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57 Songs About Toxic Love Relationships

Updated on August 16, 2017
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FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Songs About Emotionally Poisonous Love Relationships

Know someone involved in a toxic love relationship? Is it you? Customize a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B tunes that describe unhealthy, dangerous love.
Know someone involved in a toxic love relationship? Is it you? Customize a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B tunes that describe unhealthy, dangerous love. | Source

Seriously. Do You Really Want a Jerry Springer Kind of Love?

My husband is an engineer and likes to tease me that engineers simply don't have toxic relationships. That's because such relationships are

  1. just not practical and
  2. can be hazardous to both one's health and wallet.

These are also reasons why I'd take the nice guys over the bad boys any day. Trustworthy, reliable, predictable, and kind are sexy qualities in their own right.

A lot of people, however, are addicted to toxic, unhealthy love relationships. These romances are filled with betrayal, fighting, and a lack of trust. Often there's a lot of drama, frequent break-ups and lots of great make-up sex. (You know who you are.)

Although it can be exciting and edgy to be attracted to someone who isn't good for you, it's not a stable, safe feeling. Is that truly what you want? As you figure out what to do with that emotionally poisonous relationship, here's a playlist of pop, rock, country, & R&B songs about toxic love.

1. "Love On the Brain" by Rihanna

Some people say that Rihanna is channeling the late great Amy Winehouse with the angst and self-destructiveness of this song.

The narrator in this 2016 international hit is dangerously attracted to a lover who wounds her then puts her back together. Regarding her toxic love relationship, she claims, "It beats me black and blue." At the same time she also swears, "No matter what I do, I’m no good without you."

The song seems to mirror the singer's life. In 2009, Rihanna was physically bruised and battered by her on-again/off-again boyfriend, rapper Chris Brown, who admitted to the attack. He faced five years probation, a year of domestic violence counseling and six months of community service for his actions. The couple then shocked the world with a 2013 reconciliation. Let's hope she gets past this for good.

2. "Irresistible" by Fall Out Boy

Someone needs some couples counseling pronto. The narrator in this 2015 rock song describes his unhealthy love affair with his girlfriend as both an irresistible battle and a boxing match.

Because he is so attracted to her, he doesn't mind playing an intense game of harming and being hurt by her:

I'm gonna get you to burst just like you were a bubble
Frame me up on your wall just to keep me out of trouble
Like a moth getting trapped in the light by fixation.

"We teach people how to treat us." - Dr. Phil McGraw, American psychologist and television personality
"We teach people how to treat us." - Dr. Phil McGraw, American psychologist and television personality | Source

12 Signs You May Be In A Toxic Relationship

efforts are one-sided and leave you feeling emotionally and physically drained
you begin to accept behaviors that used to be unacceptable
you can't seem to do anything right
there is disrespect, screaming matches, and/or abuse
there are major power and control issues
there is a lack of trust
you feel unvalued, unheard, and/or victimized
there are high levels of anger, hostility, jealousy and/or blame
passive aggression instead of open communication
avoiding one another and using the silent treatment
you always put your partner's need first, sacrificing your own needs
constant drama
Are you in a toxic relationship? The more signs you and your partner show, the more you need to reconsider your relationship and seek professional assistance.

3. "I Hate U I Love U" by Gnash (featuring Olivia O'Brien)

Very conflicted feelings. That would describe the narrator in this haunting 2016 chart-topper. Our sad narrator is in love with a male friend who loves her back. But wait, there's more ... .

Afraid of opening herself up and revealing her feelings, she created distance between them. Now her beloved has moved on to another girl who can express herself. As the former couple misses one another, they regret what might have been. They're bitter at one another and yet still in love.

Reader Poll: Confession Time

Have you ever been in a toxic love relationship?

See results

4. "Rock Bottom" by Hailee Steinfeld (featuring DNCE)"

The toxic couple is addicted to fighting in this 2015 upbeat pop song. They feel both love and hate for one another and keep on coming back for more conflict:

You get under my skin
More than anyone's ever been
But when we lay in bed
You hold me hard 'til I forget.

Looking For Permission To Walk Away From Toxic Love?

I'm giving you permission to leave. You're allowed to walk away from toxic relationships.
I'm giving you permission to leave. You're allowed to walk away from toxic relationships. | Source

5. "Hot N Cold" by Katy Perry

There's an endless cycle of break-ups and make-ups in this pop song from 2008 which describes a "case of a love bipolar." She knows he's no good for her, yet she plays his games and puts up with his mixed signals. If this is you, you deserve better than someone who can't make up their mind!

6. "Put My Heart Down" by Sara Evans

The narrator in this 2014 country song never imagined that her toxic relationship would reach this point, but her lover's words have cut so deep she's asking him to leave now. She describes her feelings as "a million toxic tears falling like rain 'round here." Something tells me though that he'll be back.

7. "Hurts So Good" by John Cougar Mellencamp

In this Grammy Award-winning rock song from 1982, a man who is feeling time sneak up on him invites his younger lover to sink her teeth right through his bones. (Ouch!) Then he begs her to make it

Hurt so good
Come on baby, make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don't feel like it should
You make it hurt so good.

