Wallow, the Soundtrack

3rd March 2011

So sick. I woke up with a fever and chills and the smell of death on the air. I wish this bed would stop touching me so I could sleep.

Anyway, when I was young and feeling heartbroken, I used to make breakup tapes with one side for feeling sorry for myself and one with happy music. Did you ever do this? While I’m incapacitated, please add links to songs to weep by and songs that make you dance around in your underwear.

When my skin isn’t peeling up at the edges, I shall make a mixtape.

321 thoughts on “Wallow, the Soundtrack

  1. Ariel

    When my marriage to my first daughter’s dad was falling apart, (I am pregnant with daughter number two now!) I was so stressed and unhappy, and I’d put on Keith Urban’s Better Life and we’d dance around the living room like mad. She was only one or so, and now I can tell her we’ve definitely made it.
    It wasn’t the life I thought I was going to have, it’s better.
    You will get there too:)

  2. Devon

    Sad song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtkU5CGpBHQ&feature=fvst

    Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons. Not sad in your usual, slow weepy sound sort of way, but definitely melancholy.

    Happy Song:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU&feature=related&oref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DUtkU5CGpBHQ%26feature%3Dfvst&has_verified=1

    F You (the dirty version) by Cee Lo Green. A new standard, in my book. The F-bomb in every chorus just lifts me up. I find swearing to be incredibly satisfying, so this song makes me smile every time.

  3. KK

    When my boyfriend left me I listened to Coldplay’s Parachutes cd over and over and over until my neighbor knocked and said “Please stop it.” To this day it summons the sadness and instantly depresses me.

    On the B-Side: U2 – Beautiful Day, Dandy Warhols – Bohemian Like You, Neil Diamond – Porcupine Pie, Bob Marley – Three Little Birds.

    Be well!

  4. kate

    “Don’t You Remember” from Adele’s new album – the most wallowing breakup song ever written.

    And then you have to listen to Rosalita by Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to get up off the floor.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

  5. Jennifer

    Backstabber — Ke$ha
    Got to Give it Up — Marvin Gaye
    I Feel for You — Chaka Khan (I *am* a child of the 80’s)

    Black-Eyed Dog — Nick Drake
    Crystal — Stevie Nicks
    Thats the Way Love Goes — Janet Jackson
    She’s Leaving Home — Beatles

    Feel better!

  6. latenac

    ABC’s Lexicon of Love


    A friend of mine read a biography of Frank Sinatra where allegedly he told Shirley McLaine that he wished someone would break her heart so he could beat them up for her. We both thought that was the sweetest thing anyone could say. Not that we wanted anyone beaten up we just wanted someone sympathetic who would validate our anger and heartbreak while helping us laugh at it at the same time. Lexicon of Love is all that in musical form. So you have someone to cry with and dance with and find catharsis with all in 73 minutes and Martin Fry looks good in a tux.

  7. Lisa

    For the sad: “More Time” by Needtobreathe, or anything by Nick Drake because music by a clinically depressed musician who committed suicide is nothing if not saaaaad. “Which Will” and “Pink Moon” are my recommendations.

    For the happy: “One Day” by Matisyahu, or if you just want to sing at the top of your lungs and laugh “Got Your Money” by Say Anything from the “Punk Goes Crunk” album.

    Feel better!

  8. Erin

    :) Dog Days Are Over – Florence & the Machine
    Forget You – Gwyneth Paltrow’s Glee version

    :( Slow Dancing in a Burning Room – John Mayer (I know, he’s a douche. But this song is one of the best break up songs EVER.)
    Stay Or Leave – Dave Matthews (solo album) (This song is THE best break up song EVER.)

    Hang in there. xoxo

  9. c

    I feel you on this one.

    Though, what about angry, self righteous, I’m awesome anyways songs? I guess they’re happy?

    My current angry one is: Rolling in the Deep, Adele
    (Adele also has a bajillion great sad songs on her album 21)

    For happy, nothing works like: Single ladies, Beyonce (tho the Pomplamoose cover is also AWESOME.)

    My current sad song: Skinny Love, Bon Iver

  10. Laura

    I’ve been reeling from some particularly heartbreaking news this past week. Somewhere in the middle of this, Matthew Sweet’s cover of the song “This Moment” resurfaced from the ’90s and has been a real comfort. Sample lyric–“Here we are now. Soon it will be then. It’s nothing more, nothing less than the place that we are in.”

    Hang in there, Maggie. Soon it will be then!

  11. Vanessa

    I just came out the other side of a divorce, and I hope you may not have to go that far, but mainly that whatever comes of this it will be the best for you and that you will, physically and emotionally, be better soon.

    Billy Joel, And So It Goes

    A Fine Frenzy, Almost Lover

    Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago

    Evanescence, My Immortal

    Meyer Hawthorne, Wish it would rain

    Patty Loveless, You Dont Even Know Who I Am

    Enough of that. Here’s to tomorrow.

    Happy (or, at least, upbeat):

    Cake, I will Survive

    Fleetwood Mac, Go Your Own Way

    Christina Aguilera, Nasty Naughty Boy

    Jo Cocker, You Can Leave Your Hat On

    And Im not sure where this on fits, but I love it.
    NIN, Closer

  12. Jess W

    Here is on to dance around to! My younger sister and I used to play this as our sort of anthem any time we were feeling scorned! Get ready for some empowerment!

  13. Joanna

    I can’t stop listening to The Head & The Heart. Like Mumford and Sons, they blend melancholy and hope. They give me that unsinkable feeling.

    You can grab two free tracks by signing up for their mailing list:

    1. [When You Got No One…] There’s No One to Let You Down

    2. Down in the Valley [“I am on my way back to where I started…”]

  14. Eevin

    Crying songs:

    “Everywhere” by Polaris (on Music from the Adventures of Pete and Pete)
    “Grand Canyon” by The Magnetic Fields (on 69 Love Songs)
    “Round Here” by Counting Crows (on August & Everything After)
    “Here’s That Rainy Day” by Astrud Gilberto (on Verve Unmixed 2)
    “I Bombed Korea” by Cake (on Prolonging The Magic)
    “I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you” by Colin Hay (on the Garden State soundtrack)

    Feeling better songs:

    “Doctor Worm” by They Might Be Giants (
    “I Live In New York City” by Sxip Shirey (on Sonic New York) (*possibly less effective if you don’t live in NYC? I don’t know . . .)
    “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz (on Rokstarr) (I’m so sorry . . . I can’t help it . . .)
    “All Day” by Girl Talk (on All Day)
    “Sam Hall” by Johnny Cash (on American IV: The Man Comes Around)
    “Let The Monkey Drive” by Sparks (on Exotic Creatures of the Deep)
    (depending on your sense of humor, “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco or anything on Kraftwerk’s album “The Mix” may also be strong choices)

    Take nice care of yourself.

  15. Beck

    This is kind of nerdy, but I’ve always liked Motorcycle Driveby by Third Eye Blind for a breakup song. It makes you feel both ways.

  16. sugarleg

    oh no you dihn’t. I will be have to add these with commenter-Tourettes. no way I can remember them all at once.

    my college roommate used to have a maudlin mix tape called “Depression At Its Finest” oh how I wish it were still around. I am pretty sure that Spandau Ballet “True” was on it. but much like child birth (or so I hear) you forget the physical pain and I can’t remember all the sad songs!

    anyhow, please drug yourself into rest, the only cure there is, and when you wake here are some songs for your consideration. more to come from me I am sure. also, some are pure queso, but that still works when in a mania. :-)

    Sad Times:
    The Scientist, Coldplay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdBym7kv2IM
    Fruits of My Labor, Lucinda Williams (or ANY LW for that matter) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4htPUK2q4ZU&feature=related
    most of that Damien Rice “O” album, a real wrist slitter for sure

    Happy Times:
    Teenage Dream, Katy Perry
    Give A Little Bit, Supertramp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGI6qQHFlPk

  17. parsingtime

    I was in Spain and London during a painful breakup in 2001 and these were my two songs
    Oasis – Stop Crying Your Heart Out was my sad song and Yo No Soy Esa Mujer was my I’m over you one (One of the lines roughly translates to I won’t put the best of my soul at your feet I’m not that woman).

  18. brie

    A saddy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Luirzce0UF8 (“Hope There’s Someone” by Antony & the Johnsons)

    Another saddy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS614A5GzEw (“Good Woman” by Cat Power)

    A happy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YShRy81bKms (“Candylion” by Gruff Rhys)

    An undies dancer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J294A-R1Cjk (“Dancing On My Own” by Robyn)

    Another one for undies dancing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLPbrSjiJI8 (Jimmy Adja from the film Disco Dancer)

  19. Cassie

    If you want to cry, then listen to Sufjan Steve’s Casimar Pulanski Day. Right before my the decision to end my first marriage, I listened to this on repeat, drank bourbon and cried in the bathroom for maybe 3 good hours.

  20. Nora

    Sad songs: La Maree Haute–Lhasa de Sela. Really, lots by Lhasa de Sela. Cry as you listen, and then cry some more when you remember that she passed away from breast cancer last year.
    Sad/angry song: Come on Billy–PJ Harvey.
    Happy songs: I recommend you get into K-Pop. It is impossible not to dance to 2NE1 (Lollipop or Fire are especially dancey, and Follow Me makes you feel like bad ass).

  21. berlin hair baby

    so sad: Built to Spill’s ‘Things Fall Apart’
    “it doesn’t matter if you’re good or smart – goddamn it, things fall apart”

    happy: “Plane to PR” by Daddy Yankee. This song will turn you into an instant mamacita, shakin that ass!!

    also, if you want a big ass 60s bouffant for when you’re better? check out my tutorial here

    big big hugs, berlin hair baby

  22. Jacinta

    The relative obscurity of this artist appealed to me and I’ve listened to her album more than once. This is definitely sad:

  23. kimberly

    wait, maybe the appleseed cast isn’t that happy. still! that and ‘fishing the sky’ – lovely and loud, i like to get lose in the crashing and offbeat sounds.

