Moving On: A Playlist

After a breakup, there’s a time between the initial hurt and the eventual “I’m okay.” A space of acceptance, but confusion. A weird middle existence about moving up and moving on. There may not be a term for this, but it exists...and lucky for us, so do some perfect songs to go with it. 

Whether it’s day one or day 100 of this journey, it never hurts to take some good tunes with you. After all, what’s more empowering than hearing from those who have been where you might be?

  1. 1. “Left Side” by Eloise

    This dreamy, Parisian-inspired tune softly discusses letting go of a relationship that one deeply misses, all while Eloise tries to convince herself that despite her present feelings, she will be okay...someday. Until then, she’ll just avoid the left side of the bed. 

    Favorite lyric: “But some day I will heal / I’ll grow another heart / And I guess until then / I’ll endure the falling apart.”

  2. 2. “Dynamite” by Sigrid

    Sigrid, a Norwegien singer, delivers a sweeping piano ballad that builds so subtly it’s almost imperceptible. She laments the point of two paths suddenly diverging and the unfortunate clarity that comes with being the first to realize it. It is a song that avoids demonizing the other lover, and instead focuses on the sometimes-unavoidable circumstance of growing apart. 

    Favorite lyric: “Your hand is warm, but my heart is blue, is blue now / I miss you, but I've got things to do.”

  3. 3. “are you okay?” by Winnetka Bowling League

    Matthew Koma almost whispers the entirety of this song as he addresses his ex-lover who has recently reached out to him again. The lyrics are brutal and no punches are pulled as he examines both his lover’s behavior, his own flaws, and their doomed relationship. And yet, within all of the sorrow, there’s a quiet thread of acceptance and triumph at having started to move on. 

    Favorite lyric: “We were never quite as good as how your memory replays / And I don’t owe you no answer when you say / ‘Are you okay?’”

  4. 4. “Hey Lil’ Mama” by Juke Ross

    With a beachy vibe and firm, yet optimistic lyrics, Juke Ross looks back on the love that had once existed with a fondness. But he is clear that holding on to happy memories can be just that: learning from the past and taking the good parts with as you look ahead. 

    Favorite lyric: “Hey little mama / Hope you're doing your best / Not trying to have you back / And I've got no regrets.”

  5. 5. “Yours” by Jake Scott

    Sometimes we give a relationship a second chance. On this single, Jake Scott comes to terms with this second opportunity...and the realization that the break up was for the best. He finds that in his pain, his judgement had been clouded, but living through it again has finally granted him the clarity he needed. 

    Favorite lyric: “I've been holding on to you / But you were better in my memories.”

  6. 6. “Fortress” by Lennon Stella

    An empowerment anthem that’s less in-your-face, and more quietly-triumphant? Yes please! Lennon Stella knows that holding on is only going to bring more pain, so she’s ignoring calls, cutting ties, and taking care of her own heart first. 

    Favorite lyric: “You don't get in my brain / You don't fill up the spaces / I don't whisper your name / Now that I've built a fortress.”

  7. 7. “Tired of Loving You” by Corey Hommel

    Corey Hommel admits that he wanted things to work, but is too burnt out to wait any longer. Over a smooth, jazzy tune driven by a muted electric guitar, his voice never strains to reach any notes. Instead, both his singing and the instrumentation itself sounds as exhausted as the lyrics claim. Sometimes, simply wanting something hard enough isn’t sufficient. And it certainly isn’t sustainable. 

    Favorite lyric: “Everyone just keeps on telling me if it is meant to be we'll be together / But I've been wondering exactly how we plan on fighting against the stormy weather / Perfect ain't the word that I would use / But baby, damn we were close.”

  8. 8. “Someone New” by Yøuth

    Julian Dente was once broken over someone, but now marvels over the feeling of meeting someone new. With heavy lyrical repetition, the song almost sounds like someone both in awe of their own realization, and simultaneously nervous that the newfound feeling is only passing. It is to convince both the singer and his former lover that he really has begun to move on.

    Favorite lyric: “I thought I wanted you / I wanted you too / But I met someone new.”

  9. 9. “Angel” by The Weeknd

    This epic rock ballad is unrelentless in both its own boldness and deep tenderness. Abel Tesfaye brings his trademark vocals, dripping with emotion, as he admits to knowing that the relationship is hanging on by a mere thread. The crux of the song is when he finishes begging his lost love to return, only to follow up with a wish that they find someone they could truly love...even if it isn’t him. 

    Favorite lyric: “I hope you find somebody / I hope you find somebody / I hope you find somebody / I hope you find somebody to love.”

  10. 10. “still feel.” by half•alive

    A funky, electric, 70’s inspired bop, “still feel” is all about coming out of a difficult situation stronger. Joshua Taylor, the lead singer, told Rock Sound that the song is about finding “hope inside hopelessness and finding purpose and passion despite feeling unrooted.” As the song progresses, both the music and the vocals continuously build to a roaring crescendo – as if to excitedly shout “I’m back! And I’m still alive!” 

    Favorite lyric: “I can feel a kick down in my soul / And it's pulling me back to Earth to let me know / And this heart that beats inside of me will show / It will show.”

  11. 11. “Back In My Body” by Maggie Rogers

    On the final song on her 2019 album, “Heard It In A Past Life,” Maggie Rogers comes to terms with the rollercoaster of emotions that plagued her for the previous eleven tracks. It’s a song about redemption, recovery, and a rediscovered sense of self. It’s the ultimate anthem for those who know that they may still have a long road ahead, but they’re going to start walking it. 

    Favorite lyric: “And all along the highway, there's a tiny whispering sound / Saying I could find you in the dark of any town / But all that I am hearing in the poem of my mind / Are silent twisted words finding their way in every line.”