Top 5 Sad Music Playlists

If you’re feeling sad or in need of some breakup therapy, these soothing tunes should do the trick – just be sure to have plenty of tissues at hand!

Saint Etienne did create a livelier version of Young’s folky ballad in 1991, but that shouldn’t overshadow its original author – Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young himself, whose 1970 original was an elegy for nobility amid lifelong suffering.

1. “Stormy Weather” by Etta James

If you are going through a breakup or simply feel like crying, music can be an excellent form of therapy. While workout playlists or party ones can provide enough music, sometimes we need sad music playlists to release our emotions and feel less alone in life.

With its haunting vocal hook and soft Booker T organ work, this soul classic provides the ultimate emotional indulgence. Additionally, its timeless heartbreak theme reminds us all that heartache will last a lifetime and songs like this can remain with us for a lifetime.

James released this powerful track on her album The Dreamer in 2011 before succumbing to leukemia in Riverside, California at age 73. Flo Rida and Avicii later sampled it, further cementing her legacy as one of the greatest blues singers ever.

2. “Home” by Adele

Something about this song resonates deeply, perhaps its relevance to Adele’s battle against cervical cancer or perhaps it’s its slow and melancholic pace that leaves one feeling as though walking through an abandoned streetcar stop.

Whatever it may be, this song by Adele stands as one of her most powerful works ever written. It stands as an excellent example of an artist communicating love and loss so emotionally both live and in studio through her mezzo-contralto vocals and sentimental lyricism. Adele even stopped singing during its recording session due to polyp issues in her throat which caused pain while recording, an act which paid off with this track becoming a huge success!

3. “I Will Always Love You” by Adele

Research suggests that Gen Z searches for sad songs as often as they seek workout tunes or dance floor bangers, likely because their emotional resonance resonates deeply within their souls, providing cathartic relief from life’s ups and downs.

This slow and moody song captures the fatigue and heartbreak associated with being single again after experiencing a relationship end. The mournful vocal hook and muted organ work from Booker T are unforgettable; in addition, Wendy Rene’s heartbreaking performance adds depth and emotion. A modern classic!

Saint Etienne’s upbeat rendition of this heartbreaking folk ballad may have overshadowed its original, but this should not have happened. Canadian songwriter Al Stewart’s plaintive vocal is indicative of someone accepting not just momentary heartache but permanent pain.

4. “Say Goodbye” by Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell was one of the most significant singer-songwriters of the 20th century. Her popularity peaked during the 70s and she continues to influence 21st-century musicians today.

She possesses an in-depth understanding of depression and melancholy that she frequently incorporates into her music. Furthermore, she knows how to create melodies that can be taken in many directions by listeners.

This song explores heartbreak and finding a path forward after experiencing loss, inspired by her relationship with Graham Nash ending. Additionally, it details her desire to escape life on a river by skating away on it; eventually she found solace with James Taylor; he played this song at her Christmas party at homestead and remained her friend until his passing away in 2015. Now focusing on visual arts.

5. “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor

Sinead O’Connor’s rendition of this tearjerker written by Prince for The Family took it one step further. While its original can be taken as an expression of broken relationships, O’Connor’s rendition shows clearly that its lyrics reflect her mourning her mother.

John Maybury captured her performance, which became one of the most famous music videos ever, during MTV’s golden age with unflinching close-up shots of her face and shoulders, coupled with choral synths that sound like they are crying – making this unforgettable music video.

Even after dance-pop troupe Saint Etienne created a jauntier rendition in 1991, this dark folky ballad still stands up as one of music’s great heartbreakers. People turn to this tune during times of grief, loss and loneliness – its performance by late singer Robert Johnson connected deeply with audiences worldwide.

6. “Enjoy the Silence” by Basildon

Basildon’s song, Love Lost, will make for the ideal tearjerker when going through a breakup. With its gentle melody and soothing rhythm, its lyrics address how difficult it can be to let go.

Basildon’s synthpop sound oscillates between sleaze and sadness. This track from their album Violator falls closer to sadness with its melancholic electronic melancholy. The spine-chilling string arrangement and unsettling lyrics remind us that even when life seems joyous now, one day we will all end up crying our sorrows away.

Anton Corbijn directed the music video for this song featuring Dave Gahan dressed as a king stumbling through scenic landscapes while wearing royal attire, in reference to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s 1943 children’s book titled, The Little Prince.

7. “Bring Back For Me” by Bob Dylan

Blood on the Tracks kicks off with Dylan’s plaintive vocal and fresh air picking from his Minnesota session band (Mike Bloomfield on guitar and Al Kooper on keyboards), conjuring up images of utopian dreams and broken promises from decades past. Lyrical shifts between confession and critique; ancient/modern (Cinderella and Romeo; Ophelia/Robin Hood); mundane/elevated make this track one of his most poetic songs of this era.

Miss Lonely is an ambiguous character, often speculated upon being anyone from Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick to folk legend Joan Baez. The song seems to focus on Miss Lonely’s fear of death penalty and general doom-and-gloom that pervades life; its six-minute length made it popular when released in 1965 and changed how records were produced so artists could record songs complete and play them back on radio without cutting anything out.

8. “No Distance Left to Run” by Blur

Sad songs can provide comforting solace after an unfortunate breakup or simply when in need of catharsis; yet sometimes finding appropriate tunes may prove challenging.

Damon Albarn showed his tender side on this final single from 13 (1999), stripping away any unnecessary bravado to deliver an emotional goodbye to Justine Frischmann of Elastica band and to Brit Pop culture at its height of its turbulent relationship. It served as an emotional goodbye and tribute to Brit Pop, while at the same time paying a wistful farewell.

No Distance Left to Run follows Blur during their 2009 reunion and gigs, interweaving archive footage with interviews and reportage. Available both on DVD and Blu-ray with a soundtrack release available, No Distance Left to Run should not be missed by Blur fans.

9. “Strange” by Celeste

No matter the circumstances of your loss, listening to sad music can help soothe emotions and make us feel better afterwards.

Radiohead provided an unexpected shock three years later when they released Kid A, showing there was still plenty of melancholic electronic melancholy waiting to be explored – this song with its piano keys and velvety strings is an outstanding example.

This song from the album with the same name describes how one woman is mourning the loss of her husband. It’s an emotive track that may make you reflect on your own losses – its lyrics may be obscure but their messages still hit hard.

10. “Enjoy the Silence” by Basildon

Basildon’s own synthpop superstars operate somewhere between sleaze and sadness, and this cut from their 1990 album Violator certainly falls into that latter category. This exquisite dark pop composition still sounds completely timeless 30 years later!

Anton Corbijn, a Dutch photographer and filmmaker, directed this groundbreaking video for U2. Inspired by the tale of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Corbijn cajoled them into producing what would go down as one of music history’s most legendary videos. At first the band were not too enthusiastic about Dave Gahan walking around carrying a deck chair but after some convincing from Corbijn a masterpiece emerged – now considered iconic!

This song’s lyrics explore what happens after someone you care for passes away, which will no doubt hit hard if this has happened to you. Additionally, this track showcases Gahan’s powerful vocal range–especially during its bridge section–along with Gahan’s unique arrangement style.