Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

The Friday mix: songs for the dumped

It comes to us all at some time in our lives. The end of a relationship you didn’t want to end. It’s a sick and helpless feeling and a sad time. Plus the older the relationship is, the harder and more complicated the process is. Still, there’s nothing to do but carry on. As Janeane Garofalo noted, “You can’t argue your way out of dumped.”


At times in my life when I have felt hurt and lonely, I have found sympathy, camaraderie, forgetfulness, and healing through music. Here are some songs that might help you through a tough breakup, if they don’t make you want to stick a fork in your neck.

  1. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? – Al Green
    When you’re mourning the end of a relationship, you don’t want bouncy, happy music. You want the reverend to tell you how it is.
  2. Love Is a Losing Game – Amy Winehouse (featuring Mos Def)
    Winehouse is a woman who has had some love troubles and though you might not think Mos Def would fit in well with her sound, it’s an inspired pairing.
  3. Breakin’ Down – Ben Harper
    There’s a certain joy to Harper’s music, even when the lyrics are as heartbreaking as these.
  4. Bad Luck City – R.L. Burnside
    “It’s a problem when you love them womens and they don’t love you.” The great R.L. Burnside wails and moans, his guitar cries right along with him, and somehow you feel better.
  5. I Miss You – Blink 182
    This is the only Blink 182 song I like. I don’t think it’s about a breakup, but it is about missing someone.
  6. Again and Again – Bob Mould
    This is the sound of marriage breaking up. The song is heart wrenchingly honest and beautiful.
  7. Sideways – Citizen Cope
    “Whenever you come around me these feelings won’t go away. They been knocking me sideways. I keep thinking in a moment that time will take them away. But these feelings won’t go away.” Well spoken, sir.
  8. Coast – Eliza Gilkyson
    I believe Gilkyson wrote this song after the death of her father, but it’s about taking some time for yourself to figure out your feelings are and what is next.
  9. I Hope You’re Happy Now – Elvis Costello
    If there’s anything harder than losing someone, it’s losing someone to someone else. The black humor with which Costello meets this makes it a little easier.
  10. Knowing Me Knowing You – The Lemonheads
    Turns out this is a good song, but I didn’t realize it because I don’t like Abba. Dando and company do a good job with it, though.
  11. Let It Die – Foo Fighters
    The Foos rock, so you can viscerally feel the anger behind the lyrics in this song.
  12. And the World Turned – Gabe Dixon
    I have written up Gabe Dixon before. He is a gifted piano player and songwriter who respectfully declined an offer to tour in Paul McCartney’s band. This song is about turning the corner after a hard breakup.
  13. Find Another Girl – The Hives
    This song is a bit goofy, but it’s somehow uplifting just the same.
  14. Guess I’m Doing Fine – Beck
    Beck wrote this album in the aftermath of a breakup so it’s full of emotional songs of loss and recovery. He is a real craftsman, too, so it’s not the quirky fun of “Odelay.”
  15. Last Goodbye – Jeff Buckley
    The lyrics to this song have it all: the knowledge of something special going away, the lingering desire, the sadness, the anger… and it’s a beautiful song to boot.
  16. Divorce Song – Liz Phair
    Disentangling from an entrenched relationship is fraught with unexpected complications, like the ones Phair encounters in this song.
  17. Always See Your Face – Love
    John Cusack turned me on to this gem about being unable to escape the memories of a loved one who is gone.
  18. Song for the Dumped – Ben Folds Five
    Simply the best breakup song ever written. God bless Ben Folds.

Enjoy with 6 or 7 salty gin and tonics. Have a great weekend.


May 7, 2010 - Posted by | Alternative, Blues, Classic Rock, Country, Hard Rock, Hip Hop, Indie, Jazz, Mix CD, Popular, R&B, Rock, Soul


  1. I knew Song for the Dumped was gonna be last!

    Comment by Jenn | May 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. Had to be. So. Damn. Funny.

    Comment by missedmusic | May 10, 2010 | Reply

  3. I just listened to Xavier Rudd’s new CD. #5 Love Comes & Goes should be added to this mix. It’s sweet (in Rudd’s gentle way) & so sad.

    (Then Listen to #8 Time to Smile, because it’s upbeat & happy.

    Comment by Jenn | May 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Great track. I’m going to see Rudd in August. I should probably pick up his new release before then. Thanks for sharing this.

      Comment by missedmusic | May 23, 2010 | Reply

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