WMSC Music Picks: Heartbreak Feels So Good!

Written by on February 13, 2024

Welcome to WMSC Music Picks, a collaborative collection of WMSC’s music recommendations and reviews. In this installment, members of our station share their favorite tracks about heartbreak in our annual anti-Valentine’s-Day Valentine’s Day 2024 article!


“San Francisco” – The Driver Era 

Review by Rebekkah Dayon

I discovered The Driver Era during my junior year of high school, and they have undoubtedly  been my favorite band since. Their 2019 album X is the perfect mix of sex and heartbreak. My personal favorite song on that album will easily always be “San Francisco,” which I consider the best combination of heartache, longing for the good times, and being unable to let go of memories of someone now gone. This song brings us along the story of a relationship that  was once perfect and where nothing could go wrong but it inevitably turned into lost love. I remember the first time I listened to this song’s lyrics and being in absolute awe of its beauty. It doesn’t matter how many times I listen to it, I still get goosebumps with lyrics like “you know it suffocated our love / You really didn’t do a thing wrong / Now I am superstitious of love / And baby we overplayed our song.” Especially when these lyrics are paired with that light, airy guitar and drum combination, The Driver Era is able to establish a sound that feels like a memory. Not only being my favorite song off of this album, but one of my favorites ever, The Driver Era’s “San Francisco” creates the perfect essence of driving down memory lane of a lost love that will surely be understood by listeners for a long time. 


“Slide Out the Window” – Inhaler 

Review by Rebekkah Dayon

I actually discovered Irish alternative-rock band Inhaler in March of last year— and all I can say is I was instantly hooked. Off of their 2021 album It Won’t Always Be Like This, “Slide Out the Window” was actually one of my top songs of 2023, and for great reason. If I had to pick a song that I thought sounded like driving into an orange sunset with the windows down, simply thinking about this ever moving life— it would be this song! Being about a fading relationship, the lightness and warmth of the beginning of the track sounds exactly like what it means to have your significant other slowly slipping through your fingertips and having to move on. However, one of my favorite elements of this song is actually the bridge that is completely different from the rest of the track. The bridge brings a change up from light guitar and keyboard to intense percussion and heavy bass, which slowly fades out to the end of the song. This bridge alone creates a powerful feeling of all those heavy and powerful emotions that come with a breakup, but also a feeling of what moving on can create. With such a unique and contrasting sound, “Slide out the Window” is a song you could have on repeat for hours (and I did always have it on repeat for hours). My obsession with this track is borderline unhealthy, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it was in my top songs again this year.


“Death Cup” – Mom Jeans*

Review by Rebekkah Dayon

During the month of February, it’s the perfect time to listen to some love songs— but also some breakup ones too. Alternative rock band Mom Jeans should be a go-to for everyone to sing aloud those sad breakup songs. “Death Cup” by Mom Jeans specifically gives listeners an unhealed story of a painful, one-sided breakup with an instantly recognizable Midwest emo sound. One of my favorite things about this song is the rawness of the lyrics and of which they are sung; it feels as if we are on the other side of the relationship, being begged to stay especially with lyrics like “you are my best friend / And I don’t want this to end,” where the listener can feel the heartache through lead singer Eric Butler’s tone. In a story of questioning everything, Mom Jeans is able to create a song that is relatable and honest, and encapsulates all the mixed feelings and thoughts of an unwanted breakup. This is the perfect song that sounds like what it feels to long for someone that is leaving and being able to do nothing about it. “Death Cup” is a song I could easily listen to over and over again and maybe still cry to every once in a while.


“Naked” – FINNEAS

Review by Jared Tauber 

A one-off single released almost two years ago already, “Naked” is biting, bopping, and brilliant. The hook is catchy by design as the lyrics over its infectious melody simply goes “La-da-da.” FINNEAS tells this breakup story through a retrospective angle where enough time has passed to afford him clarity and healing from a seemingly toxic relationship. He’s so over it, but it’s certainly left a sour taste in his mouth. That bitterness is sonically illustrated with chugging bass and overdriven guitars — especially in the bridge. There is a neat emotional progression throughout the song; with every new passage the lyrics get more resentful and the instruments become louder and dirtier. FINNEAS cleverly uses this tactic to simulate the feeling of dormant emotions resurfacing upon recollection. If everyone’s venting sounded this cool, we’d all be much better listeners.