  24. Sarahmia

    The Go! Team – Huddle Formation, is fantastic for dancing in your underwear too.
    Anything by Bon Iver will help too, I promise.

  25. Jennifer

    Sad Songs:
    I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt
    Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House (I prefer Neil Finn’s acoustic version on the Princess Diana Tribute Album)
    With or Without You – U2
    All Out of Love – Air Supply (don’t judge me)
    Where Does Love Go When It Dies – Def Leppard (seriously, don’t judge me)

    Happy Songs
    You’re So Damn Hot – OK Go
    Extraordinary – Liz Phair
    All Things Just Keep Getting Better – Widelife (yes, I LOVE my Queer Eye CD, why do you ask?)
    Dancing Queen – ABBA
    Animal – Def Leppard (please see above about the judging)

  26. Victoria

    crying song: Ocean Of Noise by Arcade Fire

    underwear dancing song: Flathead by The Fratellis

    Also: drink a lot of rose’ wine, preferably in a really ridiculous glass. Or coffee cup. Cures everything.

  27. Beth

    Sad – “Dear Chicago, “In My Time of Need,” and “Blue Sky Blues” – Ryan Adams (really a lot of Ryan’s catalog – he’s the master of sorrow)

    Happy – Hard to find, but The Housemartins’ “Happy Hour,”

  28. Jen

    Maggie! I’m sorry to hear that you are feeling like this! I too am home sick today…I love making mix tape/CDs…here are some of my favourites:

    Freedom 90: George Michael (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diYAc7gB-0A)
    Gobbledigook: Sigur Rós (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQDWlvh5gtU&feature=related)
    The Only Living Boy in New York: Simon and Garfunkel (sort of melancholy, but happy for me! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGDt2skie84&feature=fvst)
    House of Jealous Lovers: The Rapture (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HP04nfUi4g)
    Billie Jean: Michael Jackson (Motown 25th anniversary premiere in particular) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGrqOCrG_zc)

    Jóga: Björk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBju9Sdh94k&feature=related)
    Why?: Annie Lennox (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vP-bONWw38)

  29. Heather

    “Beautiful World” by Colin Hay is (if not HAPPY) about contentment and makes me feel peaceful.

    For a sad wallow, I’ve always enjoyed “Love Will Come To You” by the Indigo Girls. A very crying-while-singing song.
    Good wallow, Maggie. I hope you eat some ice cream and do some yoga and have a good hair day and watch some Glee or Project Runway and wear an orange bracelet or turquoise shoes…when you feel better.

  30. Janine

    Because I am a big fan of yours I verified that my suggestions weren’t on your Listen to 1000 new songs life list item. (NERD ALERT, I KNOW)

    For a good cry (but only listen to it ONCE)
    Nothing like You and I by The perishers

    For Not Stop moving and shaking
    Heartbreaker by MSTRKRFT

  31. Matilda

    Yes, I too made very considered mix tapes for myself and my friends with a definite emotional arc to them. (And yes, I emerged an adult with a mastery of no skill from my misspent youth.)

    I hope you feel better soon, Maggie.

    As for music, “Bonfires” by Rickie Lee Jones sounds like my saddest breakup compressed into 4 minutes.

  32. Tamara

    They Won’t Go When I Go – Stevie Wonder (SUPER SAD)

    This Ship Was Built to Last – The Duke Spirit (makes you feel bad ass again)

  33. Erin

    Sad — “You Were Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson

    Underwear Dancing — “Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson

  34. Heather

    Sad: Accidental Babies by Damien Rice. Let Him Fly by the Dixie Chicks. “But you must always know how long to stay, and when to go.” Just typing that gave me chills.

    Good: Fuck You by Cee Lo Green. I dare you not to shake your booty to that one.

  35. Tori

    Sad: “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” by Low or The Smiths.

    Underwear Dancing: “Where’s Your Head At?” by Basement Jaxx.

  36. Anne

    Here is the song I dance to with my daughter on a Sunday morning in our jammies.

    Gwen Stefani – Sweet Escape

  37. Corri C

    Hmmm, for wallowing I love the Wailin’ Jennys, they’ve gotten me through the last year. Most recently I’ve gone for Beautiful Dawn and Heaven When We’re Home.

    For Happy, an oldie by goodie: Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles.

  38. Beth

    So I haven’t listened to them enough to pick a specific song, but from one listen-through, it seems like every single song by Best Coast is about missing/wanting/loving someone.

    Hmm, Frou Frou – Let Go

    For a dance-y pick-me-up, try Multiply by Jamie Liddell – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkqIsSTWSsc
    Modest Mouse – Float On
    New Pornographers – Electric Version
    The Faint – Glass Dance
    Richard Cheese – Milkshake :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBhZ8gCgfg0

    I could keep going, but I’ll stop.

  39. Jen

    I listened to the Mountain Goats “Woke Up New” and “No Children” a lot during my Grief Year, which was what I called the immediate aftermath of the demise of my last relationship. Also “Drive on, Driver” by the Magnetic Fields. (Actually, most of Distortion.) And also “Hum Hallelujah”, Fall Out Boy, and “Bonnie Portmore” as sung by Lucinda Williams.

    Songs for happy dancing: “Dragostei Din Tei” O-Zone; “Party at a Rich Dude’s House”, Ke$ha; “Desolation Row” and “Vampire Money” My Chemical Romance; “Feel So Numb”, Rob Zombie; and “Bullet” Steel Train, and anything by Gold Motel or Mark Ronson and the Business INTL.

  40. Amber

    Dancing in your underwear: “Something Good Can Work (The Twelves Remix)” – this makes for an EPIC dance party: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB7nmTiIt38

    Song that makes me cry EVERY TIME I HEAR IT for some stupid reason: “Top of the World” by the Dixie Chicks. When she sings, “I wished I’d have known you/Wished I’d have shown you/All of the things I/Was on the inside/I pretend to be sleeping/when you come in in the morning/To whisper goodbye/go to work in the rain/I don’t know why/I don’t know whyyyyy” and then the chorus following that verse – CRAP. I am about to start crying and I am sitting at my desk at work. No good. Stinkin’ song. I love it so.

    (Disclaimer: I don’t love the video!)

    One more dancing in your underwear song: “Americanarama” by Hollerado. SO GOOD! And the video is awesome.


    Feel better soon, okay? That’s actually not a request. Get on it.

  41. theresa

    Sad side: I can’t make you love me, Bonnie Raitt. This was poignant in a 2002 breakup, and I still tear up when I hear it as muzak.

    Happy side: Mr. Brightside, The Killers. Lyrics aside, it always gets me up dancing.

  42. Mareshia

    let it die–feist (PURGE the sadness. My friends asked me to ‘stop listening to the wrist cutting song’ and told me to ‘let the song die’)
    love song-the cure
    acoustic= extra emo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTkg5oVuj94
    electric= extra angry http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO7tVypeYAo
    bag lady–erykah badu

    tears dry on their own–amy winehouse (yup we had something…screw it, I’m picking myself up)
    diamond dave–bird and the bee (focus on your celebrity crush)
    happy valentine’s day–outkast (with time it grows on you)

  43. Karen

    Maggie, I gotchu, girl.

    “Make Me Smile” – Chicago (ohgodthehorns!)
    “Friday On My Mind” – The Easybeats
    “The Letter” – Joe Cocker’s cover (singit!)
    “Danger High Voltage” – The Wildbunch – 2 Many DJ’s did a good mix with this too
    “Leather and Lace” – Stevie Nicks & Don Henley
    “Fade Into You” – Mazzy Star
    “Sleep Walk” – Santo & Johnny (“RICHIE!!!!”)

    I hope you feel better, Maggie. You’re too bright a light to waste anytime wallowing.

  44. emma

    Okay, I actually snorted, out loud, at “I wish this bed would stop touching me so I could sleep.” That will keep me smiling all day so thank you.

    That said, feel better soon!

    And download Adele’s 21 immediately. I’m obsessed and can’t pick a single track to highlight – they’re all just so damn good.

  45. Jen

    If you understand French, this might make you feel better, hope so…
    On s’est aimé comme on se quitte by Joe Dassin

  46. Danielle

    The Sad:
    Devotchka – The Last Beat of my Heart
    Sad/breakup song perfection. A cover of a Siouxsie and the Banshees song.

    Coldplay – Fix You

    The Eurythmics – Here Comes the Rain Again
    That might be real specific to me as a sad song.

    The Happy:
    Lady Gaga – Just Dance

    Bran Van 3000 – Drinking in LA

    The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done

  47. Laura

    I just found your blog recently and wanted to say how much I love your outlook on the world! Hope things start to look up soon…I’m rooting for you!

    Joni Mitchell’s “River” (which, while people seem to play it most at Christmas, is an anytime song to me) is a great song for sad times. Kim Stockwood’s “She’s Not in Love” always makes me smile.

  48. Megan

    This song takes out my insides: “Down to Zero” by Joan Armatrading. For when you are at rock bottom. She GETS it.

    I can only find the live version online which doesn’t have her grief stricken piano (and is the best part), but if you like I will send you the song to your email as an attachment.

    Happy song: Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant. Animal by Miike Snow.

  49. isabelle from mtl

    Very old sad : “Ne me quitte pas” by Nina Simone (originally Jacques Brel)
    Old sad: “I Know It’s Over” by the Smiths
    Recent sad : “River of Sorrow” by Antony and the Johnsons.

    Happy happy joy, joy: anything by the Go!Team, “Time To Pretend” by MGMT,
    Tragi-comic and funny lyrics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of-ABC-0KM8

    chin up & feel better!

  50. Beth

    Sad: “Train in the Distance” by Paul Simon.

    Happy: “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire.

    Feel better.

  51. --V

    One that made me burst into tears the first time I heard it: “Anything for You” by Gloria Estefan.

    Another one that didn’t make me sob but is heart-breaking: “Sometime Around Midnight” by The Airborne Toxic Event.

    Happy/Dance Around the Room: “Let My Love Open the Door,” Pete Townshend (I’m chair-dancing right now just thinking about it), and “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants.