8. "Love Hurts" by Nazareth

This 1975 power ballad became an international hit for this Scottish hard rock band. Having been left so broken and wounded by a former sweetheart, the song's protagonist claims that love is just a lie. He warns that it hurts, scars, wounds, marks, causes pain, and burns you.

With an attitude like that, this jilted lover will always be single.

When people treat you like they don't care, believe them.
When people treat you like they don't care, believe them. | Source

9. "Broken Strings: by James Morrison (featuring Nelly Furtado)

The couple in this 2008 pop tune is struggling with betrayal, and it's tearing them apart. However, rather than breaking up, they linger, irreparably scarred.

The partner who has been betrayed has stayed too long. Left him broken and numb by the truth, he reveals that he loves his girlfriend less than before. Although he still wants to hold her, he's just going through the motions now, unable to forgive. He likens their shattered relationship to "chasing the very last train when it's too late."

10. "Hotter Than Hell" by Dua Lipa

Talk about a match made in hell. In this 2017 song, the narrator and her lover bring out each others' dark sides. This is not love; it's brutal attraction, dangerous obsession.

I'm the realest it gets
You probably still adore me
With my hands around your neck.

11. "Gunpowder and Lead" by Miranda Lambert

This is no way to settle the score in an abusive relationship. The lady in this 2007 country ditty has had enough of being battered, so as her honey is being sprung from the local jail for beating her, she's planning on ambushing him with her shotgun.

Take a time out and think. Is he really worth going to prison? This is the toxic, terrible stuff that some relationships are made of.

His fist is big, but my gun's bigger
He'll find out when I pull the trigger.

12. "Something in the Way You Move" by Ellie Goulding

In this 2015 pop song, there's a woman who keeps returning to a bad boy who grants her heartache and disappointment. She admits that he's an accomplished liar and not good enough for her, yet their physical chemistry keeps her coming back for more toxic love.

While she's wasting him with this loser, her real Romeo—someone who is honest, kind, and LIKES CATS!—is still out there. Ditch the dude who is wasting your youth, honey.

Nothing toxic comes from genuine love.
Nothing toxic comes from genuine love. | Source

Reader Poll

What words MOST describe your current love relationship?

See results

13. "Tomorrow" by Chris Young

The couple in this 2011 country song is like fire and gasoline, and the narrator knows it. However, the narrator is thinking with his heart (or his willy) when he ignores all reason and holds her tight, rocks her strong one more time. He already has tomorrow's goodbye scene planned out.

Wait. They've been through this pattern before, haven't they?

14. "Vicious Love" by New Found Glory

Someone please tap the guy in this 2014 rock song on the shoulder and set him straight. Love done right should never be vicious.

He treasures the fact that he doesn't give up on his sweetheart, with whom love doesn't come easily. Instead maybe the two of them should go their separate ways. Someone kick some sense into him; maybe it'll get through that way, huh?

We’ve got a vicious love
We mix our tears with blood
No clock will stop for us
It ticks by.
We fight as hard as we love
We’ve got a vicious love

15. "Going Under" by Evanescence

Label this one a super toxic relationship.

The protagonist in this 2003 rock song is fed up with "screaming, deceiving and bleeding" for her lover. Having reached rock bottom, she feels like she's going under, and she's trying to escape their dangerous affair.

She can no longer discern his lies and the truth. This is what happens when a toxic relationship goes on too long—it eats away at your sense of self.

16. "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis

From the moment she first saw her trouble-causing lover, it was instant attraction for the woman in this 2007 pop song. Friends think she's crazy, and that should be a big clue. But it isn't. She says the so-called love she has for her man cripples her, leaves scars, and makes her bleed love. But she keeps coming back for another helping.

Girl, you are better than this. Pull yourself up by your high heeled boots and keep walking.

17. "Sucker For Pain" by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Ty Dolla $ign & Logic (featuring X Ambassadors)

The relationship depicted in this 2016 hip hop/rock hit is not healthy at all. There's

  • begging
  • a desire to chain one partner up and tie them down and
  • a description of the couple's love as fire, torture, and going to war.

Either this lover boy is messed up on drugs or he's not right in the head. Girlfriend, don't stay around to find out. Run away as fast as you can before something really bad goes down. You know what to do.

18. "I Miss the Misery" by Halestorm

The protagonist in this 2012 rock song is one messed up woman. Her lover has finally changed his toxic ways but instead of being happy she misses the misery. Go figure!

She misses the lies, fights, screaming matches, fault-finding, the hate, the hurt, and all of the other things that made their relationship poisonous. Some people are never happy. This should be a deal breaker.

19. "Smoke When I Drink" by Kelleigh Bannen

"All that holdback gone in a blink." The woman in this 2014 country song knew that her ex would be in this bar tonight.

