The Headphone Jack: Songs for surviving heartbreak

Whether it’s the growing distance in a friendship one thought would last forever, being completely blindsided by a romantic partner(s) of many months/years or being left on read, breakups of any kind can do some serious damage for all parties involved. 

Yes, one needs to feel all the emotions before moving forward, but life doesn’t stop because we are hurting. There is a time to cry to Kodaline in bed with your pet, and there’s a time to be angry. Here are some tunes that hopefully can offer a new perspective in this tough time: 

 

‘Bright Blue Skies’ by Mitch James 

James acknowledges that sometimes it takes awhile to see the good after somebody who was once a big part of your life is gone, but things can’t stay shitty forever. Eventually, you’ll get back to hobbies you love that you have put off, discover a band that’s just yours and be able to love yourself like you loved the other person. You survived just fine before your ex, now it’s time to make sure you’ll be better without them. It may take time, but you’ll be seeing “bright blue skies” soon.

 

‘Was it Me’ by 

Colony House 

Here’s another more upbeat song. Romantic-centered or not, we all have those times where something ends unresolved that just leave us going “What the f—-?” So many of us do what humans do: we start questioning ourselves. This is what Colony House is talking about. Oftentimes, we will never get those answers we want and we just have to accept it is what it is. 

 

‘I’m Gonna Find Another You’ by John Mayer

He’s no Beyoncé, but man can John Mayer make me feel better. While he’s not being a totally vindictive ex, he is still throwing some shade at whoever stepped on his heart. “If I’m forced to find another / I hope she looks like you / and she’s nicer too.” After something ends and it’s time to move on to the next person, the worst thing you can do is settle for someone on the same level as — or even worse than — your ex. In this case, John is going to find somebody nicer and better for him, and you should, too. 

 

‘Napkins’ by Riz La Vie

As the artist even states himself in a Milk.xyz article, ‘Napkins’ presents a cool vibe with some more melancholy messages buried underneath. To me, the song details being fine on the outside but then realizing everything is too taxing, there’s not much of yourself that nobody else hasn’t already seen. Relationships are the same way — you give so much of yourself to a person that once they are gone, life can become a very empty, lonely place. For somebody who doesn’t trust easy, this really hits me hard. 

The lyric “You’re not entitled to my time or my passions,” is probably the most powerful in the song. If the person isn’t interested in all of you — including the things you love and that may take up more space in your life than them — it’s time to let them go. Furthermore, once it’s over, you have no ties to that person except to provide an explanation if you’re the one ending it. You don’t owe it to them to stay friends on Facebook so they can see all the wonderful things you’re achieving, nor do you owe it to them to be involved in their life in any other way. Hone in on those passions, babe, and be the best you that you can. You’re worth it. 

 

‘Don’t Cry’ by Ruel 

It’s hard to think of all that we are missing when we are no longer with a partner, however, look at all they are missing by losing you. Often, it’s more than just a body to sleep next to. “I’ve always been your therapist / and you can’t say any more / you’ve lost the right to be my friend.” Here, Ruel also doesn’t shy away from some unhealthy aspects that often pop up in relationships: blurred emotional boundaries. I’ve been on both ends of this struggle, and all I can say is you cannot force a person to change when they’re not ready. 

Yes, your partner should be a good friend to you, but you are not responsible for keeping their mental health in check, especially at the expense of your own. I was once in a situation where I was telling the guy I was seeing at the time that something he did negatively impacted me, and soon enough the conversation switched to me coddling him. This isn’t healthy — everybody needs space to feel their own emotions without them being crowded out by those of other person. 

Also, for the love of God, cut contact with the person. Being friends after rarely works, especially right away. Ruel is right when he says talking and having contact with their friends just complicates things. 

 

‘Alaska’ by Maggie Rogers 

Rogers paints an ethereal vision throughout this song, saying she traveled across beautiful landscapes in the process not only losing her ex-flame, but also becoming a new and improved version of herself. She’s learned to live without basing her decisions on the other person, and she’s loving it. 

 

In the end, you cannot control the other person, only yourself. A relationship, even a toxic one, is never a waste of time if it turns you into a better person. Sure, mistakes will be made, but don’t let it ruin you. 

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