    And here’s one that made me laugh out loud. It’s from a band called Rock Sugar and it’s a mash-up of “Like a Prayer” and “Shook Me All Night Long”(they go together surprisingly well) called “Shook Me Like a Prayer.” You can probably find it on Blip if you want to take a listen.

    Feel better soon.

  52. Ariel

    So I just thought of a sad one, and you can pick the artist- Stevie Nicks or Dixie Chicks…
    I prefer the Dixie Chicks version myself,

  53. Nicole

    sad side: Skinny Love by Bon Iver
    good side: I’m Alive by Kenny Chesney (I KNOW, but just listen to it)

  54. Jenny

    For the sad side, how about ‘Whiskey Lullaby’ by Brad Paisley and Allison Kraus. That one always makes me cry.

    For the happy undie dancing side, how about ‘Watermelon Crawl’ by Tracy Bird or ‘Cotton Pickin’ Time’ by Blake Shelton

  55. Tricia


    Minneapolis – Lucinda Williams
    Dear Chicago – Ryan Adams
    Seasons in the Sun – Nirvana

    Gets you moving:

    American Girl – Tom Petty
    Holiday – Vampire Weekend
    No Sleep ’til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys

  56. J

    I know it’s Over & There is a Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths

    Edge of the Deep Green Sea, Same Deep Water as You, Trust…all The Cure but that doesn’t count for me as I listen to them happy, sad, mad, etc.

    Where the Road Meets the Sun – Katie Herzig Matthew Perryman

    Exit Music (for a film) -Radiohead

    Mazzy Star – Fade into You

    i i ieeee – Tori Amos

    I could keep going…so much passionate music.

  57. Ami

    My suggestions are a little unconventional, but hey. So am I.
    Sad: Good people by Jack Johnson — it’s kind of an upbeat tune but the lyrics are kind of depressing…
    Cold Day in the Sun by the Foo Fighters
    If you wanna go old school sad, how about “can’t live, if living is without you, I can’t breathe anymore” and my all-time favorite wallowing tune when I was in high-school/college is Phil Collins’ Against All Odds. (I mean come on: How can I just let you walk away, just let you leave without a trace
    When I stand here taking every breath with you, ooh
    You’re the only one who really knew me at all)

    Happy songs:
    Keep Walkin’ by Emily Maguire (although this is a transition song from said to happy)
    Give my Life by Army of Lovers (the video is so not cool, but it’s a good song to shimmy to)
    Here Comes the Sun/Good Day Sunshine by the Beatles
    Get out the Map by Indigo Girls

    Maggie: I sensed something was up when you posted the poem by Ellen Bass (which I love and have saved to use in bereavement cards and have already used). I second what everyone has said about you being a bright spirit, and brave to share this with us, and to wish you the best as you learn your new normal. Soldier on, my friend.

  58. Elizabeth

    Sad songs: Anything from Elliott Smith’s first two records, and most of the stuff from his third record. “The Biggest Lie” and “Between the Bars” are two particularly weepy ones. Leonard Cohen will get you good and bummed nearly every time you need it. His first four records are especially mood-deflating (in the best way possible, of course). Finally, Weezer’s cover of “Unbreak My Heart” is the best electric guitar-based cover balled I’ve ever heard. (You know who knows how to pine? Rivers Cuomo knows how to pine.)

    Happy songs: Every song on the first record of Queen’s Greatest Hits. Every damn song. The ’60s soul collection, “Beg, Scream, & Shout” will make you get up and dance like mad, and I say this as a non-dancer.

    And as for something to listen to when you’re feeling a little in between, Seu Jorge’s covers of David Bowie songs are fantastic. So simple, yet filling. They’ll clear your mind of whatever is troubling you.

    Man, I could make a list like this forever. I hope at least some of this helps you feel better.

  59. Kate @ Savour Fare

    Oh Maggie, I’m so sorry life is rough. And then some.

    I know it’s cheesy as hell, but nothing is close your windows and crank up your stereo and wail along as Kelly Clarkson’s Since You’ve Been Gone.

    Sad song (though oddly, also close my windows, crank up my stereo and sing along) “Change is Hard” by She and Him.

  60. jen

    I say let yourself wallow when you need to. Glad there’s a Dance side planned as well :)

    Wallow – Shelter (Ray Lamontagne’s Trouble)
    You Were Mine (Dixie Chicks’ Wide Open Spaces)

    Dance – Mercy (Duffy’s Rockferry)

    Dance –

  61. Gloria

    Thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do.

    Metafilter has complied a few good lists:
    sad songs: http://ask.metafilter.com/11593/I-want-suggestions-for-really-depressing-breakup-songs
    break up albums: http://ask.metafilter.com/138579/All-the-tracks-lead-you-to-heartbreak
    upbeat break up songs: http://ask.metafilter.com/126778/Dont-let-the-door-hit-you-in-song
    angry break up songs: http://ask.metafilter.com/157089/Angry-aggressive-breakup-songs-please

    Here’s a tumblr about break up songs:

    Upbeat/happy song:
    Bulletproof by La Roux

    I hope this helps. <3

  62. Amanda

    “Happy Hour” by the Housemartins. I cannot NOT dance around when I hear this song.

  63. KazC

    When I went through my divorce, I could only listen to a few CD’s over and over again. I needed to control what little I could. One favorite was Cowboy Mouth’s Are You With Me. Here is a link to a snippet of Love of My Life…definitely for dancing. (I substituted the “she” for “he” while singing along and thumping the steering wheel in my car.)


    Also good from this disc is How Do You Tell Someone. Up beats, but sad lyrics.


    Also good (for the anger stage) is Violet by Hole. I guess this is good for dancing, but I always found myself stomping. Does that count?


  64. Jenny

    Sad: Cheryl Wheeler, “But the Days and Nights Are Long” or “Right Way to Do the Wrong Thing.”

    Happy: Cheryl Wheeler, “Potato”.

    Whoever mentioned Lucinda Williams for sad nailed it, but she also has some kickass upbeat songs.

    I also think that Sinead O’Connor’s whole I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got album veers wildly between the sad and the dancing in underwear sides of the spectrum.

  65. Rebecca

    My sad breakup song: “Thanks, That Was Fun” by the Barenaked Ladies
    My happy songs: “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae
    “LDN” by Lily Allen

    Also, awesome hang-on-it’s-going-to-be-fine songs:
    “I Will Survive” cover by Cake
    “I Move On” from the Chicago movie soundtrack, sung by Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones)

  66. MomofDavid

    Happy: ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers
    ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley

    Sad: ‘Love is a Losing Game’ by Amy Winehouse
    Anything by the Smiths (especially ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I want’)

  67. kim

    you want miserable? oh, have I got miserable for you. no-one does sad like morrissey and the smiths – ahh, morrissey *sigh*.

    heaven knows i’m miserable now (the smiths)
    “why do i smile, at people who i’d much rather kick in the eye?”

    there is a light that never goes out (the smiths)

    but, here are some songs that never fail to make me smile:

    ask (the smiths)

    this too shall pass (ok go)

    country house (blur)

    take care, sweet maggie.

  68. staceypea

    Please don’t listen to Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” unless you’re really and truly willing to lie insensate and useless for a week.

    There’s also Sea Change, which is Beck’s breakup -album- (imagine!). If you spend too much time with “Lost Cause,” you’re likely to double down for two weeks.

    (that said, Get well soon!)

  69. pumpkin

    Did exactly that after several breakups – made one sad CD and one happy CD. And each time I listened to either one, I felt just a teensy bit better. And then one day you realize that you remember what “okay” feels like, and they are just songs again.

    Sad: “Sorrow” by The National

    Happy: “The Glamorous Life” by Sheila E

  70. Sara


    Here is my recommendations –

    This is my winter song to you by Ingrid Michaelson & Sara Bailles (?)
    What he wrote by Laura Marling
    Farewell by Rosie Thomas
    Skinny Love by Bon Iver
    Paris by Benton Paul
    Maybe by Ingrid Michaelson

    I will have to come back to you on the happy sounds.

  71. Kelley

    “City of Blinding Lights” by U2 always brings me to my feet. It screams the happy for me.

    Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” makes me, well, hurt. You can feel his pain through the speakers.

  72. Kelly

    A good mix of happy and sad is Maroon Five’s “Can’t Lie”. It’s a break up song that makes you want to dance.

  73. Meg

    It’s not exactly happy but “Places You’ve Come to Fear the Most” by Dashboard Confessional has a brilliant screaming bit that really helps get out some frustration FOR SURE!

    As for sad songs “Kissing You” by Des’ree is a bit of a punch to the solar plexus.

  74. Anna Canon

    No song recommendation as of yet….but I’ve been there and it will stop hurting. Sending a hug your way. =)

  75. Lili

    I have an entire ipod playlist called ‘Sinking Under a Heavy Burden’ as a go-to for moments like this. Choice gems include:

    Joni Mitchell – The Last Time I Saw Richard
    Arcade Fire – Crown of Love (perfect teenage angst)
    Cathy Davey – Sing For Your Supper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYPPUbGVQLs

    The ‘I will get through this even though it sucks to all eternity’ song : Pink Martini – Hang On Little Tomato

    And most importantly, the underwear dancing:
    The Clash – Rock The Casbah
    Dizzy Gillespie – Bang Bang (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjA82yQU_Ss)

  76. Julia

    ‘Cream’, by Prince, is my go-to song whenever my spirits need lifting or my confidence needs boosting. Do the lyrics sound just a little bit dirty at first listen? Yes, yes they do. But if you listen a little harder, you’ll realize it’s all about taking your place at the top- you sassy, vivacious, life-loving diva you! And anyway, a little double-entendre never hurt anyone.

    Second runner up is Aretha Franklin’s ‘Spanish Harlem’. Turn it up, up, UP and dare your booty not to shake as she sings that first sassy string of ‘la la la la la la’…it’s impossible not to feel good when Aretha’s on the job.

