66 Really Depressing Songs to Make You Cry and Heal You
Songs speak to the soul, and depressing songs speak to the depressed soul! If you’re feeling blue, here are 66 songs to make you cry and help you out.
While it may seem counterproductive to listen to depressing songs when you’re already ready to cry your eyes out, the truth is that listening to music that pulls at your heartstrings can be cathartic! When you connect to music, it sings with you, cries with you, and expresses everything you’re feeling in the most poetic way possible. It’s no wonder why those enduring heartbreak over a crush, breakup, or loss turn to music as their solace.
So gather round, broken-hearted: we’re giving you a list of 66 depressing songs to help you down your road of healing!
Depressing pop songs
Who says pop music can’t make you melancholy? We’re looking at some of the best, most depressing songs on mainstream radio. Feeling down or brokenhearted? Jump in the car, buckle up, and check out these Top 40 hits that’ll have you reaching for your tissues.
#1 Taylor Swift – You’re Not Sorry. Lyric sample: “Looking so innocent, I might believe you if I didn’t know. Could’ve loved you all my life, if you hadn’t left me waiting in the cold. And you got your share of secrets and I’m tired of being last to know. And now you’re asking me to listen, ’cause it’s worked each time before.”
#2 Coldplay – Fix You. “And the tears come streaming down your face, when you lose something you can’t replace. When you love someone, but it goes to waste, could it be worse?”
#3 Maroon 5 – Sad. “Oh, but I’m scared to death, that there may not be another one like this. And I confess that I’m only holding on by a thin, thin thread. I’m kicking the curb ‘cause you never heard, the words that you needed so bad…I’m so sad.”
#4 Gary Jules – Mad World. “And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad. The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had. I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take, when people run in circles it’s a very, very mad world. Mad world.”
#5 Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah. “Baby I’ve been here before, I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor, you know I used to live alone before I knew ya. And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch and love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.”
#6 The Last Goodnight – Return To Me. “I will change the way I talk, I will change the way I feel, I will change the way I walk, until nothing left is real. I will change the way I call your name, I will change the way I eat, I will change the way I touch you when you’re lying there asleep. Because I miss you, God I miss you. Return to me, return to me. I will change everything.”
#7 Tracy Chapman – Fast Car. “See my old man’s got a problem, he lives with the bottle. That’s the way it is. He says his body’s too old for working, his body’s too young to look like his. My mama went off and left him, she wanted more from life than he could give. I said somebody’s got to take care of him, so I quit school and that’s what I did. You got a fast car, is it fast enough so we can fly away? We gotta make a decision, leave tonight or live and die this way.”
#8 Ben Folds Five – Brick. “As weeks went by, it showed that she was not fine. They told me, “Son, it’s time to tell the truth.” And she broke down, and I broke down, ’cause I was tired of lying. Driving back to her apartment, for the moment we’re alone, but she’s alone, and I’m alone, and now I know it.”
#9 Damien Rice – The Blowers Daughter. “And so it is, just like you said it would be. Life goes easy on me, most of the time. And so it is, the shorter story. No love, no glory. No hero in her sky.”
#10 Bastille – Oblivion. “Are you going to age with grace? Are you going to age without mistakes? Are you going to age with grace, or only to wake and hide your face?”
#11 Of Monsters and Men – Love, Love, Love. “Well, maybe I’m a crook for stealing your heart away, yeah, maybe I’m a crook for not caring for it. Yeah, maybe I’m a bad, bad, bad, bad person. Well, baby, I know. And these fingertips, will never run through your skin. And those bright blue eyes, can only meet mine across the room filled with people that are less important than you.”
#12 Missy Higgins – Where I Stood. “I don’t know what I’ve done, or if I like what I’ve begun, but something told me to run, and honey you know me: it’s all or none. Cause I don’t know who I am, who I am without you, all I know is that I should. And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you, all I know is that I should. Cause she will love you more than I could. She who dares to stand where I stood.”
#13 David Gray – This Year’s Love. “This year’s love had better last, heaven knows it’s high time. And I’ve been waiting on my own too long. But when you hold me like you do, it feels so right. I start to forget how my heart gets torn, when that hurt gets thrown, feeling like you can’t go on.”
