Break ups are never fun. And the stages of grief that likely follow can really only be helped with time and a great music playlist.

Like many women, I’ve gone through my fair share of breakups. They’re the times in your life when you’re broken down to your core and the struggle to find yourself again is at times, longer than you’d like it to be.

But one thing that has always gotten me through the various stages of a breakup is music.

From one relationship to the next, you realize a bit of yourself in that one song which seems to get really popular just when you physiologically need it the most.

This list won’t be the same for everyone, but it’s been my journey to mental peace.

When you’re going crazy enough where other people notice:

This song is for the days immediately following a breakup where where you don’t eat, can’t sleep and you’re only going to work to help distract you, even if it’s only for a moment.

Stay off all social media during this time. Trust me on this.

Mama’s Broken Heart- Miranda Lambert

Honorable Mention: Hungover and Hard Up- Eric Church


When you could use tears as lubrication:

The early weeks following a breakup are between you, that bottle of cheap whiskey, your porn collection and no one else. You don’t talk about this stage of a breakup with anyone else. Ever.

It Ain’t the Whiskey- Gary Allan

Honorable Mention: Hotline Bling- Drake, Unlove Me- Julie Roberts


When you don’t care to see other people:

You don’t want to go anywhere. You don’t want to do anything. You’re basically a zombie just going through the motions of life. You’ll crawl out of this mindset eventually. Maybe.

Actually, you’ll crawl out of it whenever the fuck you want.

Might as Well Get Stoned-Chris Stapleton

Honorable Mention: All Along- Kid Cudi


When you win all the fake shower arguments:

The shower is the only place you’re undefeated when it comes to a future argument you fantasize about where you make all the perfect points and never cry.

Irreplaceable- Beyonce

Honorable Mentions: Independent- Webbie, Kerosene-Miranda Lambert.


When you look for affection somewhere else

At some point, you want to feel the warmth of someone next to you in bed. If it can’t be him, then it might as be someone who will get your mind off things even if it’s only for a few hours.

She Don’t Love You- Eric Paslay

Honorable Mentions: Get On Your Knees- Nicki Minaj, Stay High- Tove Lo.


When you’re in peak “Who the fuck do you think you are” mode

You’re tired of them constantly on your mind and you’re fed up. So you go out, get some drinks and listen to some music to distract you from the asshole on your mind.

FU- Miley Cyrus

Honorable Mentions: Raining Men- Rihanna, Smoke a Little Smoke- Eric Church.


When the rebounds don’t stand a chance:

Can we all say a prayer for the those who dare to date us immediately following a breakup? You’re bitter, the ex still consumes your daily thoughts and you don’t trust a soul; least of all this new guy has the audacity of being nice to you.

The worst part is any other time in your life, it might work with them. Just not now because you’re going to take out your anger from the ex towards the new guy.

It’s not right, but it is what it is.

No Worries- Lil Wayne

Honorable Mentions: Birthday Cake- Rihanna, Exe’s and Oh’s- Ellie King.


When everyone bad mouths them but you know in your heart, they’re wrong:

It wasn’t all bad. But your friends don’t hear the good, they only see your broken heart and try to help. But it turns you into defensive mode where you know they’re still a good person.

You’re hoping against all hope he can prove them (and the logical side of your brain) all wrong.

Fix you- Coldplay

Honorable Mentions: How to Live Alone- Evan Ross, T.I., Someone Like You- Adele.


When you relapse and let that mother fucker buy you a drink:

You know you shouldn’t hang out with them. You know you should have turned down that dinner invitation.

But you didn’t and now you’re in his bathroom trying to justify why you’re not storming out of the house.

Stay a Little Longer- Brothers Osborne

Honorable Mention: Kiss Me When I’m Down- Gary Allan, Stay- Rihanna.


When you know it’s time to rip the band-aid off:

Acceptance of a breakup is so much harder than every one thinks.

It’s the one aspect that lingers the longest but when you do accept it, the mental release is so freeing.

Fly- Maddie and Tae

Honorable Mentions: Fly Again- Kip Moore, Let it Go- James Bay


When even in your moments of getting stronger, they’re still there:

On the car ride home, in the shower and at the end of a workout, they’re still in your head.

Bring it on home to me- Sam Cooke

Honorable Mentions: Save it For a Rainy Day- Kenny Chesney, Can’t Shake You- Gloriana.


When you’re having a good day:

As cliche’ as it sounds, time really does heal all wounds. And eventually, you’ll find better days are occurring more frequently.

While you might have an instance or two where you still breakdown, the overall outlook is no longer doom and gloom.

Pursuit of Happiness- Kid Cudi

Honorable Mentions: Better in Time- Leona Lewis, Dog Days Are Over- Florence + The Machine, The Motto- Drake, Lil Wayne.


When you meet someone you might keep around for a while:

You thought you were gonna get through a breakup song list without one single mention of Taylor Swift, didn’t you?

We all know T-Swift makes some great breakup songs and while I still have “Shake It Off’ on repeat, some of her better songs are a little lesser known.

Begin Again- Taylor Swift

Honorable mentions: Not a Bad Thing- Justin Timberlake