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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

Breakups suck. If you’re newly single this Valentine’s Day, you’re allowed to be sad about it! Enjoy your Galentine’s Day with the grrrls, the chocolate, the self-love and the rest of it. But it is 100% valid to feel down in the dumps. Maybe this is your Forlorn February, maybe you’re in your “flop” era, or maybe you’re in your “i-just-want-to-lay-on-the-couch-and-watch-all-four-seasons-of-too-hot-too-handle-in-one-day” era. One thing that really validates me when I’m going through it is listening to depressing music. I think everyone can appreciate a good sad song when they hear it. In fact, it’s often the songs that give off “sadboi hours” vibes that end up being the biggest hits. Take “driver’s license” or “glimpse of us” for example. Or ADELE – need I say more? Connecting with someone else’s pain through music just hits different. You can hear the emotion in the artist’s voice and how they use those moody minor chords to convey their pain. I’ve compiled a tried-and-true playlist of divorce albums that never fail to validate me when I’m going through it.

Star-Crossed – Kacey Musgraves, 2021

This whole album is dramatic, melancholic and full of angst and I LOVE IT. I’ve had this heartbroken version of Kacey on repeat since the album was released in September 2021, exactly one year after her divorce. The title track “star-crossed” sets the scene in a cinematic light, drawing on Latin-inspired guitar riffs and crescendos. It makes me feel like driving down a dirt road with the wind blowing through my hair and tears streaming down my face; I am the main character and my star-crossed fate is the plot twist.

FLOWERS for VASES / Descansos – Hayley Williams, 2021

You may know Hayley Williams as the lead singer of American rock band Paramore, but did you know she produces solo albums too? FLOWERS for VASES / Descansos captures feelings of the deepest, saddest degree. The Spanish word “descanso” translates to place of rest, as in a funeral procession; it also refers to a cross that is placed at the site of a violent, unexpected death, in memoriam. Quite a title for an album, no? Comparing the loss of love to a descanso is pretty intense, but it translates the sadness and anger one can feel when grieving so beautifully. The songs on this album that resonate with me the most are “Asystole,” which illustrates a past relationship “flatlining,” “Wait On,” a soft acoustic representation of the struggle to move on from a past relationship, and “First Thing to Go,” an utterly heart-wrenching song full of mind-blowing lyrics and melodies.

Young Heart – Birdy, 2021.

Birdy has the voice of an angel. You’ve probably heard her popular rendition of “Skinny Love” (as far as songs go, this one is as depressing as it gets) that she released when she was only 14. As she grew up, she experienced heartbreak and discovered the brilliant emotional songwriting of Joni Mitchell, both of which inspired her latest album, Young Heart. The whole record is laced with melancholic piano melodies and ethereal, echoey vocal layers. The song “Little Blue” is a poetic ballad with a nod to Joni Mitchell’s “Little Green” on her Blue album.

If you want to listen to my extensive “breakup blues” playlist, you can check it out on Spotify or Apple Music. Happy Forlorn February, ladies.

Julianna is a final year Mechanical Engineering Student at McMaster. She is a struggling student by day and a singer/writer/foodie by night. If she had it her way she would be laying on a beach on Lake Huron, soaking up some rays and reading a good book. In her spare time, you may find Julianna daydreaming about bread, obsessing over the new F1 season, or absolutely destroying her glutes at the gym.