10 Most Popular Break Up Songs

On those rainy nights, when your heart is broken and you need comfort, the 10 most popular break up songs might just be the tonic to cure what ails you.

  1. "I Will Survive" Gloria Gaynor's 1979 disco hit became an iconic song of female empowerment and surviving the heartbreak of a failed relationship. Still Gaynor's biggest hit, it won the 1979 Grammy for Best Disco Recording, and is not only one of the ten most popular break up songs, but a timeless classic about overcoming adversity.
  2. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" Bonnie Tyler wailed her way into music history with this 1983 lament to the highs and lows of romantic love. Anyone who's ever experienced heartbreak can relate to lyrics like, "once upon a time I was falling in love, now I'm only falling apart", sung in Tyler's plaintive, heart-rending tone.
  3. "Survivor" Destiny's Child's 2001 ode to overcoming the departure of two founding members of the group, is a break up song even though it doesn't refer to a romantic relationship. The song's powerful and aggressive tone of defiance, has become an anthem for pushing through obstacles and triumphing, and is one of the ten most popular break up songs of modern times.
  4. "You Oughta Know" Alannis Morissette's angry response to an ex-lover's infidelity, this 1995 song quickly became a rallying cry for women betrayed by unfaithful men. It hit number six on the Billboard chart, and won Grammys for Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal.
  5. "Yesterday" One of the greatest songs by one of the greatest bands of all time, this 1965 Beatles tune hit number one on the U.S. charts, and at 3,000 recorded versions, is listed by the "Guinness Book of World Records" as the most covered song in history. Paul McCartney's aching voice has never sounded better as he bemoans the loss of his love, and tries to soothe his broken heart with memories from past days of bliss. This song isn't just one of the ten most popular break up songs, it's one of the five greatest Pop songs ever written.
  6. "Since U Been Gone" Kelly Clarkson's 2004 ode to recovering strongly from a break up, won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal, and set the tone for all women who need inspiration to move on from a bad relationship.
  7. "Everybody Hurts" This 1992 song by the indie-rock superstar band, R.E.M., is performed with emotion by lead singer Michael Stipe, urging everyone who's ever felt sad or lost, to hang on to the hope of a new day. The lyrics don't specifically refer to a break up, but the encouraging words and the appeal to a communal spirit of healing, make this one of the ten most popular break up songs.
  8. "Cry Me A River" Justin Timberlake's 2002 song was an oblique rehash of his relationship with Britney Spears and their breakup from her alleged affair with a choreographer. Timberlake takes great pleasure in refusing a reconciliation with the girl in the song, by asserting his newfound independence. The song won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal.
  9. "Nothing Compares 2 U" Irish songstress Sinead O'Connor's 1990 version of a song Prince had first recorded in 1985, became a worldwide number one hit, and a classic paean to a love gone wrong. O'Connor's powerful voice, combined with heartfelt lyrics about her inability to get over her break up, helped propel this song to 77th on Billboard's list of 100 greatest songs of all time.
  10. "You Give Love A Bad Name"  Bon Jovi's anthem to a bad break up, this 1986 song became their first number one hit, and with the catchy refrain "shot through the heart, and you're to blame, you give love a bad name", this remains one of the ten most popular break up songs.
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