The 55 Saddest Songs Of All Time That Will Make You Cry

These are the most gut-wrenching, tear-inducing, sad songs ever recorded that will actually cheer you up according to science

Music has the ability to evoke powerful emotions; it can make us laughfuel our anger, provide comfort during loss, or even make us cry. With that in mind, we have scoured the music world for the most heart wrenching sad songs that are guaranteed to make you cry.

While it may seem counterintuitive, depressing and sad music can actually cheer you up. There’s scientific evidence that music filled with sorrow is more effective at making you happy than joyful tracks. Research suggests that “By identifying with the lyrics of a sad song, a listener can empathize with the vocalist and understand that others have shared experiences of rejection, loss, unrequited love, misfortune, or other themes characteristic of sad songs” which makes a lot of sense. 

Think about your favorite sad song and think about how it makes you feel. Does it bring back fond memories? Does the sad song remind you of the one who got away? Was the song played as a mourning at a funeral perhaps? Chances are, there’s a lyric in there that you can relate to on a deep emotional level–it provokes chills when you hear it aloud. Nostalgia does that to a person.

Whatever the heartache that made you stumble upon this article, you should know that things will get better. Take comfort in knowing that time will heal all wounds. Now grab some tissues and take a listen to the saddest songs of all time. We’ve added also some interesting facts and our favorite melancholic lyrics. Don't forget to share the list on your favorite social network if you enjoyed it–it might just help cheer someone else up.

Here's a peak at our top saddest songs of all time–keep scrolling for the full list.

  1. Gary Jules - Mad World

  2. R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts

  3. Adele - Someone Like You

  4. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U

  5. Johnny Cash - Hurt

  6. Passenger - Let Her Go

  7. Luthor Vandross - Dance With My Father

  8. Chocolate Genius, Inc. - My Mom

  9. Fastball - The Way

  10. A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera - Say Something


Robbie Williams - Angels

Did you know?

Ray Heffernan, co-writer of Angels, says he wrote this sad song about his baby son who died. Williams has also said that he was partly inspired by the angel resting on top of Stoke-On-Trent town hall (his home city) that could be seen from his bedroom every night as a child.

Moment you'll cry:

When I’m feeling weak
And my pain walks down a one way street
I look above
And I know ill always be blessed with love


Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

Did you know?
Wish You Were Here was originally going to end with a country fiddle composed by jazz violinist extraordinare Stéphane Grappelli. Grappelli recorded his part but it was ultimately retracted during the mixing process. A very faint version can still be heard near the 5:21 minute mark. Grappelli was not credited but did receive his fee for the contribution.

Moment you'll cry:
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.


Ana Nalick - Breathe (2 AM)

Did you know?

There have been many interpretations for this song, but Nalick makes it easy for the listener to fill in their own tragedy. It's ambiguous enough for you to make it your own story, and bleak enough to bring you down.

Moment you'll cry:

'Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe...just breathe


Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge

Did you know?

Anthony Kiedis wrote the lyrics for this Red Hot Chili Peppers song during a period when he felt distraught and emotionally drained. The dejection he was experiencing, in addition to prior drug use, led to emotional distress:

The loneliness that I was feeling triggered memories of my time with Ione and how I'd had this beautiful angel of a girl who was willing to give me all of her love, and instead of embracing that, I was downtown with fucking gangsters shooting speedballs under a bridge.

Moment you'll cry:

It's hard to believe that there's nobody out there
It's hard to believe that I'm all alone
At least I have her love, the city she loves me
Lonely as I am, together we cry


Radiohead - Creep

Did you know?

According to Thom Yorke, Creep tells the tale of an inebriated man who follows the woman he is attracted to, trying to get her attention. In the end, he lacks the self-confidence to face her and feels he subconsciously is her. The lyrics grasp at optimism, but the subject sinks back into the throes of self-pity.

Moment you'll cry:

I don't care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice when I'm not around
You're so fucking special
I wish I was special


Our Lady Peace - Thief

Did you know?

Our Lady Peace revealed that the song was written about Mina Kim, a young girl with a cancerous brain tumor. The "thief" in the song is in reference to the tumor.