“Good Things Fall Apart” – ILLENIUM ft. Jon Bellion

Review by Maura Mayfield

A favorite song of mine that I randomly come back to at different points throughout the year– “Good Things Fall Apart” is what I call a good car-ride-with-the-windows-down song. It starts off with a calmer melody, but works itself up to a passionate and rhythmic chorus. The lyrics describe the revelation that sometimes good relationships and memories have to end for better things, despite the confusion and heartbreak of not knowing why at the time. For me, although the lyrics definitely communicate the sadness of a relationship coming to an end, the instrumentals are lighthearted and brightly passionate- reminiscent of good things to come. Next time you have the chance, I would recommend listening to this song while driving with the windows down while the sun is setting (because that’s something that people are always doing, right?).


“Beloved” – Mumford & Sons

Review by Maura Mayfield

I had always been a casual enjoyer of Mumford & Sons, but more familiar with their top hits from their early 2000s albums. I am pleased to say that “Beloved” was the first of their songs I found of my own volition, and I enjoy it very much! Released off the British band’s album Delta, this track is reminiscent of Mumford & Sons’ typical discography while also incorporating a more modern sound. The song speaks about the passing or separation from a loved one, and although the lyrics are beautiful in and of themselves- the band admitted to focusing on the rhythm of the song foremost and building up from there. This is clear in the beat and pace of the song, making you want to bob your head emphatically while simultaneously grieve relationships of the past.


“Good Grief” – Bastille

Review by Maura Mayfield

“Good Grief” is another great breakup song for people who prefer not to curl up in a ball and would rather channel their emotions into an upbeat, “head bopping” ballad. I love this song for the way it manages to communicate concepts of grief through a casual and arguably joyful way. Including sound clips from the 1985 movie “Weird Science” throughout, “Good Grief” describes the feelings one goes through after the end of a relationship (through breakup or death). To me, this song symbolizes the way breakups can force us to live through our younger memories, making us feel small and immature, while simultaneously filling us with a childlike wonder and playfulness.


“I Miss You” – Blink-182

Review By Jenna Marcy

Hailing from Blink-182’s self-titled album, “I Miss You” is the quintessential pop-punk break up song. With the lead singer lamenting about a girl who he thought he would be with forever, this song wraps up the pain, anger and desperation of a bad breakup all into one amazing track. The song tells the story of the singer’s relationship with a woman from its beginning to the end. With the first lyrics being “Hello there, the angel from my nightmare,” the singer acknowledges the good start to his relationship has changed for the worse. She was his angel, and as the relationship soured he still loved her but her presence became something nightmarish. Set to an upbeat and vibey tune, you would never realize the longing of the lead singer unless you really take a step back and analyze the story (if you ignore the repeating “I miss you” line throughout the song, which might be just a little telling). As the song progresses, the singer talks about all of his plans to stay with this girl forever, and how the two mapped out a life together. Yet, in the next verse, it’s nighttime and the singer is restless. His partner is no longer by his side and he feels lost. All the plans they made together were thrown away for one reason or another. And then there is the singer, left in a limbo of sorts, unsure if he should try to make things work, or let the “love of his life” go forever. It’s a song that, on the surface, is something to casually listen to— But when you’ve been through a tough breakup, or know exactly what the singer is talking about, this track is the perfect expression of all the anger, sadness and confusion that follows. For all the people out there that have experienced this type of feeling, or just want a good song to listen to, “I Miss You” by Blink-182 is the way to go. 


