Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: Breakup Songs

Good noon, Persephoneers! We’ve got some great stuff in store for you today, so you’ll have something to read while you gobble up discount V-Day candy from Walgreens. Since the airwaves have been full of gushy songs since the holidays, I thought we’d focus on songs that aren’t so gushy for today. 

What’s the very best break-up song of all time?

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

106 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: Breakup Songs”

Just need to say this real quick:

I am doing interweb research on the freedom that comes with the willingness to change your mind.  All day long, I’ve been looking at right-leaning sites, conspiracy theorists, and way way way too many conservative political sites.  I’ve been doing this so that in two weeks when I give this presentation, I will be able to say with confidence that I purposefully explored divergent opinions in an honest attempt at being open to ideas that I knew were different from my own.

I have had to keep Persephone up in my browser and run back here every five minutes or so just to keep myself from crying.  It’s like this site is base and I’m in the worst game of freeze tag ever.

I know I’m pretty new here, but thanks you all.  I think every single one of you are the coolest people alive and you have literally kept me sane the last five hours.

I will often read or watch conservative news so I can prepare myself for my FFIL.  I think it might be a requirement to keep my sanity.  I can yell or do whatever when I’m by myself, but I need to maintain a poker face with him and this might be the only way to do that…

But it’s always so nice to return.  :)  Good luck with your research.

P.S. I love your screen name.  While all of the females in my family called me Kelbelle, my grandpa always called me Kelsbells.



I discovered Ben Folds by Googling “break up play lists” back in 2008. I listened to Song for the Dumped quite a bit. Man I wish I still had that playlist, it was kick arse.

Also, I was just sad because I had thought I had eaten the last of the lollies the lovely @Teri Drake-Floyd snent me, but no, I discovered a giant box of Nerds in my desk from her. NOM NOM NOM NOM.

Depends on the stage of my break up & mood.

When I’m particularly mopey:

-Portishead: “Sour Times,” The Smiths: “How Soon is Now,” Emiliana Torrini: “Heard It All Before,” The Smiths: “Asleep,” Claude Francois: “Comme D’Habitude” & Barry Manilow: “Mandy” (don’t judge!)

When I’m finally ready to reject my feelings for that person:

– The Real Tuesday Weld: “Kicks,” Ben Folds: “Song for the Dumped,” The Black Keys: “Next Girl,” Royksopp: “Beautiful Day Without You” & The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs: “Zero”

Well, it’s my first day here, so I may as well crack on with an embarrassing revelation:  Back in 2000, during the first and only “bad breakup” of my life, I listed to Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child, nonstop.  Yeah, I was a sophomore in college.

*ducks and runs away*


First: I frickin’ love It’s a Wonderful Life. So hard. I’m forever swooning over Jimmy Stewart.

Second: When I was in eighth grade, my friends and I choreographed a dance number to “I’m a Survivor” which we then performed in front of the better part of our school. Oh the ridiculous shame. But I think the fact that you were much older than I makes it all the more giggle-worthy. I love looking back on my dorkiness, but it helps to know others share in my hilarious social awkwardity.

Another Jez refusenik here — hello gang!

This is very current for me, as I left my bloke a few months, very messily, after nearly 15 years together and he’s struggling to accept it. Anything high-energy and fuck-you-ish works for me at the moment, especially at the gym. But this is what I’m particularly enjoying listening to right now:

And not this time, but when I was dumping the last one, way back in 1995 (eek!), Simon and Garfunkel’s FIfty Ways to Leave your Lover, R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts and Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop (thinking about tomorrow) were my anthems.

Wow. There are some awesome songs in this thread. Since I don’t have a favourite break-up song (neener, neener, haven’t broken up with anyone in years), I’ll share the very first break-up song to which I ever listened.

No Doubt — Don’t Speak

When my good friend moved out the city in the third grade, I played this song over and over again. Looking back on it, I had such an enormous crush on the girl. I mean, I was absolutely devastated when she left. I’m still a little shocked that it took me so long to figure out I was bisexual.

I’m totally not going to say it’s the best of all time, but Breaks Even makes my heart fly every time I hear it. I had just left my abusive boyfriend of 7 years and drove all the way from Kentucky to Montana by myself. I was rediscovering popular music and every time that song came on the air it made me feel so bad for my ex and so free for myself.

I love this song for breakups. I love this song for when I’m feeling like a badass. I love this song for when people piss me off at work. I love this song for driving in the car. I love this song for singing along to. I love this song for everything.

Thank you for giving me something to hum along to as I get ready to head a meeting that I know I’ll need my badass mojo to be working properly.

Everything by Nada Surf. There is nothing that gives a better feeling than hearing Matthew Caws sing about love.

And he is always so right

In other news I´m also new here. Mostly because I´m upset with jezebel and their recent direction. So I hope I find a new home here.

Also it took me forever to setup an account. Now I feel a bit stupid. But I guess I´m going to listen to Nada Surf a bit and than feel better about myself.

Welcome! I love Nada Surf. I can remember listening to Inside of Love when I just got with Mr. Cesy. The line “I wanna know what it is like on the inside of love” came on, and Mr. Cesy responded “Terrifying!” then kissed me. So kind opposite of the question, but it was a nice moment, to recognise that love is terrifying but awesome when it goes right, and it is terrifying and horrible when it goes wrong.

Don’t Tell Me, by Avril Lavigne and others by her

Rolling in the Deep, by Adele and others by her too.

Stay, by Lisa Loeb

Somebody that I used to be by Gotye

Beautiful by Joydrop


Apparently I take comfort in pop music.

Touch of Grey by the Grateful Dead

I love the juxtaposition of the super upbeat music with the vinegary lyrics.

I see you’ve got your list out, say your piece and get out
Guess I get the gist of it, but it’s alright
Sorry that you feel that way.
The only thing there is to say
Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey

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