Moment you'll tear up:

I don't want to understand this horror
There's a weight in your eyes
I can't admit
Everybody ends up here in bottles
But the name tag's the last thing you wanted


Chris Isaak - Wicked Game

Did you know?
Wicked Game first gained popularity when it was featured in David Lynch’s 1990 movie Wild At Heart. From then on, the track has appeared in pretty much everything. To quote Flight Of The Conchords: ”Women like three things: Men in Kilts, Southern Comfort and Chris Isaak's Wicked Game.”

Moment you'll tear up:
I'd never dreamed that I'd love somebody like you
And I'd never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you


Pernice Brothers - Chicken Wire

Did you know?

This song is about a woman who has one last drink before killing herself with carbon monoxide in the garage.

Moment you'll tear up:

With a drink in her hand
She will stop her car and then
Seal herself for good in the garage

Tired of sad songs? Change the pace with our list of the funniest songs of all time.


Pearl Jam - Last Kiss

Did you know?

Wayne Cochran was inspired to write this song after having lived near a dangerous highway where several accidents had occurred yearly. Knowing that songs about tragedy were big hits and selling lots of records, he got together with some of his friends at the time to write it. Pearl Jam does a great cover of this song.

Moment you'll tear up:

I lifted her head, she looked at me and said
"Hold me darling, just a little while"
I held her close, I kissed her our last kiss
I found the love that I knew I had missed


Ben Folds Five - Brick

Did you know?

Ben Folds:

When I was in high school, me and my girlfriend had to get an abortion, and it was a very sad thing. And, I didn't really want to write this song from any kind of political standpoint, or make a statement. I just wanted to reflect what it feels like. So, anyone who's gone through that before, then you'll know what the song's about.

Moment you'll tear up:

And we drive
Now that I have found someone
I'm feeling more alone
Than I ever have before


Nirvana - Something in the Way

Did you know?
It was long rumored that Kurt Cobain was homeless and lived under a bridge which was the inspiration behind Something in the Way. While he was actually a vagrant for some time, sleeping at various friend’s homes and in waiting rooms of hospitals, Kurt never lived under a bridge. This rumour was refuted in the 2001 biography, Heavier Than Heaven.

Moment you'll tear up:

Underneath the bridge
The tarp has sprung a leak
And the animals I've trapped
Have all become my pets


Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody

Did you know?

Songwriter Hy Zaret chose to focus his lyrics on someone who pines for a lover he hasn't seen in a "long, lonely time." Unchained, the 1955 film that commissioned the song, focused on a man who contemplates either escaping from prison, living life on the run, or completing his sentence and returning to his wife and family.

Moment you'll tear up:

And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?


Cyndi Lauper - Time after Time

Did you know?

Lauper has indicated that much of the lyrics were written about occurrences in the studio and her life at the time. The line, "the second hand unwinds," refers to producer Rick Chertoff's watch, which was winding backwards.

Moment you'll tear up:

After my picture fades and darkness has 
Turned to gray 
Watching through windows, you're wondering 
If I'm OK 
Secrets stolen from deep inside 
The drum beats out of time


Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into the Dark

Did you know?
Surprisingly, I Will Follow You Into the Dark was not written about anyone in particular, but rather about Ben Gibbard’s obsession over death. This was after his realization that at 29, he had not lost anyone really special in his life. Knowing that he was being comfortable and death would eventually strike made him take stock of how important everyone around him truly is. The solo was recorded in mono with just one microphone and almost no editing.

Moment you'll tear up:
Love of mine
Someday you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark


Alter Bridge - In Loving Memory

Did you know?
In Loving Memory is about lead guitarist Mark Tremonti’s mother. The track was never released as a single despite it being the most popular in Alter Bridge’s repertoire.

Moment you'll tear up:
You were as kind as you could be
And even though you're gone
You still mean the world to me


Amy Winehouse - Back to Black

Did you know?

The music video features a funeral procession in which Winehouse mourns over a grave that reads "R.I.P. the Heart of Amy Winehouse." This song is sadder still, considering the recent events that enlisted her as a member of the tragic 27 Club.

Moment you'll tear up:

And I tread a troubled track
My odds are stacked
I'll go back to black


The Beatles - Yesterday

Did you know?

Yesterday is a melancholy acoustic guitar ballad about a break-up.