“Stupid Kid” – Alkaline Trio

Review By Jenna Marcy

Sometimes you meet someone that changes your life forever. Sometimes you date someone for a little while then break it off, no harm done. And sometimes, sometimes a relationship with someone is so horrible that you need to erase their existence from your mind. In Alkaline Trio’s “Stupid Kid” off of their album From Here to Infirmary, this rage towards an ex takes center stage. The lead singer makes no point to hide his anger towards who once was his subject of desire. No lyrics showcase this better than in the chorus, where our dear singer says: “Remember when I said I love you? / Well, forget it, I take it back.” He is done, he is over it, and he is ready to grow up and stop being the stupid kid he once was (hey wait- that’s the track’s title, crazy how that works). Through hints of sadness, the lead singer is ready to stand his ground, angry at how things ended, but more-so at himself for making excuses for a girl who never loved him the same way he loved her. The song itself is insanely catchy and surprisingly upbeat for a song about some guy angry at his ex (but more so his past self). This is a must add to any breakup playlist, proving the narrator to take his life back after a bad experience with someone who broke his heart. Through the anger and the pain, there is a sense of hope for better days and maturing, and that’s a good message everyone could use every now and again.


“She’s Kerosene” – The Interrupters 

Review By Jenna Marcy

In life, there are people that get together who probably shouldn’t— People whose personality is so opposite to their partner that makes you wonder how they were able to hold a conversation, let alone get together. The Interrupters capture this occurrence of incompatible partners in their song “She’s Kerosene” their 2018 album Fight the Good Fight. Following the messy breakup of two completely different people, the song tells the story of a guy recounting the day when everything went up in smoke. From the first line of “I’m a match, she’s kerosene / You know she’s gonna burn down everything,” the audience already knows that these two people will not work. Kerosene, so easily turned to fire and a match, paired with the thing that can set it ablaze can never work out long term. The song goes on to explain how, one fateful morning, the relationship between the two goes up in flames (literally). Told in defense of the guy, the girl is described as an instigator, starting a fight and then playing the victim. The girl vilifies her boyfriend, and finally, after having to walk on eggshells around his partner, the guy realizes his worth and walks away, acknowledging how toxic the whole relationship had been. Despite having a deep message, this vibey song is the perfect track to dance, scream, and have a good time to. For those who have escaped a toxic relationship, you know this freeing feeling, and this song perfectly encapsulates being fed up, and taking a stand. 


“All You Are Is History” – State Champs

Review by Amber Bintliff 

State Champs want you to be aware that they are definitely not getting over this in pop-punk classic “All You Are Is History.” The song focuses on concepts of self-acceptance and moving on from a toxic relationship, where the partner is manipulative, arrogant and selfish. Throughout the track, Derek DiScanio sings of how he’s not letting this situation with his ex-partner affect him any longer than it has– and that she is, in fact, history to him. The lyrics, “Fall back in line, it’s too much to expose / It’s your design and that’s the way it goes,” detail how this ex-partner will always be stuck in her ways, and that Derek finally had enough.

“[Reboot]” – Waterparks

Review by Amber Bintliff 

If there’s one constant theme seen throughout Waterparks’ third album, FANDOM, it’s  heartbreak. The twelfth track “[Reboot]” follows a bitter and angry Awsten Knight as he navigates his feelings post-breakup. The lines “You’re not worth my color / You’re not worth another / Headache, you’re dead-weight / You’re gonna be just like your mother,” is, in my opinion, one of the craziest lines Knight’s ever written. It also serves as the opposite side of the third track, “Dream Boy,” which, in comparison, is an upbeat pop-punk song about having high expectations set to be your partner’s “dream boy.” “[Reboot]” explores the reality of not meeting those expectations, thus causing the relationship to come to an end.