    If you must wallow in sadness, I find that Jeff Buckley is a suitable companion. Listen to his ‘Hallelujah’, and allow yourself to visit a dark and sorry place for ONLY as long as the song lasts. Then, more Prince!

  77. Rachel


    Tracy Chapman – The Promise
    Snow Patrol – You Could Be Happy
    Ray Charles – You Don’t Know Me
    Ray is my go to man for sad and happy:
    Annie Lennox – The Gift – from my broken engagement 10 years ago…cannot hear it and all of Diva without crying
    Suzanne Vega – The Queen and the Soldier
    Dire Straits – Juliet
    Lyle Lovett – North Dakota – oh my god but this song will make you cry – just beautiful:
    Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire
    And Dan Wilson – Sugar – but you know that one already…

    Snow Patrol – Just Say Yes
    Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine
    BoB – Magic:
    Ricky Martin – Shake Your Bon Bon
    Pink – U and Ur Hand
    Ray Charles – This Little Girl of Mine & I’ll Be Good to You with Quincy Jones
    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Yer So Bad
    Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me
    Beyonce – Why Don’t You Love Me
    (title seems counter-intuitive, but its a badass song about empowerment)
    Mary Chapin Carpenter – Shut Up and Kiss Me
    Lyle Lovett – She’s Hot to Go
    Barenaked Ladies – One Week and If I Had a Million Dollars
    Blackeyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
    Rascal Flatts – Feels Like Today
    Liz Phair – Extraordinary

    I’ll come back with more of both.

    Big big hugs to you! Hang in there!

  78. Alicey

    ‘Ciao!’ by Lush/Jarvis Cocker is a great breakup song when you’ve been wronged, but is probably not appropriate for your situation. It’s immensely cheerful (if rather bitter) and lyrically very clever too.

    ‘Foundations’ by Kate Nash is heartbreaking. And here’s two classic breakup songs: ‘Nothing Compares 2U’ by Sinead O’Connor and ‘That’s No Way To Say Goodbye’ by Leonard Cohen. Ouch.

    ‘The Bad Touch’ by Bloodhound Gang is impossible not to laugh/dance to. Sorry my list is more sad than happy.

  79. Arrie


    The Weepies – World spins madly on
    Mumford & Sons – White Blank Page
    Lady Gaga – Speechless


    La Roux – Bulletproof
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero
    Noisettes – Wild Young Hearts
    Pipettes – Pull Shapes

  80. Julia

    Oh oh oh, one more! ‘The Water’ by Johnny Flynn is the kind of happy/sad song that always seems appropriate during those times when you know some serious spirit-cleansing (ultimately good!) is about to happen, which also means some serious aching (temporarily awful). It is a cathartic and absolutely lovely song.

  81. Jessica

    Happy – I have to say that everytime I hear the radio-friendly version of Ceelo’s F*** You, I dance around and get incredibly happy (I have not heard the original version yet, because Youtube makes you sign in to watch “questionable” videos). He refers to himself as being Atari to another person’s Xbox, and frankly, I would RATHER be Atari. But that is because I am old.

    Old School Happy – just go ahead and buy yourself a Bee Gees album. I am listening to Stayin’ Alive at this very moment, and I couldn’t be happier. Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother, you have to love that song.

    Sad – Ani Difranco. Just pick a song. There is a tinge a sadness in even her upbeat songs. But I love her. “School Night” will break your heart, throw it on the floor and rub your nose in it.

    Old school sad – Rose Colored Glasses by John Conlee. If you are looking for sad songs, you have to include some good old school country, and this is definitely of the honkey-tonking, truck driving school of country music. I heard this all through out growing up, and one night in my first apartment, my next door neighbor played it over and over again all night long.

  82. Kate

    sad: “promising light” by iron & wine
    happy: “rock your body” by justin timberlake

    feel better, maggie.

  83. Mariam

    Neko Case, Twist the Knife:(heartbreaking stanza: “Carefully / quietly / you took what’s young from me / I didn’t deserve it / I gave it away”)

    Neko Case, Don’t Forget Me:

    Loretta Lynn, This Old House:

    Happy and/or hopeful:
    The Mountain Goats, This Year:

    Foster the People, Pumped Up Kicks:

  84. Kim

    Heartbreak: No Regrets – Midge Ure

    Dance around the house: Come on Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners

    Joy will return to your life… hang in there.

  85. Katherine

    Little Girl Blue, Janis Joplin. She knows what’s in your soul, no matter what it is- she’s a genius that way. Feel better, Maggie, on every level! Sending love from North Carolina. You have inspired a bunch of my favorite people (including myself) to create life lists, and then set about helping each other achieve them. We’re cheering you on as you move to your next chapter.

  86. Hannah

    Fire and Rain-James Taylor
    These Days-St. Vincent (This is a cover. I’m not sure who sings the original.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vxQs84FMWQ

    Chicken Fried-Zac Brown Band
    Party in the U.S.A-Miley Cyrus
    Uptight-Stevie Wonder

    Sad But Sounds Happy
    Where does the Good Go?-Tegan and Sara
    The Execution of All Things-Rilo Kiley

    Hope you feel better!

  87. Lisa B.

    How about “This is the Last Day Of Our Acquaintance,” by Sinead? And “Groove is in the Heart,” Dee Lite.

    I have been thinking about you and wish you lots and lots of happiness. And I hope you feel better soon.

  88. Niamh

    Maggie, music is the best therapy there is. Enjoy these.

    For heartfelt tears:
    Rusted Root, “Beautiful People” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSR0fZVmppc)

    Two songs that are sad, but still make you dance and feel like a hero:
    Rilo Kiley, “Better Son or Daughter” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0sy7y54XAE)
    REM, “Bad Day” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyk-Vdd_Qrk)

    Just plain for dancing:
    T. Rex, “Get it On” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBin9qC5dKg)

  89. Michelle

    For Weeping:

    The Avett Brothers – Pretty Girl at the Airport

    Bird York – In the Deep

    Brandi Carlisle – What Can I Say

    Iron and Wine – Passing Afternoon

    For Dancing:

    Andy Grammer – Keep Your Head Up

    The Spinners – The Rubberband Man

    Lo Fidelity Allstars – Battleflag (this one is explicit)

    Better days, Maggie. And enjoy the dancing!

  90. Hannah

    When my partner and I broke up last year I could not stop listening and crying to The Mountain Goats’ “Woke Up New”:


    I also got my “who needs ’em anyway” vibe on by listening to the ENTIRE back catalogue of Ani DiFranco. She is one seriously righteous babe. Especially check out “Dilate” and “Untouchable Face”. Oh yeah.

  91. Brooke

    I might accidentally keep sending you links. The wine is fine, this evening.

    “I’m So Happy That I Can’t Stop Crying” Sting

  92. Abbie

    I’ve always been a big Ani DiFranco fan for times of change. Had a spectacular meltdown in college for which the song “As Is” was my soundtrack. Also recommend Pictures of You by the Cure.

    For dancing with your ladies “shameless” by Ani DiFranco is a good one. And my all time favorite, first song I pick on the jukebox, make me smile song is Bright Side of the Road by Van Morrison.

  93. Janet

    If you really want to cry, listen to Beck – Sea Change. It’ll definitely get you in the mood. Guess I don’t listen to much happy peppy music, cuz I can’t really think of anything….

  94. Janet

    Oh, just thought of the happy song! Talking Heads – This must be the place! This song always makes me happy and feel safe! Feel better, Miss Maggie!

  95. Jess

    For weeping (and it was my official Divorce Song)– The Reason Why by Rachael Yamagata

    For mad dancing, Employee of the Month by The Anomalies. Hats and Glasses by the same band is also excellent and contains both cowbell and brass section.

  96. Teri

    “Get on the Road” by Tired Pony is one of those songs that makes me feel kinda achey and filled with longing, no matter what my mood is to begin with. But I always feel better by the end of it. Also recommended: singing along really loudly and pretending you’re doing Zooey Deschanel’s part. Take care, lady.

  97. Laura Jane

    Gosh it’s so awesome to read everyone’s suggestions here. We are good people, Mighty Folks.

    Mine are a little weird, but my tastes vary, so here goes:

    Optimistic and spectacular though not necessarily “peppy”:
    “Gabriel and the Vagabond” by Foy Vance. One of the lyrics (which might be my first tattoo: “She never was a fighter until he laid beside her and gently whispered, “Hope.”) Omg. Teary just thinking about it.
    “You Are Not Alone” by Mavis Staples. Preach, Mavis, preach.
    “Journey of The Featherless” by Cloud Cult. Got me through a whole hell of a lot.
    “Postcards From Hell” by The Wood Brothers. If there were a band that I would recommend to everyone everywhere without doubt or hesitation, it would be The Wood Brothers. Ridiculously talented. Sick, really.
    “Your New Man” by Mason Jennings (Lyric: “his name is probably Rodge, he probably drives a truck and his hands are probably big”)

    Underwear dancing:
    “Breathe, Stretch, Shake” by Mace
    “To Be With You” by Mr. Big
    “Complicated” by Poi Dog Pondering
    “Pride (In the Name of Love) by Soweto Gospel Choir (omg. Swoon.)
    “One More Time” by Daft Punk
    “Heavy Metal Drummer” by Wilco
    “Se Me Olvidó Otra Vez” by Maná (which is actually a break-up song, but it’s in Spanish and so peppy so just rock out with your badself)
    “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by the Temptaions

    Songs for wallowing:
    anything by Crooked Fingers. Yowza.
    “At Least That’s What You Said” by Wilco
    “Open Fire” by The Sarah Mac Band (I once put this on a “fuck you” CD for an ex-boyfriend. Classy? No. Dramatic? Oh yes.)
    “Hanging By a Thread” by Nickel Creek
    “Holiday in Spain” and “Chelsea” by Counting Crows
    “Bent” by Matt Nathanson
    “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Eva Cassidy. KILLER voice, that Eva.
    and a classic “Hallelujah” (Jeff Buckley version, obvi)

    Wow. Way too long. Sorry about that… I was on a roll.