Moment you'll tear up:

Why she had to go I don't know, 
She wouldn't say. 
I said something wrong, 
Now I long for yesterday


Eminem - Stan

Did you know?
Despite popular belief, Eminem’s character Stan is purely fictional. Eminem has admitted that he gets a lot of fan mail and people take his words too literally — that is what Stan is based on. The referenced story from In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins is also an urban legend.

Moment you'll tear up:
And even if I could it'll all be gray
Put your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad
It's not so bad


U2 - With or Without You

Did you know?

Bono wrote the lyrics while struggling to reconcile his responsibilities as both a married man and a musician. Being part of a band was often at odds with his domestic life. While writing the lyrics, he came to the realization that neither of these facets defined him; rather, the tension between the two did. He explains that the final lyric is about "torment" and how repressing desires only makes them stronger.

Moment you'll tear up:

My hands are tied
My body bruised, she's got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose

And you give yourself away


Kelly Rowland - Stole

Did you know?

The lyrics of the track chronicle three different scenarios with teenagers whose lives are drastically changed by the aftermaths of a school shooting and a suicide.

Moment you'll tear up:

Mary's got the same size hands
As Marilyn Monroe
She put her fingers in the imprints
At Mann's Chinese Theater show

She coulda been a movie star
Never got the chance to go that far
Her life was stole, oh
Now we'll never know


Regina Spektor - Samson

Did you know?
The song is about the biblical Samson and Delilah. Samson, the fierce warrior, was betrayed by his love Delilah. The song is written from her perspective.

Moment you'll tear up:
You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first, I loved you first


Sarah McLachlan - I Will Remember You

Did you know?

This song has been--and will be--used as the soundtrack to melancholy moments:

- Sarah McLachlan performed this song during an "in memoriam" slideshow at the 61st   Primetime Emmy Awards, held on September 20, 2009

- She has also signed up to honor the victims of 9/11 with a special concert to mark the opening of the Flight 93 National Memorial, one day before the 10-year anniversary of 9/11

Moment you'll tear up:

I'm so tired but I can't sleep
Standin' on the edge of something much too deep
It's funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can't be heard


The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work

Did you know?

Lead singer Richard Ashcroft wrote the song in early 1995; in an interview at the time, he related it to his drug usage:

There's a new track I've just written [...] It goes 'the drugs don't work, they just make me worse, and I know I'll see your face again.' That's how I'm feeling at the moment. They make me worse, man. But I still take 'em. Out of boredom and frustration you turn to something else to escape.

While the exact meaning of the song remains unclear, it is widely believed that Ashcroft wrote the song in response to the death of his father.

Moment you'll tear up:

Now the drugs don't work
They just make you worse
But I know I'll see your face again

'Cause baby, ooh, if heaven calls, I'm coming, too
Just like you said, you leave my life, I'm better off dead


Boomtown Rats - I don't like Mondays

Did you know?

According to Bob Geldof, he wrote the song after reading a telex report at Georgia State University's campus radio station, WRAS, about the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer. Spencer shot at children playing in a playground at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California on January 29, 1979. She killed two adults, and injured eight children and a police officer. She showed no remorse for her crime, and her full explanation for her actions was, "I don't like Mondays; this livens up the day."

Moment you'll tear up:

And all the playing has stopped in the playground now
She wants to play with the toys of war
And school's out early and soon we'll be learning
That the lesson today is how to die


Foo Fighters - Friend of a Friend

Did you know?

The song was written by then Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl in 1990--and recorded in secret the same year. It was about his first impressions of new bandmates Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. Grohl first wrote it in Cobain's Olympia apartment when he stumbled upon Cobain's acoustic guitar--referring to the lyrics, "It was his friend's guitar."

Moment you'll tear up:

He's never been in love
But he knows just what love is
He said nevermind
And no one speaks


Hank Williams - I'm so lonesome I could cry

Did you know?

This song about loneliness was largely inspired by his troubled relationship with wife Audrey Sheppard.

Moment you'll tear up:

Did you ever see a robin weep
When leaves began to die?
That means he's lost the will to live
I'm so lonesome I could cry


Bon Iver - Skinny Love

Did you know?
The musician Birdy recorded her own cover of Skinny Love, which, at the time of this writing, has over 100 million views on YouTube. She was only fourteen when she released the cover.

Moment you'll tear up:
Come on skinny love what happened here
Suckle on the hope in light brassiere


U2 - Kite

Did you know?

