10 Best Sad Acoustic Songs

Whether you’re mourning, sad over lost love, or just looking for a good selection of sad songs, these 10 best sad acoustic songs won’t fail to tug at your heartstrings. Whether you’ve heard all of the following artists or not, they are sure to hit the spot for anyone craving sad acoustic songs.

  1. “Casimir Pulaski Day” by Sufjan Stevens. A simple, mournful song about Stevens losing a woman he loved to bone cancer and struggling with his faith, “Casimir Pulaski Day” is one the best sad acoustic songs.
  2. “Lua” by Bright Eyes. Bright Eyes/Conor Oberst has always been known for his sad acoustic songs, and “Lua” is definitely no exception. Dealing with addiction and loneliness, “Lua” is a definite tear-jerker.
  3. “Boats and Birds” by Gregory and the Hawk.  With a simple acoustic finger-picking background, this sad song is about unconditional love, even after the lover leaves.
  4. “I’ll Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie. By far one of Death Cab’s most well-known songs, “I’ll Follow You Into the Dark” begins, “Love of mine/ Someday you will die/ But I’ll be close behind/ I’ll follow you into the dark”. The mournful lyrics paired with Ben Gibbard’s voice and acoustic guitar make for one of the best and most well-known sad acoustic songs.
  5. “Volcano” by  Damien Rice. Damine Rice’s voice, acoustic guitar, and a cello make this song heartbreaking enough-then, to make it even sadder, the lyrics describe two lovers wanted exactly the opposite things out of their relationship.
  6. “Say It to Me Now” by Glen Hansard. From the soundtrack for the movie “Once”, “Say It to Me Now” starts out simply, but hits its emotional peak when Hansard repeats the chorus and starts shouting it. The pain in Hansard’s voice is borderline tangible, making this song one of the top ten best sad acoustic songs.
  7. “I Gave You All” by Mumford and Sons. A song about putting your entire heart into a relationship to get nothing back, “I Gave You All” is epic, lush, and heartbreaking.
  8. “Use Somebody” by Kina Grannis. Kina Grannis’ acoustic cover of this Kings of Leon original paired with her sweet voice brings out the tender sadness of the song’s lyrics, tapping fully into the song’s potential.
  9. “Both Hands” by Ani DiFranco. DiFranco’s story about trying to hold onto a dying relationship, “Both Hands” is a tear-jerker especially to those who have tried their hardest to hold a relationship together and failed. Even her acoustic stying, growing louder at the end of each phrase, seems desperate to hold on or get the last word.
  10. “Between Bars” by Elliott Smith. Elliott Smith’s music often seems to have a sad air about it since the artist’s suicide in 2003, but “Between Bars” is one of his saddest. Strumming in 3/4 time and singing about untapped potential and drinking your problems away, Elliott Smith’s beautiful “Between Bars” is definitely one of the best sad acoustic songs.


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