“Ghost” — Sleeping With Sirens

Review by Amber Bintliff 

“Ghost” follows the story of a failing relationship from an outside perspective. As the song progresses, it’s clear that the two people are holding onto each other despite knowing that it’s not for the best. Sleeping With Sirens created such an incredibly emotionally raw, vulnerable, and almost desperate sounding song with “Ghost.” One of my favorite lyrics is the following: “‘Til Death’ they say / Now they’re just dying to find a way,” because it demonstrates that they used to have hope, but are now trying to either find a way to make it work or find a way to let go. The two have lost so much of themselves in this relationship and try to hold it together, that they have become ghosts of who they used to be.


“My Kink is Karma” – Chappell Roan*

Review by Mia Watson 

This track off of Roan’s debut album, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess, encapsulates the feeling of watching your ex-partner enter their flop era right after a breakup. You are realizing your worth in the process of becoming and your ex is “running their mouth,” “losing their mind,” and “dyeing their hair.” It highlights how after most breakups, you need a minute, but you’re on the come up after in your #healingera. As usual, Roan brings the high energy, bright sound, contrasted with dark lyrics, similar to her other songs off the album, “Femininomenon,” “HOT TO GO!,” and “Red Wine Supernova.” 


“Lover You Should’ve Come Over” – Jeff Buckley 

Review by Mia Watson 

After Jeff Buckley allegedly cheated on his girlfriend at the time, Rebecca Moore, he wrote one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching breakup songs ever. Buckley’s lyricism in this particular song blew up on TikTok last fall and since then, all the indie/alt rock girlies have been obsessed. He uses beautiful metaphor to describe the love lost and the fleeting nature of it all, mourning what was taken for granted and what he would give to get it back. I think all of Jeff Buckley’s songs are shrouded in grief, given the tragedy of his life, but this song feels like grieving the absence of love as a whole. 


“Maps” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Review by Carissa Dienes

“Maps” is one of those timeless heartbreak songs. It feels like it’s been around forever because it is so simple yet so brilliant. I first heard about Yeah Yeah Yeahs from the book “Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001–2011” by Lizzy Goodman. According to the book, the classic line “Wait, they don’t love you like I love you,” came from a letter written by frontwoman Karen O to an ex-boyfriend (And what a killer line it is). “Maps” aches with yearning. I love the way this song gradually builds and descends, layering guitar track over guitar track, adding in shuffling drums as the backdrop to a soulful, committed performance by Karen O. This truly feels like her song, her moment to shine. “Maps” captures heartbreak so concisely, that no matter what you have been through, you can relate to it. 


“Ben Franklin” – Snail Mail*

Review by Carissa Dienes

“Ben Franklin” depicts the specific feeling after you’ve cried your eyes out, screamed your head off, and made out with strangers- but still haven’t quite moved on from your ex. That quietness and emptiness of those stray ruminating thoughts: “I never should have hurt you / I’ve got the devil in me.” Snail Mail always seems to sing with a sneer and a smirk on her face, portraying honesty wrapped under layers of irony. The driving synths, slick drums, reverb-y guitars, thudding piano, and pulsing bassline create an intoxicating groove wherein Lindsay Jordan spills her deepest insecurities. All in all, “Ben Franklin” is just a cool song, and I can’t wait to hear new music from Snail Mail. 


“Chelsea” – Those Looks

Review by Carissa Dienes

Hailing from Lambertville, New Jersey, Those Looks are a self-described “velvet wave slow jams” kind of rock band. I got to see them live in their hometown at a show in a converted firehouse last year, and I can guarantee that they are one of the most promising indie acts coming out of the western Jersey/PA scene. “Chelsea,” off of their 2022 debut album Cults Near Me, is dreamlike and upbeat, layering jangly guitars, charming harmonies, and a supportive yet exciting bassline. These elements juxtapose the pain and despair of the lyrics, telling the story of an unrequited queer love broken apart by heteronormativity and shame. Singer Kelly Bolding said this song was about “cowgirls falling in love” when I saw their show, as it ends with the repeated refrain, “Yeah I know you.” “Chelsea” is such an endearing song from one of my new favorite bands.