This song was at first written with Bono's daughters in mind, or more generally, about a kite as a metaphor for someone or something escaping one's realm of control; the song is, more or less, about Bono coming to the realization that a day will come when his daughters will no longer need him.

Moment you'll tear up:

Who's to know when the time has come around
Don't want to see you cry
I know that this is not goodbye


Damian Rice - The Blower's Daughter

Did you know? 

This song has had many interpretations, but the one that keeps popping up relates to having strong feelings for someone, and that no matter how much you want to hate them, you know that you never will.

Moment you'll tear up:

And so it is
The shorter story
No love, no glory
No hero in her skies


ELISA - Dancing

Did you know? 

This song has been used in choreography on the hit show So You Think You Can Dance, highlighting the sense of passion and longing that comes through through the music.

Moment you'll tear up:

So I put my arms around you around you
And I know that I'll be leaving soon


Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Did you know? 

The song describes the feelings and impressions of a dying deputy, who can no longer continue his role as a law enforcer.

Moment you'll tear up:

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can't shoot them anymore.
That long black cloud is comin' down
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door


Pearl Jam - Black

Did you know? 

Black is a soliloquy by a broken-hearted man who is remembering his absent lover.

Moment you'll tear up:

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life,
I know you'll be a sun in somebody else's sky, but why
Why, why can't it be, can't it be mine


The Beach Boys - God Only Knows

Did you know?
God Only Knows was originally going to be credited to Carl Wilson. Brian Wilson eventually decided to release it as a The Beach Boys track instead as their next hit, Good Vibrations, was not ready yet. God Only Knows was banned by certain radio stations at the time for blasphemy.

Moment you'll tear up:
I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I'll make you so sure about it


Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven

Did you know? 

Tears in Heaven was written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings about the pain Clapton felt following the death of Conor, his four-year-old son, who fell from a window of the 53rd-floor New York apartment on March 20, 1991. Clapton, who arrived at the apartment shortly after the accident, was visibly distraught for months afterwards. This was a very turbulent time for him. In August 1990, his manager; two of his roadies; and fellow musician Stevie Ray Vaughan were killed in a helicopter accident, and only seven months later came the death of his young son.

Moment you'll tear up:

Would you know my name 
If I saw you in heaven 
Will it be the same 
If I saw you in heaven 
I must be strong, and carry on 
Cause I know I don't belong 
Here in heaven 


Green Day - Good Riddance (time of your life)

Did you know?

While this song is often used at weddings and graduation ceremonies because of its sentimental quality, the song is actually about a break up. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong explained.

At the time I wrote Good Riddance, I was breaking up with a girl that was moving to Ecuador, and I was trying to be as understanding about it as I could. I wrote the song as kind of a bon voyage. I was trying not to be bitter, but I think it came out a little bit bitter anyway... I thought that calling the song "Time of Your Life" was just a little too level-headed for me, so I had to come up with something different.

Moment you'll tear up:

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while


Elton John - Candle In The Wind 1997

Did you know?

Candle in the Wind 1997 is a rewritten and rerecorded version of Elton John's 1973 hit Candle in the Wind (originally a tribute to Marilyn Monroe) that was released as a tribute single to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. When Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris, France in 1997, John sank into a deep depression, and to cope with grief quickly, decided he wanted to pay a tribute to her.

John publicly performed Candle in the Wind 1997 only once, at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997. While he continues to sing the original 1973 version of the song at his concerts, John has repeatedly turned down requests to perform the 1997 version. He refused even when asked to do so for the memorial concert for Diana in July 2007, having vowed never to perform it again unless asked by Diana's sons.

Moment you'll tear up:

Goodbye England's rose
May you ever grow in our hearts
You were the grace that placed itself
Where lives were torn apart


Michael Jackson - Ben

Did you know?

This slow, sentimental song was recorded for a horror film called Ben. A lonely boy named Danny Garrison befriends a rat, naming it Ben (after he hears about the leader of a flock of killer rats); the rat becomes the boy's best friend and keeps his spirits up in the face of bullying and his terrible illness. The balance of power between Danny and Ben begins to shift, with Ben beginning to control the killer rats, and becoming increasingly irrational and violent. Ben becomes violent when the townfolk use pesticide and kill his partner "Socrates." Eventually, the police destroy many members of the rat colony. However, Ben survives. The film closes with Danny, determined not to lose his friend, tending to a badly injured Ben.