#14 Sleeping at Last – Turning Pages. “I surrender who I’ve been for who you are, for nothing makes me stronger than your fragile heart. If I had only felt how it feels to be yours, well, I would have known what I’ve been living for all along, what I’ve been living for.”
Depressing alternative picks
Not a fan of top 40 tracks? You’re in luck. Rock ‘n roll was founded on one thing: pain! So what better to listen to when you’re not sure whether to feel angry, depressed, or just plain down and out? Here’s our collection of depressing songs in the rock category.
#15 Florence + the Machine – I’m Not Calling You a Liar. “I’m not calling you a liar, just don’t lie to me. I’m not calling you a thief, just don’t steal from me. I’m not calling you a ghost, just stop haunting me, and I love you so much, I’m gonna let you kill me.”
#16 Snow Patrol – The Only Noise. “It’s not perfect but it’s from the first take, it’s the one that I did with you here. It seems careless that I shouldn’t care less, but it’s the only noise I have of yours.”
#17 Tom Odell – Another Love. “And I wanna kiss you, make you feel alright, I’m just so tired to share my nights. I wanna cry and I wanna love, but all my tears have been used up…on another love.”
#18 City & Colour – Sleeping Sickness. “I’m afraid to sleep because of what haunts me. Such as, living with the uncertainty, that I’ll never find the words to say which would completely explain, just how I’m breaking down.”
#19 Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Written Over. “With my ass in the air, and my face in the ground, I was looking at love, she was laughing me down. I wanted to be written over.”
#20 My Chemical Romance – I Don’t Love You. “And after all this time that you still owe. You’re still a good-for-nothing I don’t know. So take your gloves and get out, better get out, while you can. When you go, would you even turn to say: I don’t love you, like I did yesterday.”
#21 Keane – Somewhere Only We Know. “Oh simple thing where have you gone? I’m getting old and I need something to rely on. So tell me when you’re gonna let me in, I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin. And if you have a minute, why don’t we go talk about it somewhere only we know?”
#22 The Honorary Title – Far More. “Is this the sound of our demise, or is it just the opposite? I love you and I miss you. What else is there to say? It takes a hell of a lot more to complete this.”
#23 Our Lady Peace – Bring Back the Sun. “And I know, I know I failed you, and I hope, I hope we get through. Sunny days again. Mystery’s gone, so bring back the sun. We’ll bury this hate and build it with love.”
#24 Mayday Parade – Miserable at Best. “Let’s not pretend like you’re alone tonight. You’re probably hanging out and making eyes. I’ll bet he gets the nerve to walk the floor and ask my girl to dance, and she’ll say yes. Because these words were never easier for me to say, or her to second guess. But I guess that I can live without you but without you I’ll be miserable at best.”
#25 Death Cab for Cutie – The Ice Is Getting Thinner. “We’re not the same, dear, as we used to be. The seasons have changed and so have we. There was little we could say, and even less that we could do. To stop the ice from getting thinner under me and you.”
#26 Matthew Good Band – Strange Days. “We’re done lying for a living. The strange days have come and you’re gone. Either dead or dying, either dead or trying to go.”
#27 Big Wreck – Under the Lighthouse. “When I told you that I’m sorry, you told me that I’m full of fear. But when the music is just too loud, well it’s not your voice I hear. Well, you would’ve left me anyway. So I’ll just bow my head. I swear you might’ve left me anyway, so I’ll leave you instead.”
#28 Paramore – We Are Broken. “We are broken. What must we do to restore our innocence? And oh, the promise we adored. Give us life again, cause we just wanna be whole.”
#29 The Smiths – There Is a Light That Never Goes Out. “And if a double-decker bus crashes in to us. To die by your side, is such a heavenly way to die. And if a ten-ton truck kills the both of us. To die by your side, well the pleasure, the privilege is mine.”
#30 The Honorary Title – Only One Week. “Have your lips graced another’s yet, or am I the only one? Every time I try to speak to you, those are the thoughts that run. Say something else, girl, I don’t want to have to leave. Our communication is hardly what it used to be.”
#31 The National – I Should Live in Salt. “Think about something so much, you should know me better than that. Start to slide out of touch, you should know me better than that. Tell yourself it’s all you know, you should know me better than that. Learn to appreciate the void, you should know me better than that. I should live in salt for leaving you behind.”
