How Music can help heal a broken heart

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Suffering a broken heart can be a devastating experience. You know, that huge void in your chest that feels like it will never go away. It can, it will, and music can be used as a positive and powerful tool to help you heal your broken heart.

When we are in love, our brain produces “feel good” chemicals that make us happy. When we suffer a loss, the brain stops producing those chemicals and our body goes through withdrawal. This can lead to depression and higher levels of stress-hormones. Music can be used to invoke deep emotions inside of us that can help to alleviate those feelings of sadness, anger, and fear by releasing those same “feel good” chemicals (dopamine).

A black woman wearing a white shirt dancing with headphones on.

Disclaimer: I am not a trained music therapist nor do I hold a masters degree in music theory. I do however love music and the way it calms my mind and lifts my spirits.

Music is universal, it is all around us. Think about the significance music plays in many cultures, in people’s way of life, and the key role it plays in religious rituals and rite of passage ceremonies like graduations and marriage. Social activities like dancing and cultural activities like singing karaoke, playing in a band or singing in a church choir all involve music.

Use this post to think about the types of music that inspire you and lift you up when you are feeling down, then incorporate them into your everyday life.

The healing power of music

There are many benefits of music in healing a broken heart and relieving stress:

Music has been used for centuries as a form of therapy. It has the ability to calm and relax the mind and body to help people feel better emotionally and physically. Music helps reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure and cortisol in the body. It eases anxiety and can help improve mood.

Listening to classical or calming music in a relaxed position an hour before bedtime can help create a sense of relaxation and lead to improved sleep. It can also help put people at ease during highly stressful or painful events.

Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life, and is also great for lifting your energy levels while cleaning and motivation while exercising.

Light jazz has been shown to be helpful in reducing anxiety, improving moods, and inspire new insights and solutions to unresolved problems.

Bottom line, listening to relaxing music can be just as effective at reducing anxiety as a massage.

Orange circle with white quotation marks graphic.

Music speaks what cannot be expressed. It soothes the mind and gives it rest. It heals the heart and makes it whole. It flows from heaven to heal the soul.”

-K.C. Lynn

How to pick the right music

When it comes to healing a broken heart, there are a few things to keep in mind:

If you are looking to “get it all out”, listen to some sad songs. It may sound counterintuitive, but listening to somber, melancholy music actually helps you to connect with the lyrics and what the the artist is going through. When you feel that you are not the only one going through this pain, it creates a sense of belonging and shared space with someone else in a situation that you can relate to.

Choose music that you enjoy!! What makes you feel happy? What music calms you? Listen to music that evokes an emotion or feeling.

Find a rhythm that makes you want to get up and dance around your living room. Really “feel” the music and the melodic patterns throughout your body. Some people like listening to dance music while vacuuming, some may prefer to listen to Beethoven. You get to choose!

Listen to music regularly. Whether you create a personal playlist or simply turn on music to play in the background while working, reading, or journaling. It helps to get us into a positive mood or to become more alert.

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Top 10 songs for healing a broken heart

There are thousands of songs that could be used for healing a broken heart, but here are ten that really stand out and speak about heartbreak and healing. Each link is a YouTube video, because I love music videos and it was the easiest way to share them. Feel free to look these songs up on your favorite listening app if you prefer.

  • A Little Bit Stronger by Sara Evans – this song is perfect! “I am not giving you an hour or a second, another minute longer. I’m busy getting stronger.”
  • We are Never Getting Back Together (like ever) by Taylor Swift
  • Rolling in the Deep by Adele – “You had my heart and soul inside of your hands, and you played it to the beat.”
  • Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson – “But since you been gone I can breathe for the first time, I’m so moving on, yeah, yeah.”
  • Need you Now by Lady Antebellum – “picture perfect memories scattered all around the floor.”
  • Don’t Speak by No Doubt – “I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t need your reasons – Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts.”
  • Lose You to Love Me by Selena Gomez – “and now this chapter is closed and I’m done.”
  • Tin Man by Miranda Lambert – “if you ever felt one breakin’, you’d never want a heart.”
  • This Ain’t a Love Song by Bon Jovi – “It made me so mad ’cause I wanted it bad for us baby, and now it’s so sad that whatever we had ain’t worth saving.”
  • When was it Over (for you) by Sasha Alex Sloan ft. Sam Hunt – “when was the moment you knew that you were going to walk out eventually.”

Here are two instrumental songs that are calming and soothing without lyrics:

  • Dance of Life – relaxing fantasy music for relaxation & meditation (3 hours long)
  • Echos of Time by R. Carlos Nakai – instrumental Native American
A black woman wearing an orange shirt leaning against a pillow listening to music with headphones.

What is your favorite song for healing a broken heart?

This is my personal playlist that I still listen to:

  • Used to Love You by Gwen Stefani – it took 5 months to make it through the entire song without breaking down!
  • What if I Never Get Over You by Lady Antebellum – “It’s supposed to hurt, it’s a broken heart, but the moving on is the hardest part.”
  • Miss Me More by Kelsea Ballerini – “I found my independence can’t believe I ever lost it, it’s what you wanted, ain’t it?”
  • I Fell in Love with the Devil by Avril Levine – the title says it all!
  • Tell Me when it’s Over by Sheryl Crow ft. Chris Stapleton – “Cause I don’t want to be the last to know.”
  • Better Off This Way by Bad Wolves – “baby we don’t work no more, and I don’t wanna hurt no more.”
  • Narcissist by Avery Anna – “Before you go and love somebody else you should probably get some help.”
  • I Don’t Think About of You by Kelly Clarkson – “I feel freedom where I stand now and I feel proud of who I am now. Yeah, I learned a lot along the way I love the woman that I became.”
  • Without Me by Halsey – “Baby, you don’t have to say what you did, I already know, I had to go and find out from them.”
  • Hate Me by Blue October – “hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you.”

Do you see how personal my list is? They speak to a certain conflict or feeling so I can process it, deal with it, and move on. Okay, now it’s your turn…let me know your favorites below in the comments!

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