“Swing, Swing” – The All-American Rejects

Review by Mia Savidge

“Swing, Swing” is one of those quintessential heartbreak rage songs of the 2000s alternative rock scene. This song focuses on the concept of “unrequited love” and how it makes a person feel. “Swing, Swing” begins with the sudden nature of finding out that the person you love doesn’t love you back and how that can really hurt deep and leave you with “the tears falling.” However, throughout the song, there is mention of moving on, finding someone new and altogether not letting one person change your perspective of love and life. I’m always excited when this song comes on my musical rotation, especially getting to belt it in the car. It has an impactful narrative, making it easy to relate to and connect with. Overall, this song blends a catchy rock tune with powerful lyrics that brings the listener back to that rollercoaster of emotions whenever we listen. The song garners increasing hope throughout its journey, reminding us that everything will pan out the way it’s meant to and the overwhelming joy something new can bring. 


“Sonder” – The Wrecks 

Review by Genevieve Cai 

As a forever lover of the alt-rock-meets-pop-punk genre, I’m surprised I didn’t get into The Wrecks sooner. Their second studio album Sonder features a very diverse and boldly eclectic blend of fast and energetic songs, as well as slower, heavier ones, all dealing with heartbreak. The titular track “Sonder” introduces the theme of toxic relationships for the rest of the album. It explores the idea that heartbreak can be a drawn out process that lasts even after the physical separation, with plenty of unspoken words between partners and mixed emotions. Some other songs in the album focus on the anger, like “I Love This Part,” while others feel almost hopeful, like “No Place I’d Rather Be.” “Sonder” specifically cites frontman Nick Anderson’s real-life breakup with Good Boy Daisy frontwoman Hallie Mayes in 2021. This is hinted by the line “You went back, back to Arizona,” as Good Boy Daisy returned to Arizona from LA after the breakup where their band originated. The lyrics are simple and pop-esque, but the instrumentals are what make this a great blended alternative breakup ballad. It includes a sporadic, crashing (but gratifying) electric guitar and heavy drums that complement the accusatory vocals. The word “sonder” refers to the conscious awareness that everyone around you has their own complex lives, and the singer “thought by now that you’d understand” his side of the story. 


“What Ever Happened” – The Strokes

Review by Chris Alberico

In the spirit of staying true to the theme of my show, and reviewing an excellent song in the process, I decided to review this amazing Strokes cut. It is the introductory track off of their 2003 sophomore project, Room on Fire. Taking this song at face level without the rest of the album in context, it’s still brilliant. At face value, this track is just Julian Casablancas raspily yelling about an ex-partner leaving him. He’s quite the aggressive sulker, screaming about wanting to be forgotten over an S/O (and yes, I know this song can be interpreted as an allegory for something deeper– but I already said this is a face level review). Regardless of Mr. Casablancas questionable life choices, that classic Strokes instrumental ties everything together in the end. It’s simple, but effective; it’s not super technical, but rather clean and powerful. As much as I’ve poked fun at his vocal fry, Casablancas’ voice is what makes the band so iconic. Overall, this song along with the subsequent album is spectacular and 1000% worth the deep dive.


“Burn Alive” – The Last Dinner Party

Review by Chris Alberico

As new as this song is, I think that my interpretation of it really fits this month’s theme quite well. This was yet another introduction track (technically) to the new TLDP record, Prelude to Ecstasy. The theme of this song seems to be forced heartbreak or separation, even if it kills you, literally. The imagery within the lyrics is some of the most unique songwriting I’ve heard from a newer band. The latter half of the chorus, which reads “there is candle wax melting in my veins / So I keep myself standing in your flames / Burn, burn me alive,” is almost like reverse personification (For all I know there’s probably a word for that but I’m blanking on it). Regardless, the song is an earworm with an extremely catchy chorus, polished instrumental, and overall super clean sound. It’s not the busiest song ever (until the final section), but I believe that’s intentional to help the listener focus on the intricate figurative language present in the lyrics. Once you finally make it to the last minute, everything blossoms and we get a nice bow wrapped on this treat of a song. What a great start to the year we’ve had for music, and I’m excited to see what TLDP has in store for the future.


