9. “Back To Me Without You” by The Band Perry
You can just hear the agony in her voice as she sings. You can hear the empty space that ex-boyfriend left behind. Remember what it’s like to lose your identity to a relationship? No? Well, you will after this one.
10. “Falling Slowly” by The Frames
It’s possible to put yourself back together again after something bad happens, right? Right? Well, maybe. Or at least this song hopes so.
11. “Stay or Leave” by Dave Matthews
Here are some sad lyrics, some wrecking chords and some poignant memories to destroy your emotional equilibrium. Thank you, Matthews.
12. “Say Hello Wave Goodbye” by David Gray
Another angsty Davd — but English. Still, he recalls a relationship that was just doomed to fail. He uses quiet tones instead of screams and that almost makes the pain worse.
12. “Exit Music (For a Film)” by Radiohead
This one’s just plain ghostly, but it might be the most hard rock song on the list, what with the sudden change in tempo halfway through. It makes you picture that rainy day going on forever.
13. “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails
For a band known for their wild beats, this one is mostly just Reznor’s agonized voice talking about how crappy everything is.
14. “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse
He leaves and her world falls apart. It’s the oldest story in the book and, yet, Winehouse makes it jazzy and new with the agony of a broken, aged woman who didn’t die young.
15. “All I Want Is You” by U2
Yeah, all he wants is the girl, but you just know, based on this somber melody, he never got the girl. He will never get the girl. He’ll die alone, thinking about the girl.
16. “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley
Just a man and his guitar singing about how awful love is. Buckley always knew how to inject every lyric with severe emotion. Maybe he lived his life that way, too. Shame it ended so early.
Now listen to the entire playlist:
A version of this article was originally published in April 2016.