Weirdly enough, listening to sad music actually does help you feel better when you’re feeling bad. When it feels like your world is crumbling or just generally like everything sucks, remember and take solace in the fact that many people have felt that way before you; they have gotten up and carried on, and so can you. Here’s a list of their songs. Or a list of sad songs for when it’s raining outside and you’ve found yourself in a directionless melancholy. Sometimes we need to not be sad alone, and that’s one of the many things music is for. To that end, here are 25 Saddest Songs In Recent History.
"I hurt myself today / To see if I still feel / I focus on the pain / The only thing that's real " - Johnny Cash, Hurt. This song was actually written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, but Cash's version is just...haunting. Cash was 71 when this music video was filmed and the original concept had to be abandoned due to his declining health. Cash and his wife June would both die less than a year after filming.
"I'm a creep/ I'm a weirdo/ What the hell am I doing here / I don't belong here" - Radiohead, Creep
"She's a brick and I'm drowning slowly/ off the coast and I'm headed nowhere" Ben Folds Five, Brick. This song was written about his high school girlfriend's abortion. Regardless of how you feel about this delicate topic, the song is depressing as hell.
"Remembering you standing quiet in the rain / As I ran to your heart to be near / And we kissed as the sky fell in" - Pictures Of You, The Cure. Let's be honest, this whole list could be mostly comprised of the works of Robert Smith and still, arguably, be some of the saddest song ever written.
"We only said goodbye with words /I died a hundred times / You go back to her / And I go back to black" - Amy Winehouse, Back To Black
"Can I sail through the changing ocean tides / Can I handle the seasons of my life" - Landslide, Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks was only in her mid-20's when she wrote this bittersweet song, trying to decide if she wanted to pursue college or songwriting.
"He stopped loving her today / They placed a wreath upon his door / And soon they'll carry him away" - He Stopped Loving Her Today, George Jones. A beautiful, sweet, and very sad song about a man whose love dies, and he spends the rest of his life loving and missing her.
"Nothing's fine I'm torn/ I'm all out of faith / this is how I feel / lying naked on the floor" - Torn, Natalie Imbruglia. Sometimes the worst part of a breakup is realizing the person you loved isn't who you thought they were at all, and you bought into their lies.
"I couldn't stop, so I swerved to the right / Never forget the sound that night / The crying tires, the busting glass, the painful scream that I heard last" - Last Kiss - Wayne Cochran. A seemingly upbeat song about someone's first love dying in their arms after a tragic accident.
"Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away / Now it looks as though they're here to stay / Oh, I believe in yesterday." - Yesterday, The Beatles
"Sometimes I wake up crying at night / And sometimes I scream out your name / What right does she have to take you away / When for so long you were mine" - You Were Mine, The Dixie Chicks.
"Sleight of hand and twist of fate / On a bed of nails she makes me wait / And I wait, without you" - U2, With Or Without You. There's been a lot of stories about the meaning behind this song, that it's the struggle between being a father and a touring musician, that it's about sin, that it's about unrequited love - but one thing's for sure, no one's really happy.
"Shadows are fallin' and I'm runnin' out of breath / Keep me in your heart for a while / If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less" - Keep Me In Your Heart, Warren Zevon. You've probably heard this song at a funeral or the sad end of a TV show. Zevon was diagnosed with terminal cancer several weeks before he started recording this album and died two weeks after it's release.
"I was wasted in the afternoon / Waiting on a train / I woke up in pieces and Elisabeth had disappeared again" - Goodnight Elisabeth, Counting Crows. Some say this song was written about a friend who overdosed, others say it was written about a lost lover. Either way, Elisabeth is dearly missed.
"Love of mine / Someday you will die / But I'll be close behind / I'll follow you into the dark" - I'll Follow You Into The Dark, Death Cab For Cutie. A sweet but sad song about someone you love dying.
"Talkin' to myself and feelin' old / Sometimes I'd like to quit / Nothin' ever seems to fit / Hangin' around / Nothin' to do but frown / Rainy days and Mondays always get me down" - Rainy Days And Mondays, The Carpenters
"I've woken up / I'm in our bed / but there's no breathing body there beside me / Someone must have taken you while I was stuck asleep / But I know better as my eyes adjust / You've been gone for quite awhile now" - The Antlers, Epilogue. The album is appropriately titled "Hospice." It's beautiful and depressing, and Epilogue is the last track.
"I won't kill myself / trying to stay in your life / I got no distance left to run" - Blur, No Distance Left To Run. Relateable to anyone who's just had a relationship fall apart and just can't beg the other person to try anymore.
"When you're sure you've had enough of this life/ well hang on / Don't let yourself go / Everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes" - R.E.M. Everybody Hurts. Even when it hurts the most, you are not alone.
"For many hours and days that pass ever soon / The tides have caused the flame to dim / At last the arm is straight /the hand to the loom Is this to end or just begin?" - All Of My Love, Led Zeppelin. While the refrain of this song "All of my love, all of my love, all of my love to you" might seem like a romantic song at first, if you listen, it was written for Robert Plant's five year old son, Karac, who died while the band was on tour in '77.
"Haven't you seen me sleep walking? / 'Cause I've been holding your hand / Haven't you noticed me drifting? / Oh, let me tell you, I am" - Falling, The Civil Wars
"Alice died In the night / I've been learning to drive / My whole life" - In The Backseat, Arcade Fire. This song is about retreating and taking a backseat in your own life after something terrible happens.
"When somebody loved me/ every hour spent together/ lives within my heart" - When She Loved Me, Sarah McLachlan (Toy Story 2).
"Sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner/sometimes I feel like my only friend/ is the city I live in/ the city of angels / lonely as I am/ together we cry" - Under The Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers.
"Would you know my name, if I saw you in heaven? Would it be the same, if I saw you in heaven?" Eric Clapton's song - Tears In Heaven - was written by Clapton and Will Jennings after Clapton's 4 year old son, Connor, passed away due to falling out of a high rise window in 1991. Clapton was visibly upset for months after Connor's passing. Listen to the song again, knowing that. Possibly the saddest song ever written.