If you're feeling burnt out which, FYI, the World Health Organization has officially defined as a workplace problem or stressed about life in general, never underestimate the power of a great sad song. Sure, it may feel counterintuitive, but some of the best slow, emotional tracks allow us to acknowledge our feelings—a painful but necessary step in the right direction. Call Not only did Adele basically invent winged eyeliner, she also perfected the art of the sad song. You still sound like a song. My God, this reminds me of when we were young. This song is so sweet. The music video is so sweet. Leon Bridges is so sweet. Just everything about this song is so sweet.
2. “Sandcastles” by Beyoncé (2016)
1. “Beloved Wife” by Natalie Merchant (1995)
Your taste in music might contain multitudes, but there's one thing that can be found in any genre: sad love songs. As long as musicians—and the fans who listen to them—have broken hearts, we'll have endless options for our postbreakup soundtracks. But even though their picks cross decades and genres, they're all perfect for those times when you just want to be in your feelings. Whether you're fresh off a split yourself or simply in need of a cathartic cry, see our list of the 51 best sad love songs, below. I've never bothered to google whether this song is actually about the loss of a wife—I'm too busy bawling. Her strained voice!
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Whether you're going through a breakup, vibing in your room, or in need of a road trip playlist, here are the best sad love songs to get you deep in your feelings. The sad love song to end all sad love songs, Whitney's version of "I Will Always Love You" makes saying goodbye hurt so good. Adele's vocals are pleading as the piano trills in the background: "What if I never love again? Cue me crying. Mimi said "We belong together," dammit! This Mariah classic will have you screaming the final chorus into a hairbrush until your true love returns. So, you miss your toxic ex. We've all been there and this bop from Swedish pop singer Zara Larsson is equal parts wistful and self-aware.
With that in mind, we have scoured the music world for the most heart wrenching sad songs that are guaranteed to make you cry. While it may seem counterintuitive, depressing and sad music can actually cheer you up. Think about your favorite sad song and think about how it makes you feel. Does it bring back fond memories? Does the sad song remind you of the one who got away? Was the song played as a mourning at a funeral perhaps? Nostalgia does that to a person.