The relationship started out so promising, as it usually does, but it took a nosedive after about a month and a half.
Three months after the nosedive, I was still with him on my 27th birthday. My friends went out of their way to plan an amazing bash, and he couldn’t deign to show up until 11 pm. I knew the end was near, but I didn’t know it would be that night.
My birthday buzz immediately snapped when he told me he wasn’t staying over. I burst into tears. We had a conversation that went in circles, and when he left, I knew it was for good.
I knew I had held on too long, but it still hurt like hell. I needed something seriously strong to get me through that hurt. Not a drink or a pint of ice cream: I needed Sam Smith.
The breakup happened to coincide with the rise of “Stay With Me,” which has a subject matter that happened to coincide almost perfectly with my breakup.
In my hysteria during our final talk, I might have even said the words, “I don’t want you to leave, won’t you hold my hand.”
The desperateness was real.
I started obsessively listening to the song. Sam Smith was in my ear during my subway commute. He was belting along with me in the shower in the morning after my roommate left for work. He was my personal support system.
If you think about it, there’s practically a whole genre of music dedicated to breaking up. That’s because there’s no better cure for heartbreak than a song that speaks to your soul.
Music is there without judgment.
Let’s face it. We do a lot of stupid and embarrassing sh*t after a breakup. We don’t shower. We review the mistakes of the relationship over and over again in our heads.
We backslide and text our exes, sometimes even sleep with them. We ugly cry our eyes out to the point of bursting blood vessels. In short, we’re not our best selves.
But music doesn’t care about any of that. If you need to listen to Bonnie Raitt croon out “I Can’t Make You Love Me” while gently sobbing or screaming into a pillow about how your ex was SUPPOSED TO LOVE YOU, Bonnie isn’t going to object. If anything, she’ll just wait for you to repeat play.
Music is there with the exact advice you need.
As hard as it is for us to accept, even our best friends can’t read our minds. We go to them just for a sounding board, and they give us advice.
They tell us to move on when we just want someone to say, “Give it another shot.” When we’re looking for a little empowerment on how awesome we are without a significant other, they want to harp on how terrible the last one was. It can be a no-win situation.
It isn’t our friends’ faults, but instead of going to them and getting this frustrating merry-go-round of dredged-up emotion, why not turn to music instead?
You can celebrate your ex’s amazing qualities (because there probably were a few) on your own time with Britney Spears’ “Born To Make You Happy.” When you’re ready to hate them, CeeLo has your back with “F*ck You” (have to go uncensored in times of heartbreak).
Music is there when you are avoiding the temptation of stalking your ex.
I know stalking feels good in the moment. You go through their photo history to see the moments of their lives with you, how boring the photo album was before you guys met. I know you THINK you’ll feel better to know what they’re doing, but you just won’t.
You will inevitably find a photo of something you do NOT want to see -- it might not even be incriminating, it could just be a smile, but it’ll signify they’ve moved on while you’re still wallowing and set up a whole shame spiral.
So get off Facebook and onto your favorite music site. Set up a new playlist to get you through the breakup.
Curate the perfect meld of anger and sadness that mirrors your soul. Listen to Beyoncé’s entire discography. Let the playlist be your therapy instead of his/her Instagram.
Music is there at every stage of a breakup.
A breakup is a rollercoaster of emotions that follows the five stages of grief almost to a T, and there are songs for every stage.
Denial means you’re in need of Mariah’s “Always Be My Baby” when she sings, “You’ll always be a part of me, and I’m part of you indefinitely.” The denial is so intense, it’s almost creepy.
Anger means it’s time to pull a Justin Timberlake and film yourself making out in your ex’s house with a new bae, a la “Cry Me A River.”
Bargaining means you need to listen to Rihanna plead Mikky Ekko to “Stay."
Depression is when it’s time to whip out the major weeper, “All By Myself,” much like Bridget Jones did in the early 2000s.
And when you’re finally out of your depression and ready to move on with some Acceptance, Kelly Clarkson is your girl. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is life-giving advice.
Music is there when you’re ready to be in love again.
There comes a time at the end of every breakup cycle when you can honestly say that you’re over your ex, and you’re ready to give someone else a shot.
You transition from JT’s aforementioned “Cry Me A River” to longing for “Mirrors,” when he’s celebrating true love with Jessica Biel.
You actually WANT to be in love like that again -- you BELIEVE in love again. And there’s plenty of music dedicated to that.
Going through a tough breakup and ready to lose yourself in music? Now you can stream unlimited music on your phone without burning out your data plan thanks to T-Mobile’s Music Freedom program.