Moment you'll tear up:

Ben, you're always running here and there
You feel you're not wanted anywhere
If you ever look behind
And don't like what you find
There's one thing you should know
You've got a place to go


Fleetwood Mac - Landslide

Did you know?
Back in 1975, Stevie Nicks was stuck at a crossroads: Does she return to school, or does she instead continue her musical path alongside Lindsey Buckingham? Things were already tense between Nicks and Buckingham, but that didn’t stop her. The duo had recently been dropped by their label and she was pondering the landslide which was her life.

Moment you'll tear up:
Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older too


Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

Did you know?

Hallelujah was written by Canadian singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. The cover by Jeff Buckley is more sorrowful than the original. Time magazine commented on the cover, describing it as "exquisitely sung," observing,

Cohen murmured the original like a dirge, but [...] Buckley treated the [...] song like a tiny capsule of humanity, using his voice to careen between glory and sadness, beauty and pain [...] It's one of the great songs.

Moment you'll tear up:

And I've seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah


Simon & Garfunkel - The Sounds of Silence

Did you know?
During the editing of the movie The Graduate, the directors timed certain scenes to that of The Sound Of Silence. Their hope was to eventually replace the song with a new original song made specifically for the movie but alas, that didn’t pan out. Instead, they opted to buy the rights to use The Sound Of Silence for their soundtrack, a practice that was not very common in movies of that era.

Moment you'll tear up:
Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again


David Bowie - Space Oddity

Did you know?

The song, released in 1969, appears to refer to Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey." Like the film, Bowie tells the story of an isolated astronaut whose life is threatened when his ship malfunctions and cannot return home. Recently, the song has been illustrated as a children's book.

Moment you'll tear up:

Tell my wife I love her very much
She knows


Mike & The Mechanics - The Living Years

Did you know?

In an interview with the band, Mike Rutherford--frontman for Mike & The Mechanics and a founding member of Genesis--said:

The lyrics were written by B.A. Robertson and the song is about something he went through. He lost his Dad and it's about the lack of communication between him and his father before he died. There's also the irony of him having a baby just after losing his father.

The song was written after Robertson's father died, 12 weeks before the birth of his own son.

Moment you'll tear up:

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye


Sam Smith - Stay With Me

Did you know?
Stay With Me was written in a mere half hour. Sam Smith was in a studio with William Phillips and Jimmy Napes who were experimenting with chords on the piano and simple drum patterns. Sam began layering his own voice samples until it all began to sound like a choir. Parts of that demo wound up on the final recording.

Moment you'll tear up:
And deep down I know this never works
But you can lay with me so it doesn't hurt


Sarah McLachlan - Hold On

Did you know?

Sarah McLachlan introduced Hold On with this explaination at VH1 Storytellers:

This is a song, basically um, another one of those few and rare occasions where a song came out very quickly and easily. It was from pure emotion. Um, I watching a, a documentary called a 'Promise Kept' it was made in Canada. It was about this woman who uh, discovered her fiance was HIV positive and basically the story followed her and her husband. They got married, um, and he got progressively sicker and she took care of him right up until the end, and she was telling her story with just such, y'know, beautiful clarity and honesty and uh, it just, it struck home in a way that I, I couldn't really describe except by writing this song and I really feel like it's a, sort of a, something that came out of me through her. This is called 'Hold On.'

Moment you'll tear up:

Oh God, if you’re out there won’t you hear me
I know that we’ve never talked before
Oh God, the man I love is leaving
Won’t you take him when he comes to your door


Bruce Springsteen - Streets Of Philadelphia

Did you know?

The song was written and performed by Springsteen for the first mainstream film on HIV/AIDS, in 1993. The film, Philadelphia, was inspired in part by the story of Geoffrey Bowers, an attorney who sued the law firm Baker & McKenzie for wrongful dismissal in one of the first AIDS discrimination cases, in 1987.

Moment you'll tear up:

I saw my reflection in a window I didn't know
My own face
Oh brother are you gonna leave me
On the streets of Philadelphia


A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera - Say Something

Did you know?
When Say Something was originally released, the song went completely unnoticed. It was part of Ian Axel’s solo effort, This Is The New Year and featured Jenny Owen Youngs as the vocalist. During an episode of So You Think You Can Dance in 2013, eventual winner Amy Yakima used the song during her performance. The song blew up and a mere two months later, Christina Aguilera found herself in the studio rerecording the lyrics and transforming the song into the version we all know today.

