An alternative V-Day playlist

Songs for the heartbroken, the healing and the scarred

Graphic by Casandra Tweed | The Spectrum
For some, the month of love is a time for sad songs.

Valentine’s Day is not always roses and chocolate. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it makes a person feel behind and sometimes it passes without notice.

Depending on where you fall, you may not identify with the gushing love songs that proliferate the radio during the month of love. Below are some suggested listening.

The heartbroken

The first Valentine’s Day after a breakup can be difficult, especially if you still have feelings for your ex. There is nothing wrong with sending yourself flowers or staying in with a pint of ice cream and a good movie- whatever helps you through the day.

Sometimes, processing emotions through music proves to be a helpful outlet. Below is suggested listening:

“Milk and Honey” by The Savage Radley is the perfect song for those relationships where two people go through the motions and put in the effort, but are still dissatisfied. Sometimes things just don’t work out like we think they should.

“Rearview” by Run River North is deceptively upbeat, but don’t let that fool you. The track is a conversation between two people in a relationship– one who can’t seem to move on, and one who is sympathetic but knows they are best apart.

“I Hate This” by Tenille Arts is a country song reminiscent of the “golden age” of Faith Hill and Trisha Yearwood. The song is about struggling to remain in each other’s social circles after a breakup with unresolved feelings.

“One True Love” by Levi Henry is the most dismal and bleak of the tracks listed. A song about being hopelessly in love with someone even after they have hurt you repeatedly. Henry switches from plaintive verses to a wailing anguished chorus, adding to the emotional weight of the track.

Additional listening would obviously be anything from Lewis Capaldi.

The healing

So you are just starting to be okay with your new reality; slowly beginning to feel more normal or perhaps realizing that you are wasting your time feeling sorry for yourself any longer. It can be a freeing yet bittersweet feeling.

Try these songs on for size:

“What If I’m Happy” by Hardcastle encapsulates the fear associated with the possibility of falling in love again after a breakup. The song weighs the pros and cons of dating again in a way that is real and relatable.

“This Old Heart” by Midland is a harmony-filled country throwback almost reminiscent of Brooks & Dunn. A track about self-care, the song sings of the ways he will mend his broken heart.

“Too Much Whiskey” comes from Marcus King’s latest album “El Dorado.” The retro flavor of the guitar and the slightly fuzzy feedback in the vocals are paired with slide guitar and harmonica. A fun song about someone giving up on heartache and picking themselves up; after one last cup of chicory coffee, of course.

The scarred

Relationships are not always rosy. Sometimes bad things happen. Scary things. Every once in a while, someone may find themselves in a relationship that is not physically or emotionally safe. Those are the most terrifying.

For those carrying emotional or physical scars, the tracks below might resonate:

“The Bug Collector” by Haley Heyndrickx is all at once eery and soothing. A song about trying to care for a person who has mental/emotional problems and how draining it can sometimes be.

“Persona Non Grata” by Whale Bones is full of gently picking and deep emotion sweetly sung. This track is about the break down of a relationship, where one person has all the power. The vocals are cautiously defiant, like a curious but scared rabbit.

“You Said You’d Grow Old With Me” by Michael Schulte is a song about coping with the loss of the one you loved. The song has very simple instrumentals, giving Schulte’s emotive voice room to expand, filling the space.

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