    Lovin’ you, Maggie!

  98. Jen

    I second Built to Spill’s ‘Things Fall Apart.’

    Another gut-wrenching lyric: Stay out of my nightmares, stay out of my dreams. You’re not even welcome in my memories.

  99. Jen

    I want to add that I am loving these comments. I’m also currently slogging through the disintegration of marriage and a soundtrack — both sad and happy — are requirements to get through these days.

  100. sophie

    Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch doing Lua – when I need some sad…


    Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots are Made for Walkin’ – always a classic when you’re feeling the power return!

    Also, in a sort of weird combination of both: Superchunk’s Driveway to Driveway.

    Feel better!

  101. Tammy

    Dancing on the Ceiling, Dancing in the Moonlight…hope they help you get your groove on for short moments…and Stand, by Rascal Flatts to get your inspiration when you most need it. Best wishes and good thoughts to you!

  102. Brooke

    Say what you will, but the soundtrack from City of Angels punches me in the gut. Every single song.

    And every single song on the French Kiss soundtrack makes me feel like, well, Paris in the Springtime.

    Yes, I have love for 90’s Meg Ryan.

  103. Kellie

    You can do anything you want to do, Maggie. You’ve proved that over and over through this blog, inspiring (mostly) women to do anything that ~they~ want to do. You can do THIS, too.

    Happy Song: I’m addicted to Keri Hilson right now (I know, right?). Her version of Turn my swag on is my anthem song right now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k77Nqgx8p9E. I also enjoy Ben Fold’s You Don’t Know Me.

    Sad Song: Ingrid Michaelson’s December Baby http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpRIDaJrIFE was on replay during my last break up. It makes my chest clench even today.

    Thinking of you often and sending hugs and love every time I do.

  104. Mine

    Wallow: I Just Don’t Know What to do With Myself (Dusty Springfield)
    Dance: Rock’n’Roll High School (The Ramones)

    Gabba Gabba Hey!

    PS Don’t do the Wallow unless you’re feeling a bit less horrible. Wallow songs tend to make me look at the knife drawer longingly if I’m at all, er, “sensitive” ESPECIALLY not if PMS is in the wind. Just sayin’

  105. Rebecca

    Forgot to mention, “I Move On” is to be danced to while wearing fishnet thigh-highs. (See comment 83.) Plan accordingly.

  106. Melissa R

    So, I suck at linking but I can write a list like nobody’s business.


    What Do you Want by Jerrod Niemann
    Love You Til The End by The Pogues
    It Must Have Been Love by Roxette
    Book of Love by Peter Gabriel
    Over It by Katherine McPhee
    Let Him Fly by Jessica Simpson

    Dancing Around:

    F**k You by Cee Lo Green (this could go either way actually)
    Boomshakalak from Dumb & Dumber soundtrack
    Raise Your Glass by Pink

  107. Melissa R

    Oh! and Not Big by Lily Allen…it’s not very mature but it sure makes me chuckle.

    Also, I wish I could “like” comments on here like you can on Facebook.

  108. Hanna

    I’m so far down this list, I doubt you’ll get to me, but if you do, I HIGHLY recommend the following songs.

    sad: Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars (currently free on Amazon)
    Woods by Bon Iver
    Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson
    A Boy, A Girl, and A Graveyard by Jeremy Messersmith
    When the Night Comes by Dan Auerbach (though comforting)
    A Slow Parade by AA Bondy

    Happy: All the Pretty Girls by fun.
    Clap Your Hands by Sia
    Bonafied Lovin’ by Chromeo
    Apollo Throwdown by The Go! Team

  109. Kathryn

    Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band is killing my mascara every single time since calling off my wedding.
    But Good Morning Baltimore from the soundtrack to Hairspray makes me so darn happy in the cheesiest way possible.

  110. Jennifer

    Get good and dah-runk and listen to Nina Simone’s “Lilac Wine.” Lordy, I have to be picked up off the floor after that every single time.

    Then get happy and dance your ass off to “Sugarfoot” by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears.

    Take care of yourself. I’m so sorry you are going through such a dark time. You will come out on the other side more than okay. It just takes time…

    Virtual hugs.

  111. Livia

    Oh please share that mix tape with us? pretty please?
    i’ll go through my itunes and select some for you!

  112. cammie

    sad songs:
    Two by Ryan Adams
    Turpentine by Brandi Carlile

    and follow up with a good dance-in-your-underwear session:
    P.Y.T. by Michael Jackson
    All Good by Zeroleen

    wishing you peace, Maggie

  113. Martha

    Maggie, I’m wishing you a speedy recovery. In so many ways.

    My picks for sad are: Keepsake by State Radio, Blu by Zucchero (not the awful one with Sheryl Crow, but the original Italian one), and Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen.

    My happy picks are (I can feel the eyes rolling) MmmmBop by Hanson, Right Round by Dead or Alive, and The Lonely Goatherd from The Sound of Music.

  114. Bianca

    Untouched by the Veronicas
    I’ll Believe in Anything by Wolf Parade
    Let’s Dance to Joy Division by The Wombats

    Sad (sometimes these go both ways though):
    Butterfly Nets by Bishop Allen
    Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
    Home by Breathe Owl Breathe

  115. Rachel

    I commented earlier, and ever since have been going through all the comments and finding some great songs! Totally loving this!
    Here is another fun, dancing in your underwear song, Blame It on the Pop by DJ Earworm:


    I love this one more than the 2010 mashup. More of his stuff can be found on youtube or his website, which is djearworm.com

    And don’t forget Fat Boy Slim and The Rockafellar Skank.

  116. Eliza C

    Chelsea Hotel by Leonard Cohen is a big wallowing song for me. Loss and nostalgia, even for the bad times.

  117. Elizabeth

    Sad (because the former love of my life said it described how much he loved me, which was romantic until he suddenly didn’t love me anymore and started loving some chick in Minnesota intsead): Tom Waits’ “Picture in a Frame”


    Also sad (because I dated him in two rounds — once in college and once in our thirties…I first heard this song during the in between time and it haunted me): Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity”


    Underwear Dancing (because it’s so damn peppy I can’t help myself): Enrique Iglesias’ “I Like It”


    And a long time (secret) underwear dancing song: Ricky Martin’s “The Cup of Life”



  118. Bridie


    “Wise Up” Aimee Mann
    “At This Point in My Life” – Tracy Chapman
    “Going Out” – Sarah Harmer
    “A Case of You” – KD Lang or Joni Mitchell


    “Home for a Rest” – Spirit of the West
    “Freedom” – George Michael
    “Body Movin'” – Beastie Boys feat. Fatboy Slim
    “Everyday People” – Sly and the Family Stone

  119. Jenny

    Dear Maggie,

    I hope your family is doing okay and I’m thinking of you guys. Here are my ideas for what is sure to amount to an epic mix tape.

    Sad Sad Songs:

    Romeo and Juliet – The Killers
    Your Mother and I- Loudon Wainwright III
    Gone Away- Lucy Schwartz
    So Far Away- Carole King
    Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
    Clouds- Joni Mitchell
    Hallelujah- Rufus Wainwright (I always thought his version was the saddest)

    Happy Amazing Made of Awesome Music:

    Valerie – Amy Winehouse (fast version)
    It Takes Two- DJ EZ Rock & Rob Base
    Gloria- Laura Branigan
    Relator- Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
    Alison- Jeremy Fisher (sorry, the studio version is MIA)
    F**k You- Cee Lo Green
    One Week- Barenaked Ladies

  120. Lisa

    Hi Maggie,

    This doesn’t fall into the category of mix tape, but it’s very applicable!: the episode of This American Life called Break-Up (#339). The first act especially, where Phil Collins helps Starlee Kine write a break-up song, is amazing. I listened to it a bunch last year when my 6-year relationship was going through its tragic end, because I could just so thoroughly relate. One of my favorite lines: “Before the break-up, I had no idea how much break-up music was out there. For example, every song ever written. Or at least every third.”

    Sad song: I second the folks who mentioned Bonnie Raitt’s “I can’t make you love me.” It STILL kills me!

    Happy dancing song!: “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai. Yooouuu know this boogie is for reeeaaal!

    Very, very big hugs to you, Maggie.

  121. Stephanie

    Sentimental Heart, She and Him
    Samson, Regina Spektor
    When Your Mind’s Made Up from Once
    I’ll Be Seeing You, Billie Holiday
    Dracula’s Lament by Jason Segel (too ridiculous to actually be sad, but it helps bridge the way to happy)

    Kick Drum Heart by the Avett Brothers (Someone already mentioned this one, but I had to second it.)
    Baby..the Glee cover of Justin Bieber. Maybe more of a transitional song than strictly happy.
    Angel of Harlem, U2
    Firework, Katy Perry

    I’m so sorry things are rough now, but you are all kinds of awesome.

  122. Kevin

    The weep & sob story song: “Blue Bonnets” – K.C. Clifford (You can stream it on her website http://www.kcclifford.com/music, and then buy the song/album on iTunes or CDBaby)

    The angry & sad break-up song: “Still Hurting” from the musical The Last Five Years (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6G-pCykYl4)

    The feel free and happy driving on a cool spring evening song: “Race You” – Elizabeth and the Catapult (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Ved2Jq4Yk)

    The can’t sit still when you listen to it song: “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” – Scissor Sisters (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4H5I6y1Qvz0)

    Feel better soon, in all sorts of ways.

  123. Kate

    To Wallow:
    The Promise, Tracy Chapman
    Fix You, Coldplay
    Scratch, Kendall Payne
    You Were Mine, Dixie Chicks
    Stay or Leave, Dave Matthews Band

    To Dance:
    No Man’s Woman, Sinead O’Connor
    Livin’ On a Prayer, Bon Jovi
    It’s Raining Men, Geri Halliwell
    Perfect Time of Day, Howie Day
    Rock DJ, Robbie Williams

    And don’t forget the Joe Cocker classic, Get By With a Little Help From My Friends. Be well, friend.

