Empathetic Breakup Songs For When It’s Been a Few Months

There is a gaping hole in the oeuvre of breakup playlists. The classics are songs filled with agony, spite, lamentations for love lost, or bitter expressions of “Fuck you, I’m better off.” You’ve likely already created a lifetime supply of playlists perfectly suited to these feelings, but what comes next? You’re not inconsolably heartbroken. You’re not angry anymore. Sure, you can revisit your old playlists when the next heartbreak comes around, but doesn’t this era warrants a new one? We need to talk more about the emotional subtleties involved in moving on from someone you care about without letting the bitter taste of a breakup sour your memory. You’re looking for the “I still think about you even though we’ve been broken up for almost as long as we were together” playlist, the one that encapsulates the sentiment of “our timing was off but I think you’re a good person and I hope you’re doing okay.” Wistful, not devastated. Appreciative, not hateful. Maybe you’re hoping they’ll come back into your life, but just as likely you’re not, and you know it was for the best. What follows is an I wish you well homage dedicated to someone that you really did, probably still do, care about.


“Even Though” Joan Shelley

I’ve seen the sun rise over you / Now I watch it setting down / But I keep saying / Yes I can bear you / Yes I can bear it all

“Rivers” The Tallest Man on Earth

I’ll sing of seasons ‘til you turn me off / I see the way of letting go / They’ll be the same / And whatever changes, these changes I know

“Wild Indifference” Joan Shelley

In your wild indifference / It’s all centered around you / Well I’ve been the chaser too long / Ain’t it lonely

“Those Memories of You” Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris

I’ll always love you little darling / Until the day they lay me down

“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” Willie Nelson

Love is like a dying ember / And only memories remain / And through the ages I’ll remember / Blue eyes crying in the rain

“Joy to you Baby (Live)” Josh Ritter

There’s pain in whatever we stumble upon / If I never had met you, you couldn’t have gone / But then I wouldn’t have met you, we couldn’t have been / I guess it all adds up to joy in the end

“Dink’s Song” Dave Van Ronk

If I had wings like Noah’s dove / I’d fly up the river to the one I love / Fare thee well

“Keep Me in Your Heart” Warren Zevon

Sometimes when you’re doing simple things around the house / Maybe you’ll think of me and smile / You know I’m tied to you like the buttons on your blouse / Keep me in your heart for a while

“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” Odetta

I ain’t saying you treated me unkind / You could’ve done better but I don’t mind / You just wasted my precious time / But don’t think twice, it’s alright

“Maybe” The Ink Spots

Maybe you’ll ask me to come back again / And maybe I’ll say maybe

“High Hope” Glen Hansard

Maybe when our hearts realign / Maybe when we’ve both had some time / I’m gonna see you there

“Living In A Memory” The Growlers

Help me forget her / Eclipse my heart with yours / Help me remember that life’s worth living for

“Hopeful (Live)” Josh Ritter

These days I’m feeling better about the man that I am / There’s some things I can change and there’s others I can’t / I met someone new now I know I deserve / I never met someone loves the world more than her


Olivia Gracey, Fall 2018


artwork by Maya Hayda

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