Moment you'll tear up:
And I will swallow my pride
You're the one that I love
And I'm saying goodbye


Fastball - The Way

Did you know?

Upon first listen, The Way sounds like a happy track. This song was inspired by a news article about Lela and Raymond Howard, an elderly couple who had disappeared in Texas. The couple was on their way to a family reunion when they disappeared. The band imagined that the couple had begun reminiscing and decided to take off on their own romantic trip; however, the true story wasn't quite as romantic. Lela had Alzheimer's, and Raymond was recovering from brain surgery. They veered off the road in their Oldsmobile 88 and were found dead at the bottom of a canyon.

Moment you'll tear up:

They'll never get hungry
They'll never get old and gray


Chocolate Genius, Inc. - My Mom

Did you know?

In this song, Marc Anthony Thompson returns to the house where he grew up, to his childhood, and then tells the heartbreaking tale of his mother's Alzheimer condition.

Moment you'll tear up:

Hold on to both of her hands too afraid to let her go
And five times exactly no more or no less
She says 'how you been eating boy'
Isa, okay I guess
In this room where she made me each day she grows weak
She flips on the Golden Girls and the first tear hits my cheek


Luthor Vandross - Dance With My Father

Did you know?

Luthor Vandorss' final album, Dance With My Father, was the last to be released before his death on July 1, 2005. The album, especially its title track, was dedicated to his late father.

Moment you'll tear up:

If I could get another chance
Another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
How I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again


Passenger - Let Her Go

Did you know?
A single tear measures 0.5 millilitres. If the billion people who cried along to Let Her Go on YouTube each shed a single tear per eye (and let’s face it, we all know it’s way more than that) you’d have 100,000+ litres of water, enough to fill in a 10 meter squared pool that’s one meter tall.

Moment you'll tear up:
You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you'll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies


Johnny Cash - Hurt

Did you know?

Hurt was written by Trent Reznor, first released on Nine Inch Nails' 1994 album The Downward Spiral. In 2002, it was covered by Johnny Cash to critical acclaim; it was one of Cash's final hit releases before his death. Its accompanying video featured images from Cash's life.

Producer Rick Rubin, in an interview with Q Magazine, later said that he could not bring himself to listen to the recording for months after Cash died.

Moment you'll tear up:

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair 


Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U

Did you know?

This song was originally performed by Prince, but it wasn't until O'Connor's cover that the song gained a much larger audience. This break-up song has, through many polls and surveys, become known to make men cry.

Moment you'll tear up:

It's been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me baby where did I go wrong


Adele - Someone Like You

Did you know?
Adele wrote Someone Like You after breaking up with her boyfriend of 18 months. She believed that she would one day marry the 30 year old man (rumored to be photographer Alex Sturrock) but alas, she was left heartbroken and he would end up getting engaged just a few months later.

Moment you'll tear up:
But I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it.
I'd hoped you'd see my face and that you'd be reminded
That for me it isn't over.


R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts

Did you know?

In the liner notes of the album In Time - The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003, guitarist Peter Buck wrote,

"The reason the lyrics are so atypically straightforward is because it was aimed at teenagers."

In 1995, British emotional support listening service The Samaritans, in response to the high suicide rate but low crisis service take-up amongst young men, launched a UK press advertising campaign consisting solely of the lyrics to Everybody Hurts and the charity's hotline number.

Moment you'll tear up:

When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
If you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on


Gary Jules - Mad World

Did you know?

Originally written and performed by Tears for Fears, this song was described by bassist Curt Smith as the following.

It's very much a voyeur's song. It's looking out at a mad world from the eyes of a teenager.

Gary Jules' version is a stripped down cover that appeared on the soundtrack for the film Donnie Darko. Melancholia at its best.

Moment you'll tear up:

Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had

Want more tears? Take a look at the top 35 heartbreak songs. If you simply want to say "I'm Sorry", we've also got the 25 best apology songs for you.

Had enough and want to cheer up? it's time to get back on your feet with our most motivational songs.

You can also listen to our list on Spotify. Note, not all songs are available on the platform.

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