  124. Stephanie

    I recently went through a break up after a 3.5 year relationship. Here are some songs that helped me

    (on the happy side):
    Dog Days Are Over — Florence + The Machine
    Firework — Katy Perry

    (on the happy or sad side — really worthwhile):
    Hard Times Come Again No More — Edgar Meyer, James Taylor, Mark O’Connor & Yo-Yo Ma

  125. Court

    Happy songs from my breakup mix cd:

    Breakin’ Up by Rilo Kiley (the mostvupbeat break up song I’ve found)
    Chin Up, Cheer Up by Ryan Adams
    And I second (and 3rd and 4th, etc.) CeeLo Green F You

    The Weepies, World Spins Madly On

  126. sara

    I can’t not dance whenever I hear Hesta Prynn:


    Also, it’s not really super dancy, but something about Atomic Tom’s ‘Take Me Out’ unleashes the 80s child in me, and I wanna boogie.

    The songs that make me weepy aren’t necessarily sad songs, so I defer to everyone else’s judgment on that one.

  127. Jennifer

    To dance I like the theme song to the Jefferson’s. When things were hardest here, I would sing it to my daughter.

    That, and Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”

    Every little thing’s gonna be all right.

    (feel better!)

  128. Sarah

    ‘Raise Your Glass’ by Pink. She is super cool, the beat is fantastic, and the lyrics perfect. It is a song designed for jumping & dancing & tossing your hair!

  129. Brooke

    The Light in the Piazza, from the Broadway musical of the same name.

    I don’t know why, but this song makes me hopeful.

  130. Alison

    Sad: The Red House Painters, “All Mixed Up.” This is a remake of the Cars’ song but it’s barely recognizable. Really beautiful, really blue.

    Happy: The Who’s “Slip Kid” (Happy for the beat and the music, the lyrics are irrelevant)

  131. Patti

    Lesson Learned-Alicia Keyes
    You Oughta Know – Alanis Morrisette
    flip side
    Wait Til they see my Smile – Alicia Keyes

  132. Tori

    Ugh. My lists are called “For When You Sleep” and “For When You Dance”. Even when I’m not sad, Ryan Adams How Do You Keep Love Alive makes me weep. Also Coldplay The Scientist. And John Mayer (if you can get over the fact that it’s John Mayer) Slow Dancing in a Burning Room. But then switch it over to happy: Ryan Adams Gonna Make You Love Me, The Cure Just Like Heaven, Barenaked Ladies Be My Yoko Ono and anything by Cake.

  133. Alicia

    Ca plane pour moi – Plastic Bertrand
    The Crystal Cat – Dan Deacon
    Chores – Animal Collective
    Daft Punk Is Playing At My House – LCD Soundsystem
    Tell ‘Em – Sleigh Bells
    Around Us – Jonsi
    G Turns to D – Sloan
    Hold Tight – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
    Grow Up – Chromeo
    Chicken Payback – A Band of Bees
    Early Warnings – Love Is All
    Bangers & Mash – Radiohead
    Northshore – Tegan and Sara
    Swim – surfer Blood

    Say It To Me Now – Glen Hansard
    Who’s Gonna Save My Soul – Gnarls Barkley
    Reflections – Diana Ross
    Islands in the Stream – Constantines and Feist

  134. Amy in KC

    Sad: Somewhere Over the Rainbow — Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

    Happy: Pinch Me — Barenaked Ladies

  135. kate

    As with all Bob Dylan, it’s really a toss up on wallow/happy. I’m going with wallow on this one.
    Bob Dylan- Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright

    & this one.

    Bon Iver- Skinny love

    But for happy, dance-in-your-underwear, heal and come back there’s:

    Maxine Nightingale’s Right Back Where We Started From: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckCwBAhz4oc


    Murder By Death’s As Long As There Is Whiskey In the World (which is bittersweet, but fun): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lonz_cHJHNk

  136. Laura

    Here are my go-to break-up/start to recover songs.

    “Starting Now” – Ingrid Michaelson

    “All The Way Down” – The Swell Season

    “Why Don’t You Love Me” – Beyonce

    “Song For The Dumped” – Ben Folds Five

    “Someday You Will Be Loved” – Death Cab For Cutie

    “World Spins Madly On” – The Weepies

    “The Cave” – Mumford & Sons

    “Clap Your Hands” – Sia

    “Kiss You Off” – Scissor Sisters

    “This Too Shall Pass” – OK Go

  137. Michelle

    I hope you feel better soon Maggie, take care.

    Here are my top choices for songs to weep by:

    Pearl Jam – Parting Ways

    Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye

    Ben Harper – Heart of Matters

    Band of Horses – No One’s Gonna Love You

    Now some happy dancing:

    Pink – God is a DJ

    Glee Cast – Dog Days Are Over (all the voices together at the end, hugely uplifting! It will give you goosebumps)

    Ben Harper – Fly One Time (a great anthem)

  138. Rebekah

    I know way too many sad songs, but a good one that is haunting and beautiful is The Walkmen’s “On the Water”…

    My two favorite pick-me-up, rally-to-feel-better-about-life songs are Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle”…

    Hope you get to feeling like your old self soon – physically, and emotionally. :) All the best to you.

  139. isabelle from mtl

    Yesterday, I had stupid brain freeze but I thought about you last night and I have more suggestions.
    The breakup album : Forever Blue by Chris Isaak

    Happy music : anything you love & know by heart and can sing along to very loudly, even sober, my faves are Pixies songs or old Motown hits.
    Take very good care of yourself and remember what Frank sang, the best is yet to come… :-)

  140. rebecca

    weep: Let It Go – by Paco

    dance: Take On Me – A-ha

    Music has magical powers, this is such an excellent way to heal and work through all aspects of life. I don’t even know you personally, but I’ve been thinking of you a lot. Wishing you the best and rooting for you :)

  141. Sazzy

    Everytime We Touch, by Cascada, is one song that totally gets my head ROCKIN. It makes me want to stand on top of the table in a restaurant and get the whole crowd dancing.

    On the sad side, I used to listen to Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton all the time when my first love broke up with me. (Poor neighbors having to hear it constantly!) (Ok now I’m embarrassed admitting I was so into that song in the late 90’s!)

    Maggie, I’m sorry you’re going through this. Take care of yourself, and remember, time will heal. :) Sending many good vibes your way!

  142. Brie

    Most of my breaking up days were in the mid-90s when the music was grungy and sad by nature. After that, I decided to be the heart breaker and therefore don’t have much knowledge of the modern melancholy musical musings. I hear Cold Play is good. I always love a good old ballad I can belt out in the shower and bawl with.

    And I think someone else posted that Pink is good for the dancing in the underwear. Definitely Pink. She wrote a lot about breaking up with her hubby and going out and still partying. That should definitely be your anthem when you are ready to rock again.

  143. Mandi


    -Get Gone (Fiona Apple) nice and florid

    -Silent All These Years (Tori Amos)

    – Don’t Get Your Back Up (Sarah Harmer)


    -For You (Barenaked Ladies)

    – I Can’t Make You Love Me (Bonnie Raitt)

    -Big Blue Sea (Bob Schneider)

    -Buckets of Rain (Redbird cover – is a Bob Dylan song)

    -Metal and Steel (Bob Schneider) . . . one of my all time favorite songs, period. About being strong in the face of horrible events.


    – Long Way to Get (Bob Schneider)

    – Go On (Jack Johnson)

    – All of My Days (Alexi Murdoch)

    – The Hideout (Sarah Harmer)

    – Sooner or Later (Michael Tolcher)

    – We Are (Sweet Honey in the Rock)

    – Amazing Grace (Ladysmith Black Mambazo & Paul Simon)

    – Constant Craving (KD Lang) . . . the single line about someone brave marching beneath my skin is really powerful

    -Breathe/2AM (Anna Nalick) – also makes us giggle because one of my daughters thought the lyric was “Scream . . . just scream . . . ” for a long time. Perhaps more useful advice, in fact.

    Get up and dance:
    – I Wish I was a Punk Rocker (Sandi Thom)

    – O-o-h Child (Nina Simone version please)

    – Absolutely (Nine Days)

    – Weapon of Choice (Fatboy Slim)

    – Feel Good Inc. (Gorillaz)

    – Flathead (The Fratellis)

    – Walkie Talkie Man (Steriogram)

    (Yes, I have a thing for ipod commercials, LOL! Good songs though.)

    Another vote for the new Pink song too, Raise Your Glass.

  144. Jessica

    I can’t believe I didn’t mention this the first time. Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album, all of it, but in particular, “Off the Wall.”

  145. sugarleg

    a little New Order is always good for the soul and covers both ranges. weird/sad lyrics over that dancey-dance beat is rad. plus, teenage nostalgia!!

  146. C

    For fun
    Kylie Minogue: Aphrodite http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjwC_AxUHyg

    Jennifer Lopez: Feelin’ So Good http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA6_aLqataI

    Nina Simone: Feelin’ Good (joe clausell remix)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXMJi-ziPUI

    Kelis: Brave (acoustic) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRgkfp_okMc

    Telepopmusik: Breathe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDQw-RShRUQ

    For wallowing:
    Norah Jones: You’ve Ruined Me (my GOD – this song)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGzKZQEOm_Q

    Adele: Set Fire To The Rain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK4TwstB2AM

    Johnny Cash: Hurt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o22eIJDtKho

    R.E.M.: Half A World Away http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLMnpB51vVM

    Robyn: Dancing On My Own/Indestructible (acoustic)/With Every Heartbeat
    Erlend Oye: If I Ever Feel Better http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esAj90KnCmQ

  147. Cj

    There’s no sadder breakup song than Gladys Knight’s “Neither One of Us” also what about Natalie Cole’s “Someone That I Used to Love”. Then chase those bad boys with “Rain” by Bishop Allen and pat yourself on the back for getting through another day. You will get through this. Promise.