“Only One” – Yellowcard 

Review by Scott Ackerson

Fitting that the year I was born, so too was an anthem that I heavily relate to. Dropping back in 2003, “Only One” by Yellowcard explores the two-sided complexity of a breakup. The singer, Ryan Key, is the one who ended his relationship in this instance, but the overall expression of the lyrics reveals that despite still loving his ex, he knows that he still has to step away. This is not the usual emo breakup song of pure anger, nor pure sadness against the partner, but rather an admission that their situation simply cannot work out. Through lyrics like “Scream my lungs out and try to get to you,” Key shows that despite the intense efforts to keep the relationship together, and his admission that “There’s just no one who gets [him] like you do” clearly highlights the turmoil of saying goodbye to somebody who feels like your other half. “Only One” provides a refreshingly nuanced and mature take on a situation that could very easily lend itself to more usual screamo, angsty fare. 


“If You Wanted A Song Written About You, All You Had To Do Was Ask” – Mayday Parade 

Review by Scott Ackerson

As a firm believer that all media peaked in the year of our lord 2007, here comes Mayday Parade to continue to prove me right. “If You Wanted a Song … et al” is a model pop-punk breakup song, with many of the classic, tried-and-true hallmarks that you come to expect of such an anthem. What struck me most about this song in particular was the sheer strength behind the singer’s hatred and vindictive actions. Many breakups employ the Band-Aid solution of removing and/or disowning every past memory with your former partner, though this song goes a bit further. You get the sense, as the song progresses, that the singer is falling deeper and deeper into this pit of rage and hurt, going from throwing away pictures, to burning letters, to vowing “I’d rather die than be with you.” Through such lyrics, one may ponder just how soon after the actual breakup that this was written, as the song is littered with the sort of snap judgment, impulse-driven choices that are born only out of thoughtless, unbridled anger towards another person– without taking that time to see the situation through a different lens. 


“Whatsername” – Green Day

 Review by Scott Ackerson

Some people from the past stick with you, while others fade away to memory. This underrated gem from Green Day paints the picture of someone having all but repressed his last relationship, remembering them less for who they were, but rather holding onto those moments of regret. One line that hits particularly hard is the final lyric – I’ll never turn back time / Forgetting you but not the time” – which highlights the rather universal feeling that the hurt that you have felt because of someone can far outlive the memory of who that person even was. With time, he will likely won’t even be able to recall the face, having already forgotten their name. The tempo and energy of the song remains fairly consistent and unwavering from start to finish. This gives me the impression that the speaker is not wallowing in the misery, nor wounded by the sting of these memories, but rather taking that step to just forget it all happened– Obviously evidenced by the choice to call his former partner “whatsername.” This song provides a unique perspective on how we choose to handle the aftermath of a breakup, how it is not as simple as just forgetting the person the second you’ve set the photographs ablaze– The ashes of the memories still linger, whether it is of the person as a whole, or just of the hurt that they gave you. 


“Jonny” – Faye Webster

Review by Jaydah Victor-Morse

From pining after your crush, to dealing with a painful breakup, to fantasizing about even having a lover – Faye Webster’s got you covered when it comes to authentic love songs. “Jonny” is a fan favorite, and it’s easy to see why. The toned down instrumentals allow her gentle and honeyed voice to really shine. Her voice dragging through the slow and steady beat of the song illustrates the emotions of the lyrics: a heartbroken girl searching for closure in the aftermath of a relationship ending. “Jonny, did you ever love me?” starts off the chorus, emphasizing her trademark authenticity that feels like she’s directly addressing the listener. The light saxophone perfectly amplifies her voice without overpowering her. This is the perfect song for dealing with your heartbreak on a slow and melancholic night.  