#32 Evanescence – Hello. “If I smile and don’t believe, soon I know I’ll wake from this dream. Don’t try to fix me, I’m not broken. Hello, I am the lie living for you so you can hide. Don’t cry.”
#33 Tom Odell – I Know. “Or the way you hit me when you wanna fight, the way I yearn, the way I cry. The way our love rolls with the tides, but we know we’ll make up every time. I know what you told me, I know that it’s all over. And I know I can’t keep calling, Every time I run, yeah I keep on falling.”
#34 Acceptance – So Contagious. “Oh, when I’m around you I’m predictable, cause I believe in loving you with first sight. I know it’s crazy but I’m hoping to… to take a hold of you. Could this be out of line? To say you’re the only one breaking me down like this. You’re the only one I would take a shot on. Keep me hanging on so contagiously.”
#35 Jimmy eat World – Drugs or Me. “Stay with me, you’re the one I need. You make the hardest things seem easy. Keep my heart somewhere drugs don’t go. Where the sunshine slows, always keep me close. If only you could see the stranger next to me. You promise you promise that you’re done, but I can’t tell you from the drugs.”
#36 Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here. “How I wish, how I wish you were here. We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year, running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears. Wish you were here.”
#37 The Cranberries – Zombie. “Another head hangs lowly, child is slowly taken. And the violence caused such silence, who are we mistaken.”
#38 My Chemical Romance – Cemetery Drive. “So I won’t stop dying, won’t stop lying, if you want I’ll keep on crying. Did you get what you deserve? Is this what you always want me for? Well I miss you, I miss you so far, and the collision of your kiss that made it so hard.”
#39 The Pretty Reckless – You. “You don’t want me, no, you don’t need me. Like I want you, oh, like I need you. And I want you in my life, and I need you in my life.”
#40 Our Lady Peace – Are You Sad? “I’m drowning inside your head. Help me to answer, help me understand why it’s been so long since we talked like friends. Please, forgive me, I’m just a man who’s made mistakes.”
#41 Okkervil River – For Real. “I really miss what really did exist, when I held your throat so tight. And I miss the bus as it swerved from us and came crashing to its side.”
Depressing country songs…aren’t they all?
When it comes to depressing songs, turning to country music is a no brainer! They’re always singing about trucks and love and smashing up your ex’s car! Without further ado, here’s our country picks for sad songs.
#42 Johnny Cash – Hurt. “What have I become, my sweetest friend. Everyone I know goes away in the end. And you could have it all. My empire of dirt. I will let you down. I will make you hurt.”
#43 Rascal Flatts – I’m Moving On. “I’ve lived in this place and I know all the faces. Each one is different but they’re always the same. They mean me no harm but it’s time that I face it. They’ll never allow me to change, but I never dreamed home would end up where I don’t belong. I’m movin’ on.”
#44 Little Texas – What Might Have Been. “Sure, I think about you now and then, but it’s been a long, long time. Well I’ve got a good life now, I moved on. So when you cross my mind, I try not to think about what might have been. Cause that was then and we have taken different roads. We can’t go back again, there’s no use giving in, and there’s no way to know what might have been.”
#45 George Strait – When Did You Stop Loving Me. “When did you stop lovin’ me? How long have I been a memory? I’ve got to know for my own sanity. Tell me, when did you stop lovin’ me?”
#46 Bonnie Tyler – It’s A Heartache. “It’s a heartache, nothing but a heartache. Hits you when it’s too late. Hits you when you’re down. It’s a fool’s game, nothing but a fool’s game. Standing in the cold rain, feeling like a clown.”
Sad oldies songs
Don’t knock the oldies! Whether it’s the 40s, 50s, or 60s, these eras have one thing in common: great music and sad songs. Get a load of our oldies picks for great songs to listen to when you’re in the mood for crying.
#47 The Ink Spots – Maybe. “Maybe you’ll think of me when you are all alone, maybe the one who is waiting for you will prove untrue. Then what will I do? Maybe you’ll sit and sigh, wishing that I were near. Then maybe you’ll ask me to come back again, and maybe I’ll say ‘maybe’.” [Read: 20 breakup songs you can use to break up with someone you love]
#48 Ray Charles – I Can’t Stop Loving You. “Those happy hours that we once knew, tho’ long ago, they still make me blue. They say that time heals a broken heart, but time has stood still since we’ve been apart.”