  148. Leah

    I totally did that! In fact, even though it’s been ages since I’ve broken up, I still have the playlist on my computer. Do you want us to send you CDs? Mine including things like Cake’s “I will Survive” and “Single Girl” by this faboo band called the Clumsy Lovers (about a chick who is married and wishes she were a single girl again, and it reminds me about all the fabulous things that come with being single)

  149. Michelle

    I posted these with links, but I guess the comment didnt get through moderation. I assure you they can all be found on youtube and itunes, etc.

    For Weeping:
    Pretty Girl at the Airport by The Avett Brothers
    In the Deep by Bird York
    (There were one or two others but I cant remember them now!)

    For Dancing:
    Keep Your Head Up by Andrew Grammer
    The Rubberband Man by The Spinners
    Battleflag by Lo Fidelity Allstars (explicit)

    Chin up, Maggie! We’re pulling for you!

  150. teamcraun

    Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars. A bit weepy, but so confidence-building. And so “real relationship”. Plus, the video is lovely.

  151. sugarleg

    reposting from yesterday without links… must have gotten stuck in moderation filter. saw that might have happened to others too! hope you’re feelin’ better today.

    my college roommate used to have a maudlin mix tape called “Depression At Its Finest” oh how I wish it were still around. I am pretty sure that Spandau Ballet “True” was on it. but much like child birth (or so I hear) you forget the physical pain and I can’t remember all the sad songs!

    anyhow, please drug yourself into rest, the only cure there is, and when you wake here are some songs for your consideration. more to come from me I am sure. also, some are pure queso, but that still works when in a mania. :-)

    Sad Times:
    The Scientist, Coldplay
    Fruits of My Labor, Lucinda Williams (or ANY LW for that matter)
    most of that Damien Rice “O” album, a real wrist slitter for sure

    Happy Times:
    Teenage Dream, Katy Perry
    Give A Little Bit, Supertramp

  152. Dawn

    Can I just say that I think of you every single day? I mean, I always read your blog daily, etc., but these days, you will just randomly pop into my head as I wonder how you are doing, and hoping you are making it through all of this okay. Just know, daily love is coming your way from the East Coast.

    Shake your moneymaker? It may be a mainstream choice, and may even make you feel like a sham right now, but I can’t even imagine not tapping your toes to “Walking on Sunshine”. Old skate rink Michael Jackson does me good too.

  153. Tasha H

    I have loved Katy Perry’s Firework since you posted it here for your 1000 New Songs project. It makes me SO HAPPY every time I listen to it. Sometimes it even gives me happy tears. Even though you introduced me to this song, I wanted to remind you of it. Go dance in your underwear!

  154. Melissa Wilder

    Time for Me to Fly – REO Speedwagon
    Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough – Don Henley
    Ghost – Indigo Girls
    Hello – Neil Diamond

    And We Danced – The Hooters
    Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root
    Who Needs Sleep – Barenaked Ladies
    We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel

    Wishing you more days of underwear dancing and less of sad crying! You are an inspiration, Maggie!

  155. Jennifer

    Sad: Billy Vera and the Beaters, At this moment
    John Waite: Missing you

    Happy: Wang Chung!

  156. Eileen

    (Damien Rice’s 9 Crimes)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8G6tmASOFk (Orbital at Coachella 2010 – “Halcyon and On and On”…though a live recording at Coachella the audio is surprisingly awesome. I get goosebumps from the energy I know that crowd must have felt.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsE9iXoXB6s (Underworld’s Two Months Off)

    (LCD Soundsystem’s Dance Yrself Clean)

  157. Melissa

    Side A (sad):
    Fair by Remy Zero
    Tonight by Lykke Li

    Side B (happy):
    Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam
    Never Going Back Again by Fleetwood Mac

    Also this one can be happy or sad for me, depending on the day:
    Long as I Can See the Light by CCR

  158. Ciji

    I saw a couple of my favorites in the list above, so I made some amendments:


    Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – “Clap your hands”

    “She’s got a girlfriend now” – Reel Big Fish

    Gorillaz – “Dirty Harry”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05MtUnkh2Q0&feature=related (start listening at 0:45)

    Mika – “Grace Kelly”

    Spirit of the west – “Home for a rest”
    **ideal at socials, or with company for fabulous wild dancing**

    Devil Makes Three – “For good again”

    Hall and Oates – “You make my dreams come true”

    Feist – “Sea Lion Woman”


    Neko Case – cover of “Don’t Forget Me”

    Neko Case – “I was your favorite”

    Actually…..anything Neko Case will suit. The lyrics and her voice are achingly beautiful.

    Diana Krall – Covering Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”

    Feist – “Let it die”

  159. Michelle

    My previous comments with the youtube links got hung up in moderation, here it is again.

    For the wallowing:

    Parting Ways – Pearl Jam (original is great, lots of live ones out there that are amazing)
    Heart of Matters – Ben Harper
    No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses
    Last Goodbye – Jeff Buckley

    For the happy dancing and maybe some defiant rocking:

    God Is A DJ – Pink
    Dog Days Are Over – Version by the cast of Glee. (There voices are all so powerful, the end will give you goosebumps.)
    Boots Like These – Ben Harper (for shaking it. I challenge anyone not to move during this song, it’s impossible.)

    Hope you are feeling better Maggie, take care.

  160. Margie

    Weeping: Love Will Come to You by Indigo Girls and most of the album Pilgrim by Eric Clapton.
    Underwear dancing: Jump in the Line by Harry Belafonte and Golden Years by David Bowie.
    Hope you feel your mighty self again soon!

  161. Mariam

    My previous comment is still awaiting moderation because of all the links.

    Here are my song suggestions, minus links:


    Neko Case, Twist the Knife(e.g., “Carefully / quietly / you took what’s young from me / I didn’t deserve it / I gave it away”)

    Neko Case, Don’t Forget Me

    Loretta Lynn, This Old House

    Happy and/or hopeful:

    The Mountain Goats, This Year

    Foster the People, Pumped Up Kicks

  162. Jessica

    Now every song I listen to I consider as a possible choice for your mixtape. The Police’s Regatta de Blanc has two good choices: I think Bring on the Night is a happy dance song that made me squirm in seat just now. And The Bed’s Too Big Without You is great for listening to sadly in the dark.

  163. A different Maggie

    You must must must must listen to Salirò by Daniele Silvestri – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH_xyi_EdMc

    It’s in Italian, but give it a chance. Saliro means something like “I will rise again” and unless I’m totally misinterpreting it, its quite encouraging. Its sorta funky/disco-y, but it builds and builds and the last minute is awesome. The video is quite clever, too.

  164. mkz201

    I’m so sorry to hear that you are having such a tough time.

    For wallowing, the last track on Joanna Newsom’s most recent album, Does Not Suffice:


    All the clothes references in particular made me think of you. And I actually recommend the entirety of Joanna Newsom’s two most recent albums Ys and Have One On Me as they are both, in their own ways, some of the most gorgeous, heart-wrenching evocations of loss I can think of.

    For skipping with joy, when you are ready, the most upbeat break up song I can think of (though Cee Lo is giving them a run for their money), the Violent Femmes’s I’m Free:


    This too shall pass….

  165. Traci

    Sia – Breathe Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSH7fblcGWM
    Dixie Chicks – Travelin’ Soldier http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVsLcuVmgL8

    Sad but happy:
    Johnny & June – It Ain’t Me Babe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2FJMliXkaU
    There is also an amazing picture story of them on this link…they are the greatest love story ever.

    I’m also a person who wallows with tv and movies, so here are a few good ones for that…
    PS I Love You
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    And the entire series of Six Feet Under, the final scene is set to the above Sia song and is like a punch to the stomach, and leaves me sobbing uncontrollably every time…in a good way.

  166. pvz

    I’ve got an ipod playlist called “walkaways” that I used to listen to for a good wallow. Now I listen to it for good music (they’re not mutually exclusive). It includes:

    Late Night Conversations – Josh Rouse
    Dam – Matthew Ryan
    Heartache – Lowell George
    Goodbye – Steve Earle
    No Regrets – Tom Rush
    Traveling Again (Traveling I) – Dar Williams
    This is Where – Richard Buckner

    … it goes on and on, but luckily, unhappiness doesn’t have to.

    hang in there, and like some of the others have said, take the opportunity to rest like your body is telling you to.

  167. dgm

    Can you make a third side of the cassette with “Eff You!” songs? Because I think that is key. Sometimes you might not be in the mood to wallow OR rejoice, and that’s when giving the big ole finger fills the bill. Cee Lo’s “F*** You” certainly goes on there. I also recommend Pink’s “Funhouse” (“This used to be a fun-house/but now it’s full of evil clowns…”) and Alanis Morrissette’s “You Owe Me Nothing In Return” (which, come ON, she cannot mean. Listen to it.) Also appropriate would be Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”

    If you still want to wallow, I give you Tori Amos, “China,” one of the most beautifully written, heartbreaking, terribly clever songs. Also, Ray LaMontagne’s “Empty” (just as it suggests).

    Maybe it’s not the right time to dance in your undies to “It’s Raining Men” but trust me, you’ll be there again someday.

  168. Erin

    A cheerful breaking up song is Breakin’ Up by Rilo Kiley. This is the video I saw it with first and it is super cute:

    I also am going through a separation. I listened to that song a lot for maybe two weeks.

    My sad songs are never really that sad. So I would put that on the sad side and on the happy side maybe some Flo Rida with Apple Bottom Jeans (low).

    I hope you feel better.

  169. Amy

    Sad: Iron & Wine “The Trapeze Swinger”, Neutral Milk Hotel “Oh Comely”, Jeff Buckley “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”, Radiohead “Pyramid Song”

    Happy: Sound Tribe Sector 9 “Satori”, Vampire Weekend “White Sky”, My Morning Jacket “Off the Record”

    I’m having a hard time stopping there. This is making me want to make a mixtape!

  170. Anne Marie

    Maggie~~ I’m sending a big hug your way! Hang in there.
    My wallow song is Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love.” Beautiful and wistful.
    Lately, my dance song is Tinie Tempah’s “Pass Out.” That beat just gets me.

