A Musical Story of Despair: Sad Songs From Alexis' Playlist

Updated on July 9, 2020

Mixing a Desparate Playlist

When I make playlists based on emotions, everything gets mixed in. I try to capture the emotion in music, like many of you. If listened to in the right order, they can tell a story of that single emotion, and I'm constantly going back to put the story in order for the CD's I mix for my car. Videos in this list are not mine, instead random users I subscribe to on YouTube. Here we go...

#1. Vitamin C - Unhappy Anniversary

Vitamin C takes me back to my first heartbreaks every time I hear her voice. For this particular track, it's the heartbreak of the first time I fell in love. Each month, on the day that my first real relationship ended I would play this song over and over again. I put it on repeat and recorded the same song onto a cassette tape until the time ran out on both sides. This way, I could sit there and cry for a whole hour to the same song... Since then, CD's became burnable and I have broadened my horizons to over a hundred songs if I want to listen to music that takes me back to a heartbreaking point in my life.

#2. Metallica - Nothing Else Matters

I've always been a big Metallica fan. With an older brother in the house, I was never at a loss for metal music. When we were younger, it was the sounds of Metallica, Pantera, and The Steve Miller band that I remember the most. When I was older, "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica was the song that I played towards the end of an all-night party. A few relationships, romantic or otherwise, had probably ended or been damaged somehow... but Metallica was a favorite for most everyone that I hung out with by then and it would almost bring us back together for those five minutes... even if there were a few people crying in a corner somewhere. Now, I listen to the song when I'm in that same place. Usually a friendship has been damaged, and I just want to find it again for a moment

#3. Stone Sour - Zzxyx Road

I wouldn't be me if I didn't have at least one sad song from Stone Sour, or a couple of Corey Taylor's songs... "ZZxyx Road" is my Stone Sour song. It's probably the slowest of all Corey's music, but it holds the same dark depth that most of his lyrics do. What sounds (and just might be) a suicidal meltdown to others sounds like understanding to me. This song has reminded me many times that things can be worse. When you're at rock bottom, there's no track that understands more than this one. When listening to the song with others, it's our cry for help to each other. Sometimes, music helps us communicate with those that we love most.

#4. Keith Urban - You'll Think of Me

The sorrow really speaks for itself in this country favorite. "Take your space and take your reasons, but you'll think of me." He's sad now and wishing her the same sadness in the future, which is an emotion that I have been all-too-familiar with in my lifetime. (Most of us are.) I don't even believe Keith when he says he'll be over her, but it gives hope that he will. Now that I'm on the other side of those ended romances, I play this song even when I'm happy... but I'm a little strange like that.

#5. Seether - Fine Again

Seether was another party favorite for my group of friends when we were about 21. At that time, we all had problems of our own and were constantly having to reassure each other that everything would be "fine again" one day. The sad undertones of Seether's rock track was perfect background tunes for my friends and I to contemplate life, again towards the end of the gathering. The dance music had already been played, and someone had started a conversation that had gotten way too deep by now. People would be sleeping on blankets that we piled into beds all over the house while the rest of us waited for the sun to rise before we closed our eyes.

#6. Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven

We all know of someone that has lost a child, but for me "Tears in Heaven" is about the fear of losing a child. The song meant sadness for others until a few years ago when I had my own child, and now I play it if I'm in a place of saddening terror. The fear of losing those that we love can be powerful. Somehow, Eric Clapton provides proof that if we want to reunite with that child, we must survive life and find a will to live. I'm not much of a religious person, but I believe in heaven. If heaven is anything like what this song describes to me, it would be worth waiting for. Despite his overwhelming grief he still believes that there's no tears in heaven, and that's an amazing quality for humanity. For now, I will be grateful that my son is happy and healthy and send out positive vibes to those that need them.

#7 Slipknot - Snuff

I know what you're thinking. If you don't listen to Slipknot but know of them, you're finding it hard to believe that they make a song that isn't all screaming and shredding guitars. "Snuff" is different though, and if you like rock at all it's worth giving a shot. If you already listen to Slipknot, you probably know this song and agree that it's a heart-breaker. In times of loss, this is one of the first songs I turn to. After a funeral, or even if it's just an indefinite ending of a platonic relationship, this is the track that marks the start of my "sad phase" of mending. Corey is always there with some strikingly honest lyrics to get me through a hard day.

#8 Kid Rock ft. Sheryl Crow - Picture

"Picture" is for when I find myself in that moment where I messed something up that I didn't want destroyed. It's always a relationship, and at this point it's a song I listen to if I'm in a fight with my husband. When dating, we gave up on each other a couple times and always circled back to not wanting to be with anyone else. No matter how much time goes by, these two still miss each other and it's hard to believe that they won't get back together. It's the same kind of ugly success that I have had finding love. In the end, everything is pretty and appears perfect...that journey, though... it was rough.

#9 Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss - Whiskey Lullaby

This track has been one of my favorite country songs for a long time now, but the sentiment still holds true. It's been a long time since I've witnessed despair that's as strong as the words in Brad and Alison's duet. When someone betrays us and love is lost, sometimes we feel like death would be better. Listening to this song has let me know many times that others feel this way, too. It's something no one talks about, but it does happen. In writing this article, I finally watched the music video and now have a whole new feel for the song altogether. This is probably rock bottom when it comes to sad songs for me, but there's one more song before this list is finished...

#10 Vitamin C - The Graduation Song

Oh, my graduation. The tears shed at the ceremony were incredible between parents and students alike. For my best friend and I, it was endless nights on the phone listening to "The Graduation Song" together... starting a year or so before we would actually graduate. We knew that he would be going somewhere else in the country than I and that we would be split apart for what would feel like forever at first. Now, I listen to this song to remember him when I'm missing him, but we passed twenty-five awhile ago now. We're still friends, and as far as I know, he still listens in to Vitamin C from time-to-time.


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    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      3 years ago from Peru, South America

      Since I´m an expat living in Peru, it isn´t easy to keep up with the latest music. Of course, some of these are favorites but I haven´t heard of others. I´m going to look them up on my Spotify account this afternoon. Sometimes a sad song is just what the doctor ordered!

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 

      4 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Great collection, I like them all, would not be able to pick one. Stella

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I like all of the songs, and can play them when I need to. They help us work through our on agony we feel sometime. Great collection, Stella

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sometimes sad songs help us work through our own sadness.

      Great list.


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