#49 Patsy Cline – I’ve Got Your Picture. “I’ve got your picture that you gave to me, and it’s signed with love, just like it used to be. The only thing different, the only thing new: I’ve got your picture, she’s got you. I’ve got the records that we used to share, and they still sound the same, as when you were here. The only thing different, the only thing new: I’ve got the records, she’s got you.”
#50 Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine. “Wonder this time where she’s gone. Wonder if she’s gone to stay. Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, and this house just ain’t no home, anytime she goes away.”
#51 Billie Holiday – Stormy Weather. “Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky. Stormy weather, since my man and I ain’t together, I’m weary…all the time.”
#52 Louis Armstrong – Moon River. “Moon river, wider than a mile, I’m crossing you in style someday. Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker, wherever you are goin’, I’m goin’ your way.”
#53 Elvis – Love Me Tender. “Love me tender, love me dear, tell me you are mine. I’ll be yours through all the years, ‘till the end of time.”
Sad indie songs
Indie songs are great and definitely so relatable, and since they’re still independent you can horde your playlist to yourself and keep it as your own dirty little sad secret! Err…we digress! Here’s some amazing indie tunes to crank and cry to.
#54 Half Moon Run – Un-offerable. “Tell me a lie, I’ll be the first to fall. Give me an offer, un-offerable. Imagine the warmth in those tiny hands that held on to a penance I didn’t deserve. Don’t it feel like a knife, in the back of your head? And it reeks like an afterthought, rotten and said. Maybe something got lost or forgotten instead.”
#55 Bon Iver – Skinny Love. “Come on skinny love just last the year. Pour a little salt we were never here. My, my, my… Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer. I tell my love to wreck it all. Cut out all the ropes and let me fall. My, my, my…right in the moment, this order’s tall.” [Read: The skinny on skinny love – Are you experiencing it?]
#56 X Ambassadors – Litost. “What have I done, with my heart on the floor? I must be out of my mind, to come back begging for more. But if you stay, and if you just stay for the night, swear that I’m yours and I’ll prove that I’m right.”
#57 Said the Whale – The Real of It. “I think about you all the time. I know you’ll be alright, but I can’t help thinking what you’re thinking now. Are we still two of a kind? Or was everything we ever said to each other a lie?”
#58 Civil Twilight – Quiet In My Town. “Today I heard that someone left this earth, that someone disappeared, left no mark here. Today I heard that someone just got up and left himself, lying on the ground. Today is… Today is.. Today is quiet in my town.”
#59 Matthew and the Atlas – The Waves. “Down in the waves I swam. Pictures and photographs hidden in your hands. And if you go, then I’ll go to. Down to the ocean, with you.”
#60 The Perishers – Nothing Like You and I. “We spent some time together crying, spent some time just trying, to let each other go. I held your hand so very tightly and told you what I would be dreaming of…”
#61 PlayRadioPlay – Madi Don’t Leave. “Is there any way, you can change schools and stay up here in Fort Worth, ’cause you’re what I look for. I’ve got a hopeless crush, maybe that don’t mean much to you but I’m hoping this can keep going.”
#62 Freelance Whales – Broken Horses. “But, oh God, that look in your eye. Trouble that does not search words. It sprung from the biblical vine, awaiting to return to the dirt.”
#63 Bright Eyes – No Lies, Just Love. “I wrote this for a baby, who has yet to be born. My brother’s first child, I hope that womb’s not too warm. Cause it’s cold out here, and it’ll be quite a shock, to breathe this air, to discover loss.” [Read: 10 cathartic love songs for the one that got away]
#64 Avalanche City – The Citizens. “I can see the fear take over, hearts hardened to the sound of closeness. It’s aching and pounding all on the citizens, leaving them wishing they had a lover.”
#65 Never Shout Never – I Love You More Than You Will Ever Know. “Star oh star you shine so bright, won’t you grant me one small wish tonight: that I won’t die on this destructive path of mine.”
#66 Keaton Henson – Small Hands. “Please forget me, you were right dear: I am cold and self-involved. And though I’ll miss you, recent lover, I am weak and therefore fold. Get distracted by my music, think of nothing else but art. I’ll write my loneliness in poems, if I can just think how to start.”
We swear once you’re done with this massive playlist of depressing songs, you’ll be all cried out! So grab some tissues, open your iTunes, and get listening.