Mourning A Breakup in 7 Songs Or So

“Where there’s love, there pain.” Spanish Proveb

“where there is love, there is pain.”

In the aftermath of a breakup, everyone has their ways in dealing with the  throngs of emotions surging through you. I mostly go for the the torture-yourself-thoroughly method; a rather masochistic school of thought that believes that you need to get worse before you get better.

I once explained to a friend; it’s like getting injured and using some horrifically painful medicine to treat the wound. It hurts like hell there and then, but at least you know you will get better rather than allowing the wound to fester and kill you slowly, excruciatingly and inevitability.

My method advocated grieving in the privacy of a darkened room at night, being unable to cry even though you feel your heart is breaking. Testing the patience of your room mates by putting sad songs on repeat mode until they knock on your door to ask you nicely to please-oh-stop playing those songs because they are about to go mad from the music all-too clear and vibrating through the too-thin walls.

Here is my grieving song-list, suggestions for folks who too, have been recipients of a mind-and-sense numbing breakup. It’s a playlist I made to allow myself to wallow (and indulge) in my suffering and be caught up in my emotions for a little while.

But remember, it’s not forever, and really, life does go on.

Six Songs in My Grieving Playlist

1)Utada Hikaru-First Love

You are always gonna be my love
I’ll remember to love
You taught me how
You are always gonna be the one
今はまだ悲しい love song
新しい歌 歌えるまで

One of Japan’s best-selling artistes,First Love set epic records when it was first released and catapulted the the singer-songwriter to instant fame. She has an English version of the same album released somewhere but the original Japanese version just brings the heartbreak so much more.

2)Mariah Carey’s We Belong Together

When you left I lost a part of me
And it’s still so hard to believe
Come back baby, please
‘Cause we belong together…

My room mate probably still hates me because of this song. I do apologise.

3)Betrayal by Jam Hsiao (背叛by萧敬腾腾)

我一个人 欣赏悲哀
爱 只剩下无奈
我 一直不愿再去猜

Originally written and sang by Malaysian singer Cao Ge, it achieved a new lease of life and fame after being extensively covered by varying competitors of the Taiwanese equivalent of “Idol” singing competition. Jam Hsiao’s cover remains my personal favorite and I ended up quoting part of the lyrics of the song during a nasty break-up. If you dig this, I recommend going to look for Fish Leong and some of Stefanie Sun’s ballads too.

4)Sara Bareilles – Gravity

You loved me ’cause I’m fragile.
When I thought that I was strong.
But you touch me for a little while and all my fragile strength is gone.

I get misty eyed hearing this song which I was introduced to through a variety program which used it as a background piece to an on-screen break-up. Be still, my fragile fan-girl heart.

5)Utada Hikaru-Prisoner of Love

I’m just a prisoner of love
Just a prisoner of love
Stay with me, stay with me
My baby, say you love me
Stay with me, stay with me

A much-later release and theme song for the Japanese drama, Last Friends. It retains the addictive bittersweet flavor of Hikki’s ballads which always manages to enthrall and depress me at the same time.

6)Rye Rye – Never Will Be Mine ft. Robyn

Cause you never were, and you never will be mine.
No you never were and you never will be mine…
There’s a moment to seize every time that we meet,
But you always keep passing me by.
No, you never were, and you never will be mine…

I love Rye Rye’s re- reinterpretation of Robyn’s original hit. But my favorite bit of the song is really Robyn’s beautiful slowed down chorus that makes me think about letting go of things that were never to be.

7) Chage & Aska- You Are Free

By now, if you are (hopefully) feeling a little better, but still raw around the edges, how about yet another soothing ballad from an old-school Japanese pop duo? Too much Japanese that you don’t understand? That’s okay, the title of this song says it all. (The lyrics are really worthwhile if you can find a translation.)

You finally become free
You are no longer sad

And to end off things on a (somewhat) optimistic note, this is one of my favorite songs by Kim Jung Eun for her drama, I Am Legend. The series unfortunately dwindled towards the end but it didn’t stop me from falling in love with her final song, “To You”. It’s a love letter to music which saved her in the show, in which I think too, has helped me through many a difficult time in my life.

Kim Jung Eun’s To You

All the days I live and breathe in you.
Thank you, life.

What I really want to say is; after the break, take your time and cry a little, actually cry a lot. But afterwards, when you are ready, delete the playlist, put some new songs on. Don’t question the whys of yesterday anymore and focus on the hows of tomorrow. There is a brand new day out there, waiting for you.


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