For years, I loudly professed my love of breakup songs. I loved wallowing in exquisite musical angst, and I pored over the lyrics of distraught songwriters like they were Shakespearean sonnets. But then I was the victim of love lost, and suddenly, it seemed like every song I had ever loved was about either the giddiest heights of affection or the desperate lows of romantic grief—there seemed to be no melodious in-between.
I hurriedly compiled a playlist titled “Feel Better” in the hopes that I would. I combed through my iTunes for songs that either had nothing to do with love/angst/breakups, or were the musical equivalent of a hearty “feh” to feelings. In the hopes that some future sad sack will somehow happen across this blog post when they need a soundtrack to drown out their sad cycling thoughts, here are the standouts. Feel better.
“National Anthem”—Lana Del Rey. This is a love song, but a delightfully sociopathic one—all the narrator’s affections are directed toward the shallow pleasures of money and social climbing.
“A/B Machines”—Sleigh Bells. Play this song loudly and you won’t be physically capable of thinking about anything other than the joyous pain of your vibrating brain.
“Young Forever”—Nicki Minaj. Onika Tanya Maraj might seem an odd choice for musical therapy, but sing along with the lyric “I’ma shed a tear but I really don’t care” and feel yourself start to believe it.
“Your Ex-Lover is Dead”—Stars. Two lovers ex-lovers reflect on a love long dead in which they lost “nothing but time and a face.” Repeat after them: “Live through this and you won’t look back.”