all-time lesbian break up song, if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s not technically a break-up song. This is the song of ultimatums – this one last chance to make things right before you walk away. Even though it doesn’t technically count as a break up song, it can empower you by reminding you that you have the right to stand up for yourself – there’s no reason your next relationship has to end quite as badly!
“Untouchable Face” by Ani DiFranco
Ani DiFranco’s another artist I’ve been secretly in love with for a long time. Her soothing voice helps to calm the pain of the heartache. Picture it like aloe for your nostalgic memories. It won’t get rid of the scars, but it will help to cool the burns. Trust me, your new favorite line is going to be “F*ck you and your untouchable face” – one that might not sound so sweet if it was coming from another voice. (You should try it out anyway, though!)
“Break Up Song” by Melissa Ferrick
This song is one of the ones that really resonates with you when you’re in that deep self-loathing part of the break up – those days when you’re not eating, not sleeping, and maybe skipping a shower or two. No judgment here, as long as you move onto brighter skies – and probably don’t listen to this song once you’re past the most painful parts, since it has the ability to drag you right back in.
“Last Tears” by The Indigo Girls
If you need a country break up song that helps to define the things about the relationship that were important, “Last Tears” does exactly that. This isn’t so much painful as it is a moment for final closure – so sing along when you’ve decided you don’t hate her, just because you can’t have her.
“Divorce Song” by Liz Phair
Okay, so Liz Phair isn’t technically “one of us”, but she got sucked up by the lesbian community and we won’t let her go. (Not that she’s complaining, though.) This song in particular embodies the feelings of pain and betrayal when you lose a long-term relationship. Although she’s talking about a husband here, as lesbians we tend to act “married” long before we are – so the pain is still just as real, even if you never made things legit. This song helps to put back a little bit of the bite that Ani took away!
“Yr Mangled Heart” by Gossip
I had never heard of this band before I started the research for this article, but I am so glad I found this song. The singer has an earthy quality that reminds me of old Pat Benetar – strong, soulful lyrics that shake you to the core. This song helps to pick you up by your boot straps and get you back into your pre-break-up groove – that awesome woman you were before this woman broke your heart. Remember, it’s completely healthy to use your break up as an excuse to be bigger and better!
“Fool of Me”, “Bitter”, and “Wasted Time” by Me’Shell Ndegeocello
These three songs could all be listed separately, but in some ways it’s important that they come in the right order on your playlist. “Fool of Me” starts it off with the initial hurt and sting. “Bitter” comes in behind it to help turn the sadness into anger (a necessary part of the healing process). Finally, “Wasted Time” comes in to clean up the mess – just in time – with thought-provoking lyrics that remind you of why it ended.
“Love is Everything” by k.d. lang
Please note: Lang did not do the original version of this song; that credit belongs to Jane Siberry. However, k.d. lang’s cover of the song helps bring to mind the things you need to remember when you’re mulling over the break up. It’s highly introspective, but not particularly sad – just enough to help you get through the tough spots.
“Breathe” by Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge wasn’t the original artist for this song, but as this is our list of lesbian break up songs, we had to choose her cover. This is a beautiful song that encapsulates the feelings of pain that follow a break up to a tee: This is three minutes of pure break up band-aid. This song helps to remind you that things will get better.
What do you think – are there more songs we missed? Let us know in the comments – and let us know if this playlist comes in handy!