“Uncomfortable” – Wallows

Review by Jaydah Victor-Morse

This is the kind of song where it’s easy to ignore the lyrics and enjoy the sound, but when you listen closer, you fall into the same emotions as the singer. You could mindlessly listen to it on your drive home, or just cry to it alone in your room. High energy guitar riffs keep the vibe up, in an emotional sense. The chorus practically chants: “I never wanted love, but now it’s come undone.” The vocalist’s belting out the lyrics with slight strain in their voices truly shows the pain of the author. The lighter verses in between the chorus and bridge allow the song to breathe, and the return of passionate instrumentals is like getting hit by a wave of sadness. This non-stop rollercoaster of emotions will perfectly soothe your broken heart.  


“Wasted Summers” – juju<3

Review by Jaydah Victor-Morse

If you’re looking for a catchier song to get you through your heartbreak, I’ve got you. “Wasted Summers” by juju<3 (also known as Julian Perez), features his younger sister Lailah as supporting vocals on the track. This song perfectly captures that summer feeling, of missing it, and especially regretting how you spent it: “Had the blues over you, I didn’t hang with my friends.” Lyrics that feel like a confessional letter combined with the overall, reminiscing tone represents the song’s name perfectly. Lailah’s vocals brighten up the song even more, with the nostalgic essence of beachy guitar riffs, and melancholic lyrics. When the siblings sing together, it’s as if they’re passionately singing their favorite song together, rather than shouting at the person who broke their heart.   


“What Hurts the Most” – Rascal Flatts

Review by Luke Adair

This song deals with people who were too cowardly to tell someone their feelings. It is one of the Rascal Flatts’ top songs during their active years. What makes the song praiseworthy is the way the band uses their lyrics to paint a clear picture of a sorrowful story of unrequited love, and the aftermath of the broken feelings the person feels.


“Yesterday” – The Beatles

Review by Luke Adair

“Yesterday” is one of The Beatles’ most popular songs. The most impressive feat of this track is the positive feedback it received through many different awards and world records. It is considered one of the most recorded songs in the history of music, with many artists eager to cover this classic track. In my opinion, this is the best breakup song because of how it is composed of  simple melody and lyrics. John Lennon’s writing is able to capture the essence of feeling the loss of love, and reminiscence the simpler times of the now broken relationship. He left a staple in the hearts of listeners everywhere and continues to do so to this day. 


“All by Myself” – Celine Dion

Review by Luke Adair

When thinking about break-up songs, the most cliché one that comes to mind is this song (Well, perhaps the original version by Erica Carmen). Celine Dion’s version of “All By Myself” provides more of an emotional feel than the original, as she truly showcases the impact of feeling loneliness in a more dramatic fashion. Dion’s rendition still pays tribute to the original and its emotional meaning, while still adding a different spin on the song to pertain to a new generation.


“It’s Not Over” – Daughtry 

Review by Terry Dickerson 

A staple amongst the “divorced dads” classic rock hits, “It’s Not Over” by Daughtry will take you back to a time where you may have wanted to revisit a connection after breaking it off. Now, I haven’t experienced a romantic heartbreak before, but this song takes me back to some rough bestie breakups that had me reevaluating my entire life. There’s nothing like thinking about what could have been if an argument had gone differently or if one of us put our pride aside in the middle of the night. Regardless of how this song applies to you, definitely brace yourself for some heavy introspection. What did I take away from this song? Even if you wish certain relationships hadn’t ended and want to convince yourself that they can be like they were before, it’s probably for the best that the chapter ended when it did. In other words, it’s over. And that’s totally okay.


“A Potion For Love” – AURORA

Review by Emily “Emol” McCormack

When you pair the most tragically realistic song about heartbreak with the beautifully graceful voice of Aurora, even just the first notes are enough to make you tear up. While a lot of other “heartbreak” songs I listen to lean towards the more aggressive side – hating an ex-partner for something they did or for how they made someone feel – this one explores the concept of accepting that a relationship is over, while still thinking fondly about how the relationship once was. She quite simply sings about something that is arguably harder than splitting up because of an incident or outside forces: the idea of falling out of love. As Aurora puts it, “Forgetting why we fell in love hurts me the most.”