  171. Michelle

    Sad song: Iron and Wine – Passing Afternoon

    Dancing song: Enrique Iglesias – I Like It

  172. Parker

    Oh I love this. Okay songs to cry to:
    Michelle Featherstone’s …
    Stay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEoOg5AKEOQ
    Coffee and Cigarettes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iLoamKJrtc

    Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKQSlH-LLTQ&feature=related

    in between wallow and getting your energy up again:
    Burn It Blue by Caetano Veloso & Lila Downs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25-JZp0CqsY

    As for getting up and dancing … Otis Redding’s Try a Little Tenderness? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dael4sb42nI

  173. Liz L.

    The Gufs “Holiday from You” album – it was written while two of the band members were going thru divorces. The songs on this album got me thru several break-ups, including one so bad I could barely breathe and I was barely functional enough to even play music. Highly recc.

  174. michelle k.

    I’m sorry you feel awful. It’s really your body saying rest, take care of me, and stop. Listen to the sad, the eff you’s, and then re-build. It takes so very much time.

  175. Rebekah

    Sad Song – Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers

    Happy Song – Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and The Waves

    Hang in there, Maggie!

  176. Nevsky


    Wallowing songs:

    Mace spray THE JEZABELS
    Hurt me THE JEZABELS
    L.A. Song BETH HART
    Pink bullets THE SHINS
    Ruby nights BIC RUNGA
    Birds BIC RUNGA
    Ain’t no sunshine EVA CASSIDY
    Autumn leaves EVA CASSIDY
    One crowded hour AUGIE MARCH
    No surprises RADIOHEAD
    Reckoner RADIOHEAD
    Knives out RADIOHEAD
    Good enough SARAH McLACHLAN
    Full of grace SARAH (as per another reader’s suggestion above!)
    Dirty little secret SARAH
    This woman’s work KATE BUSH
    The power of goodbye MADONNA
    My immortal EVANESCENCE
    Dream brother JEFF BUCKLEY
    Grace JEFF
    Last goodbye JEFF
    So real JEFF
    Forget her JEFF
    Hallelujah JEFF
    Breathe me SIA
    Not as we ALANIS
    Amsterdam COLDPLAY
    Bedshaped KEANE
    I will love again LARA FABIAN
    Bittersweet symphony THE VERVE
    Drugs don’t work THE VERVE
    Today’s the day AIMEE MANN
    I can’t break it to my heart DELTA GOODREM
    Need you now LADY ANTEBELLUM
    I don’t believe you PINK

    Three of my fave, heartachingly beautiful classical compositions:

    Schubert’s Leise Flehen Meine Lieder (Standchen), D. 957, No. 4 (BALAZS SZOKOLAY’s version)
    Satie: 3 Gnossiennes – Lent (KLARA KORMENDI)
    Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez (2nd movement)

    Aaaaaaaaand now for Dance in Your Underwear songs:

    Wannabe SPICE GIRLS
    Stop trying SIA
    Let’s twist again CHUBBY CHECKER
    Beat it MICHAEL
    Do you love me THE CONTOURS
    Land of 1000 dances WILSON PICKETT
    Pop NSYNC
    Stronger BRITNEY
    Baby one more time BRITNEY
    Bad romance LADY GAGA
    Cherry cherry NEIL DIAMOND

  177. Nevsky

    Ooh! (Remembered more sad shit.)

    Landslide FLEETWOOD MAC
    Losing my religion REM
    Everybody huts REM
    That’s the way I’ve always heard it should be CARLY SIMON
    Crying ROY ORBISON feat k.d. lang
    This used to be my playground MADONNA

  178. mia

    these songs put me in the mood for bittersweet contemplation… which can lead to the weeping…
    -YYY’s Hysteric (acoustic)
    -Cat Power”s The Greatest (awesome live version)

    the only song that makes me want to dance (very very hard to do) and think sex
    -YYY’s Phenomena
    (first song)

    my musical tastes seemed to have stopped 5 years ago, but these have been really hitting the spot for me lately.

    really appreciate these posts – learning to deal with the complexities of grief through the amazing wisdom of the internets

  179. Stacey

    Happy: “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine.

    Sad: “Breathe Me” by Sia. (This song is sad enough on its own merits, but it also plays in the series finale of “Six Feet Under”, the greatest show of all time, and every time I hear it I sob and sob.)

    I’m wishing you health and happiness, Maggie.

  180. Colleen

    Lordy, most of these suggestions make me realize how old I must be getting!

    Another blast from the past that may fit neither category, but gave me strength when I needed it.
    This Is It — Kenny Loggins

  181. Ida

    Happy: “Heat” Wave with Alphabeat
    Sad: “Hurt” Johnny Cash (but actually it gives me much hope)

    Thank you for sharing so openly. It is inspiring.

  182. Manders

    Mumford & Sons, “Timshel”–“You are the mother, the mother of your little child/The one to whom you gave life/You have your choices, and these are what make man great, his ladder to the stars/And you are not alone in this”

    Noah and the Whale, “Blue Skies”–“This is the last song that I write while still in love with you/This is the last song that I write while you’re even on my mind/’Cause it’s hard to leave those feelings behind/Blue skies are coming, but I know that it’s hard”

  183. Sarah

    Oh, how I love a good mix tape. These are offered with nothing but love and good vibes. xo

    Happy Girl Anthems

    El Camino, by Elizabeth Cook
    So What? by P!nk
    (This one got me through a tough layoff, which, when I think about it, was exactly like getting dumped by a boy).
    Sorry Again, by Velocity Girl
    (Recovery Theme Song of the Great Breakup of 1998)
    Party Generation by Dar Williams
    Ghandi by Sarah Hudson (trust me, this one is super fun)
    Delirious, by Vistoso Bosses
    With David Bowie, by Veruca Salt
    Raspberry Beret, by Prince
    I Get Wet, Andrew WK
    Growing on Me, by The Darkness
    Candy, by Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson
    The Wreckoning, by Boomkat
    It’s a Great Day to Be Alive, by Travis Tritt

    Perfect World, by Liz Phair
    Rip in Heaven, by ’til Tuesday
    Faster, by Third Eye Blind
    All of Out Love, by Declan (file under: guilty pleasure)
    California Dreamin’, covered by the Shaw Blades
    Home is Where Your Heart Is, by The Sounds
    A Sorta Fairytale, by Tori Amos
    Fall Apart Again, by Brandi Carlisle
    Cry, by Faith Hill (Oh, how I sang the shit out of this one, alone in my car on many a commute.)
    Road Not Taken, by Bruce Hornsby
    The World Spins Madly On by The Weepies (Last summer, I heard from the male half of the Great Breakup of 1998. He’s engaged. I listened to this on repeat for weeks.)
    Nothing Sacred, by Jonatha Brooke & the Story
    Ghost, by the Indigo Girls
    Vivir sin Aire, by Mana
    Some Jingle Jangle Morning (When I’m Straight), by Mary Lou Lord

  184. Gretchen

    Feel better soon <3

    Corinne Bailey Rae- Till It Happens to You
    Adele- Someone Like You
    Robyn- Eclipse

    Adam Lambert- Aftermath
    Beyonce- Irreplaceable

  185. Saudamini

    I just broke up with my boyfriend…and it is just so strange at times. I am sort of oscillating between feeling sad to feeling happy and open to a new life.
    Anyway, I listen to the Swallow Song by Vashti Bunyan.
    It is sad but then not. I think so.

  186. Alyssa

    Sad songs:
    Baker, Baker – Tori Amos
    Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell
    Strong Enough – Sheryl Crow
    My Immortal (acoustic) – Evanessence (I know terrible, but the best wallowing song ever).

    I 2nd “Dog Days are Over”
    Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson
    I’m Just a Girl – Gwen Steffani
    Anything by Abba

  187. Parker

    So my comment never made it through (probably bc of youtube links) – if it shows up, sorry for the repost …

    Stay – Michelle Featherstone
    Coffee and Cigarettes – Michelle Featherstone
    Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell

    In between wallow and dancing – a song for getting up your spirits:
    Burn It Blue – Caetano Veloso and Lila Downs

    Starting to dance:
    Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding

    I wish you the best.

  188. Liz S.

    For wallowing: “Good Morning Heartache”, Billie Holiday
    For dancing: “Jump”, The Pointer Sisters

    I’m wishing you all the best, sweet, peaceful things, and wishing for them hard.

  189. Ginger

    So many great songs already mentioned! Here are some of mine.

    Buy Now Pay Later – the Whitlams
    Breathe in Now – George

    The only way is up – Yazz
    Slice of Heaven – Dave Dobbyn
    Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves

    Hope you feel better soon. Take care.

  190. DigitalAngel

    When my boyfriend and I broke up, I started to feel better when I focused on the good things about it, like the fact that I suddenly had so much more free time to focus on my own hobbies. This song definitely exemplifies that mentality :)

    Single by Natasha Bedingfield – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTTF4Y_ytlg

  191. mia

    i can’t stop listening to Florence + The Machine’s “Cosmic Love.” it perfectly describes being overwhelmed and at a standstill. plus, it supports my theory that all red-headed women are just plain awesome.

  192. Kelly

    Here’s my selection for sad song. This guy plays guitar for Sarah McLachlan. Song is Broken One by Luke Doucet. Chin up Maggie there are alot of people rootin for you!

  193. Rebecca

    “Stay or Leave” by Dave Matthews and “Your Cloud” by Tori Amos are the most gut-wrenchingly on-the-mark break-up songs from my experience.

    I didn’t do happy music on the other side, I did angry-girl music. There is little in this world I enjoy listening to when I’m in a holy-heck-foul mood than Shawn Colvin’s “Get Out of This House”.

    Tom Waits (the old stuff) is also really good for dark days.

    Hugs and peace to you, Maggie.

  194. Amelia

    I’m sorry to say, Marvin Gaye “When Did I stop loving you, when did you stop loving me” is the breakup song of all time. IMHO.

  195. April

    I just broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years…

    I don’t have any songs to list thats why im just clicking on a few to help me through the day…. but commenter 15. Kate has got me balling like a baby at my desk at work. Adele is killing me with her voice.

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