15 Songs To Listen To After A Breakup When It's Time To Get Your Groove Back
I'm a firm believer that dancing is free therapy. No, it cannot take the place of a licensed, trained mental health professional. But if you're in your head about a breakup — how it happened, what was said, if there were any signs you missed, all of that jazz — dancing is a good first step to healing. Think of it as a grounding exercise, if you will, to combat the post-breakup sadness or to simply get your mind off of things. And if you've got songs to listen to after a breakup on deck, you'll feel validated and affirmed. Even if you know it deep down, it's always nice to hear that someone else lived through your situation and made it out OK.
The best thing about the songs below is that these ladies made it out more than OK. They remind you that the best part of breakups is the newfound freedom. You now have more time for creative endeavors, re-centering yourself, and honestly? Continuing to be the fabulous person you currently are. After listening to these 15 songs, you'll look at your ex and agree, in the words of musician Leikeli47, a "b*tch had to declutter."
"Juice" by Lizzo
What better way to get your groove back than by jamming a song that's hella groovy? Lizzo's '70s-guitar-tinged bop is all about empowerment. She talks about not just being a snack, but "the whole damn meal." And she talks about having the "juice," that certain je ne sais quoi that's essential to your being.
Besides, it's hard to stay mad when you get to the call-and-response lyric — "Somebody come get this man / I think he got lost in my DMs, what? / My DMs, what?" — about misguided, trifling men.
"Better by Myself" by Hey Violet
And speaking of funky basslines and vintage camp, there's Hey Violet. The band have started dropping follow-ups to 2017's From the Outside, and "Better by Myself" is one of those gems. The message she sings is loud and clear: She's better by herself. And in the face of an unhealthy relationship, you are, too.
"NASA" by Ariana Grande
As a whole, thank u, next is a fantastic breakup. But one song that seals the deal is "NASA," a rhetorical feat that we're not giving it enough credit. You could literally teach an AP English class on her space metaphors and analogies. And the chorus is super catchy. Also, Ariana Grande is promoting healthy boundaries! Love to see it.
"Too Much" by Kehlani
So what if your ex said that you were "too much?" Maybe you're "too much" in the right way? As Kehlani sings, "Too much of a woman / Too much of a woman / Too much of a bad *ss bitch?" That's their loss, baby, now they've got to live with it.
"Aute Cuture" by Rosalía
Lately, Rosalía has been making bops for women to harness their BDE. She already served hella attitude and major fashion inspiration in 2019 with "Con Altura." She's keeping that same energy going with "Aute Cuture." Breaking down the song, Rosalía told Genius, “The inspiration behind "Aute Couture" is power — female power, but power also in many other senses. Power in general, to feel strong."
The horns, drums, and Rosalía's layered vocals are magical. "Aute Cuture" is a charm to keep you as fierce and as unbothered (post-breakup) as Rosalía is in this music video.
"Prom" by SZA
SZA is the patron saint of melancholy cool girls, so no breakup song round-up is complete without her. "Prom" is dreamy and reflective, and one of SZA's more upbeat songs. In it, she touches on less-than-stellar partners, how it feels to work through insecurities, and addressing her discomfort around change.
Remember that even though breaking up isn't easy and seldom feels good, it's probably for the best.
"Number One Fan" by MUNA
"Number One Fan" is already a fun, synth-y, 2000s-throwback-type song. But the video is a goofy, wholesome, literal take on what it means to practice self-love. MUNA's 2019 single is a firm reminder to always be your biggest your biggest fan. Treat yourself the way you'd treat your best friend after their breakup.
"You Should See Me in a Crown" by Billie Eilish
Everyone's favorite angsty teenager nailed it with 2019's WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? A stand-out single was always "you should see me in a crown." Post-breakup, this synth-heavy, industrial track is a big mood for cutting off your ex, because you deserve so much more than lackluster relationships. A crown will do, though.
"Press" by Cardi B
I maintain that Cardi B is the friend who will block your ex if you don't have the heart to and will give you the post-breakup pep talk of your life. Then, she'll help you pick out a cute outfit, and pre-game with you for the club / take you to your favorite bookstore / indulge your Sephora shopping habit to cheer you up. If you're feeling pressed over your ex, listen to this song and imagine Cardi B doing any of the above.
"Mother's Daughter" by Miley Cyrus
It seems as if Miley Cyrus is beyond her cringeworthy cultural appropriation phase and has taken a turn in favor of socially conscious trap. Cyrus came out swinging in 2019 and dropped SHE IS COMING, the first part of her album. Bump this song when you're feeling extra tired of the patriarchial B.S. and honestly, everyone's B.S. — including your ex's.
"Don't Do It" by Leikeli47
You might already know Leikeli47 from "Money," which was featured in Booksmart. The percussion and synth in "Don't do it" are equally fun and fierce. Crying and looking through archived photos of your ex who? This song will have you absolutely strutting through your day.
"LMK" by Kelela
A lot of songs on Kelela's Take Me Apart are about all-encompassing love and desire. But in "LMK," Kelela sings a different tune: "Let me know / It ain't that deep, either way / No one's tryna settle down / All you gotta do is let me know." This flirty, gentle ode should be in rotation as you get ready for some hot rebound hookups. (Kelela also remixed "LMK" with a formidable rap girl gang: Princess Nokia, Junglepussy, cupcakKe, and Ms. Boogie.)
"On My Mind" by Jorja Smith
Ever need to get your ex off your mind? Jorja Smith has, too! "On My Mind" is pretty straightforward. Smith is sick of her dishonest, disingenuous partner and only stops for a second before deciding that nah, it's not worth dwelling on them at all. Just one listen to this bouncy, carefree single will clear your skin, smooth your hair, and delete your ex's number from your phone.
"Nightmare" by Halsey
Apart from "Without Me," "Nightmare" is Halsey's first solo single since 2017's hopeless fountain kingdom. And she's nailed the whole punk-meets-pop-meets-trap thing, yet again. A stand-out line that Halsey sings is, "I've had the rug pulled beneath my feet / I've trusted lies and trusted men / Broke down and put myself back together again." This speaks volumes after "Without Me" — which is also about being mistreated by men — especially after her breakup with G-Eazy in October 2018.
And then there's the video, which may have dropped in May 2019, but it's already iconic. See: Halsey's cheetah print pin-up look, her '50s butch moment with Cara Delevingne, a white fur coat thrown over lacy, white lingerie, braided Halsey, black-latex Halsey, and an '80s punk 'fit co-signed by Blondie's Debbie Harry herself. Ooh, and the mosh-pit of ladies showing up and showing out.
Post-breakup, take a page out of Ashley Frangipane's book: wear your most indulgent feel-good outfit and bust a move with a whole bunch of your friends.
"Fools" by Madison Beer
The bassline in "Fools" is easy, breezy, and nonchalant, like Beer's golden voice as she spins a narrative of an inevitable breakup. This song gets its name from the chorus, Beer sings, "Don't you know, baby? Only fools stick around when the love is gone." And honestly? There's something to that!
"Green Light" by Lorde
And last but not least, there's Lorde's incredible bop about hitting the gas on unapologetic, empowered, f*ckboy-free future. The frantic piano in sounds like an adrenaline rush and makes you want to dance on top of car. You've got to end on "Green Light," as it's the perfect guide to leaving warm memories of your ex in the past and reaching toward life that's flush with new possibilities.
Whether you bump these songs in your room by yourself, driving with the windows down, or getting ready for a girls' night, rosé in hand, you've got a soundtrack for growing and glowing, and never letting a breakup steal your joy.