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A Playlist for Sad Girls: It’s Perfectly OK to Be Sad

Summer of 2019, everywhere, women were celebrating their confidence, sexuality and love for oneself. Over time, we see more and more people embracing the type of music that hypes you up, and started to critique sad songs. People were hiding away their sad feelings in order to appear as if they don’t care about anything. I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly ok to be sad, and I have the best playlist to help you really get in your feels.

Many people equate being sad as being weak, but in reality, allowing yourself to be vulnerable takes extreme courage. It takes courage to face your fears, to face your insecurities and to face your trauma. When you’re sad, it’s very easy to feel alone and misunderstood, so you try to put on a brave face to pretend as if nothing has happened. The more you contain those feelings inside, the more likely it’ll accumulate to a point where you’ll eventually implode. Let those feelings out. Lie on your bed and cry. Watch a sad movie and cry. Listen to some sad songs and cry. Let yourself embrace the pain and fears that come with it, and let yourself feel those emotions deeply. Once you’ve truly let yourself feel, you will have more clarity on the things you’re struggling with.

Music is definitely my go-to therapy, and I highly recommend it to anyone who may be struggling with dealing with their emotions. It’s truly amazing how music can connect so well with human emotions and really help you say the words that you’re scared to say aloud. I’ve compiled a list of sad girl songs that have helped me through tough times in my life, and here are my recommendations!

Lorde – “Hard feelings/Loveless” from Melodrama

Lorde was my sad girl awakening and I’m still waiting for her third album to come out. “Hard feelings/Loveless” is a mix of two songs, with “Hard Feelings” being a tender monologue of a girl who is coming to terms with the end of her relationship. She begs, “Please could you be tender?” as the opening line of the song, and gradually becomes more vulnerable as the song goes on. However, the song takes a turn at the end when it switches to “Loveless,” and she lets out her pettiness of the break-up and threatens “to mess your life up” now that they’ve broken up. The combination of being extremely down and then extremely mad embodies the sad girl persona perfectly.

Fletcher – “All Love” from you ruined new york city for me

Fletcher is the perfect model for the angsty sad girl. Her lyrics hit hard with no filters, but at the same time are so raw and honest. She joked about being TMI sometimes, but this level of openness helps you really understand how hurt she felt. In “All Love,” she sings, “The way you kiss her on the neck with that look in your eyes/Do it right in front of me kinda make me want to die/But it’s All Love/I hate the feeling but it’s all love.” The way she belts out these lyrics, you can truly feel the pain she was feeling, and in some way, she is singing out the darkest feelings that were probably deep inside of you, and boy does it feel good to have someone say it out loud. The music video makes it 100 times sadder. Would recommend.

Silver Sphere – “lost cause” from yikes!

Silver Sphere is a relatively new artist whose music genre is mostly pop-synth-electro. Her first ep yikes! talks a lot about what it’s like dating as a Gen Z — confusions and miscommunication. In “lost cause,” she sings, “Don’t drive when you’re high don’t bring me along/Don’t say that you love me/Don’t tell me what went wrong.” These lyrics depict perfectly what dating feels like in these times: people hitting you up late at night when they’re not sober, but don’t tell me you like me because this is just casual, right? But also, don’t go ahead and tell me why you don’t want to see me anymore. This song is tender and genuine and will definitely get you in your feels.

Gracie Abrams – “Stay”

Gracie Abrams’s soft voices accompanied by her guitar and gentle percussions are what I would consider the newest generation of sad girl music. “Stay” is a song about wishing to reconcile with a past lover. The lyrics “I don’t care if you changed but/I don’t even have to stay” captures the feeling of wanting to see an ex just one more time, and perhaps that would give you the closure you need. 

Jessie Reyez – “Great One”

If you have watched the movie “Someone Great” you’ve probably heard this song before. Jessie Reyez’s dynamic vocal can bring you hype when needed but can also make you emotional. In this piece, she talks about her desires, her goals in life, and the meaning of life. As she belts out, “What is life? What is love?/I hope I am enough/What is everything? Everything is nothing without you.” This song is perfect for twenty-something-year-olds who are still figuring life out and finding balance in everything. While trying to make your own way in the world, you also start to question the meaning of everything.

Other great songs that I recommend:

  • Alessa Cara – “Out of Love”

  • Alaina Castillo – “Sad Girl”

  • Cyn – “I’ll Still Have Me”

  • Winona Oak – “Lonely Hearts Club”

  • Snail Mail – “Speaking Terms”

  • Dizzy – “Joshua”

Teresa Yen

Wisconsin '21

Teresa graduated from UW-Madison and enjoys dancing, listening to podcasts, and biking around Madison!
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