The second pre-chorus explores the heart of the song: “When I see you again, as a stranger or a friend / I will give you a kiss from the past / I will send you away, hoping you’ll be okay / With a piece of your heart living in mine.” Regardless of interpreting this as exploring a romantic relationship or that of a friend- I feel as if almost everyone has someone in their life that they have simply grown apart from (for better or for worse), that will always remain in their heart and mind. I have plenty of friends who I haven’t seen in years because of distance and life getting in the way– and I hope to one day see them again. I hope to one day give them a big hug from the past, reminding them that I will always be cheering them on and be grateful for their positivity in a time in my life. 

While I adore the studio track, Aurora’s live version of “Potion for Love” for VEVO is the first version I fell in love with. Her voice is ethereal, and I am convinced that Aurora casts a magical spell on every one of her songs. Truth be told – as the curator for WMSC Music Picks, the theme may or may not have had a lot to do with my desire to write about Aurora and this beautifully heartbreaking song. 


“Cool About It”

Review by Manda Martinez

“Cool About It” is a relatable song about a breakup. It describes the feeling of trying to play it cool around your ex, almost desperate to try to hold onto your connection with them. The supergroup composed of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker are all so talented, painting a vivid image through their lyrics. One standout lyric to me is “I’ll pretend being with you doesn’t feel like drowning.” This puts into words how painful it can be to cover up your true feelings.

“Waiting Room” – Phoebe Bridgers

Review by Manda Martinez

This song was written by Phoebe Bridgers when she was just 16 years old. It describes an overwhelming first love experience where the singer pines for this another person. As the song goes on, she  acknowledges and accepts how unhealthy the yearning truly is, ending with the lyrics “Know it’s for the better,” repeating. It is such a genuine and sincere song, very emotionally raw, which makes it very easy to identify with the song.

“Moon Song” – Phoebe Bridgers

Review by Manda Martinez

The song off of Phoebe Bridgers’ sophomore album Punisher describes feeling helpless in a relationship, but still being willing to give up yourself for your partner. The iconic bridge “And if I could give you the moon, I would give you the moon,” further describes the lengths that she would go to for her partner, but deep down she knows that they would never return that love for her. Bridgers has describes it as being about “wanting someone to treat you badly because at least they’ll treat you at all.”


“Heartbreak Feels So Good” – Fall Out Boy

Reviews by WMSC Music Team

“I like this song.” – Gwen Streitman ★★★★☆

“Heartbreak feels so much better than mania.” – Shannon Daly ★★★★☆ 

“We Come to AMC Theaters to laugh, to cry, to care” – Jared Tauber ★★★☆☆ 

“The song matches its title and you should listen to it if you want to feel empowered by a failed relationship rather than jaded.” – Maura Mayfield ★★★★☆ 

“A beautifully balanced song filled with a catchy chorus, an insanely fun drum feature, and Patrick Stump’s god-like vocals.” – Alyssa Arroyo ★★★★★ 

“Amazing, show stopping, and inspiring, the most Fall Out Boy, Fall Out Boy has been in a while.” – Jenna Marcy ★★★★☆ 

“Most relatable Fall Out Boy song solely for the crying a little and crying a lot part.” – Amber Bintliff ★★★★☆ 

“Someone cooked here.” – Mia Watson ★★★★☆ 

“You know what else feels so good? That riff and “oh-ohoh-oh-ohoh” on the word “good” in the chorus.” – Genevieve Cai ★★★★☆

“This song makes me feel like I’m back in middle school during my emo phase, I love it!!” – Rebekkah Dayon ★★★★☆ 

“The song is ok, I’m not the biggest fan of the album it comes from as a whole, I wrote this review because it was one sentence.” – Chris Alberico ★★☆☆☆


*These songs contain explicit lyrics.

Photos from Amazon.com; Cults Near Me photo from Bandcamp.


You can check out WMSC Music Picks: Favorites Of 2023 here