First you need songs about love so you can cry about how perfect you used to think your life was. Anything by Ingrid Michaelson will probably suffice. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “You and I” are great tear-jerkers. “Sparks” by Coldplay is another good option, especially if you’re kinda, sorta the reason things didn’t work out and now you want to cry about it.
This is the one and only time it is healthy to play “your song.” No, not Taylor Swift’s “Our Song,” unless that actually is you and your asshole ex-wafflefuck’s “song.” Listen to it as many times as it takes you to get to the bottom of a gallon of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. (If it was a really bad break up, go for the Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies flavor because your life is already a giant pile of black raspberry covered shit.) Once you’re done listening to the song, forget it exists.
Next, throw in some desperate, heart-breaking ballads that perfectly describe your break up. Not only can you sing/cry along, but someone FINALLY understands exactly what it feels like to have your guts ripped out violently. Literally any song by Adele works. “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” “Don’t You Remember,” “First Love.” I could go on.
So now you’re crying because your life sucks and Adele is such a beautiful vocalist and you’re so proud of her for winning six Grammies. At this point, I would suggest pumping the breaks with a song like “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” by Bright Eyes, which will not only melt your heart by means of Conor Oberst’s delicious voice, but will make you realize that there are such things as one night stands (yes, even at NU) and alcohol-induced states beyond any level of consciousness that will numb the pain of a break up/failed midterm/insert your sad life story here.
Now that you see hope at the end of the Tunnel of Love and Lost Dreams, look there! I spy a song to crush any morsel of respect you ever had for your ex-lover. I suggest “Foundations” or “Dickhead” by Kate Nash. Every time I hear her repeat “what you being a dickhead for?” I can’t help wondering to myself “why is he being such a dickhead?” Plus, break ups sound way better when narrated in a British accent.At this point, the article will become a Choose Your Own Adventure. So, choose your own goddamn adventure.
You feel a little down about the break up still. You find yourself chain smoking American Spirits and posting Interpol lyrics on your Tumblr.
“Skinny Love” Bon Iver.
You could not be more pissed about that queef bagel leaving you for that dick sucking muffin.
“Black Tongue” The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
You obsessively check his/her Facebook every 30 seconds to see if they’ve changed their relationship status/ has new pictures that display touching of the opposite sex/ posted a new meme. No one will ever understand you and your compulsive torment save for lesbian sisters.
“The Con” Tegan and Sara.
You’re ready to give up on love and good music altogether.
“Say Goodbye” Ashlee Simpson.
You are FINALLY ready to move on from that motherfucker. Good for you. Now you’re feeling on top of the world (or maybe on top of that girl from MENU whose name escapes you at the moment) and you need a theme song. You need Heartless Bastards. “Hold Your Head High” has gotten me through some tough shit : my current break up, losing my favorite hamster (RIP Oreo), and even my first failed midterm (seriously, Intro to Sociology?). Listen to this song. Memorize this song. Sing it to the Norbucks barista. Sing it to your little. Sing it to that girl from MENU. Run on that BLOM treadmill screaming this song. Sing it during lecture in Fisk 217. OK, you get it.
Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!
*Hey Ross Packingham, call me.
**At any time during this playlist, it is not only appropriate but obligatory to insert “The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry, as long as you sufficiently honor the lyrics of the song by drunkenly screaming them out of your windows. (How did she not get any recognition but Skrillex won two Grammies? Really people, Skrillex?)