She's spent a long time getting over him, yet here she is, acknowledging that she's too lit up to try to turn him down. She knows she'll regret it in the morning, but here comes her ex, right on cue. Bad habits die hard.

20. "Playing With Fire" by Thomas Rhett (featuring Danielle Bradbery)

In this 2015 country song, the lovesick narrator knows the right thing to do:

  • don't drive by his ex-girlfriend's house
  • delete her number from his phone
  • stay away from her side of town.

She knows the right thing to do as well. Commit to no more on-again/off-again. Don't go hang out where he does. But oh, no. Both of them have poor impulse control. They play a dangerous game with their hearts and know it's not even close to over yet.

Be Loyal To You

"Staying in a hopeless situation doesn't make you 'loyal.' It just makes you miserable. Be loyal to your own peace of mind." - The Weeknd, Canadian singer
"Staying in a hopeless situation doesn't make you 'loyal.' It just makes you miserable. Be loyal to your own peace of mind." - The Weeknd, Canadian singer | Source

Even More Songs About Toxic Love Relationships

Year Released
21. On My Way
Lea Michele
22. Cuts Both Ways
Gloria Estefan
23. Advice
24. Toxic
Britney Spears
25. Better Love
26. Leave Me Lonely
Ariana Grande
27. Poison
Rita Ora
28. Bad Boys
Alexandra Burke (featuring FloRida)
29. Kill For You
Skylar Grey (featuring Eminem)
30. Hostage
31. Run Right Back
The Black Keys
32. It Won't Let Go
33. Queen of Peace & Long and Lost
Florence + the Machine
34. It Kills Me
Melanie Fiona
35. Angry All the Time
Tim McGraw
36. #1 Crush
37. I Guess I'll Miss the Man
The Supremes
38. Letting Go
Mayday Parade
39. It's Not Me It's You
40. Kiss with a Fist
Florence + The Machine
41. You Give Love a Bad Name
Bon Jovi
42. Everything She Wants
43. You're No Good
Linda Ronstadt
44. You're So Vain
Carly Simon
45. It Was Faith
Puddle of Mudd
46. Breakdown
47. Skinny Love
48. Mercy
Shawn Mendes
49. I Was a Fool
Tegan and Sara
50. Unfaithful
51. Jar of Hearts
Christina Perri
52. Love Stinks
J. Geils Band
53. Strawberry Wine
Pat Benatar
54. It Ain't Me
Kygo and Seleva Gomez
55. You Don't Love Me Anymore
Weird Al Yankovic
56. Nicotine
Panic! At the Disco
57. Love the Way You Lie
Eminem (featuring Rihanna)
Know a song that should be on our Toxic Love Relationship Playlist? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

What's In a Name? Locations with Names Associated with Toxic Love Relationships

show route and directions
A markerBitter Creek Cove, Memphis Tennessee, USA -
Bitter Creek Cove, Memphis, TN 38127, USA
get directions

B markerCheat Lake, West Virginia, USA -
Cheat Lake, WV 26508, USA
get directions

C markerCrying Creek, Tennessee, USA -
Crying Creek, Tennessee, USA
get directions

D markerHazard, Kentucky, USA -
Hazard, KY, USA
get directions

E markerHell, Michigan, USA -
Hell, MI 48169, USA
get directions

F markerHurt, Virginia, USA -
Hurt, VA 24563, USA
get directions

G markerLove County, Oklahoma, USA -
Love County, OK, USA
get directions

H markerMt. Misery, New Jersey, USA -
Mt Misery, Browns Mills, NJ 08015, USA
get directions

I markerTorment Creek, Alaska, USA -
Torment Creek, Alaska, USA
get directions

J markerYell County, Arkansas, USA -
Yell County, AR, USA
get directions

© 2017 FlourishAnyway


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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 days ago from USA

      Cheng Liu - Great addition. Both singers are really have a history of messed up relationships. The song has been added at #57. Thanks!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 days ago from USA

      Jaylin - Thank you for that suggestion. It's now #56. Have a great day. If you have toxic people in your life, ditch them. Life's too short for games.

    • profile image

      Cheng Liu 4 days ago

      Eminem and Rihannas single Love the Way you Lie, about their relationships, espically Rihanna and Chris Brown

    • profile image

      jaylin 4 days ago

      Nicotine by panic! At the disco

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 13 days ago from USA

      Hi, Toni - I went ahead and added it because it's on topic and with Weird Al, everyone should know it's not serious. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

    • profile image

      Toni 2 weeks ago

      Probably inappropriate as it makes light of domestic abuse but does Weird Al Yankovic's You Don't Love Me Anymore deserve a mention?

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      Rj - Thank you for the suggestions which I have added. I've also added "Love Stinks" to the following playlist:

    • profile image

      Rj 4 weeks ago

      Jar of hearts by christine perry -love stinks -the g giels band- strawberry wine by pat benatar-

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 months ago from USA

      Geetha - Got it at #24! Thanks for your comment. Have a great Mother's Day weekend!

    • profile image

      Geetha 3 months ago


    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      Mona - Makes you wonder what kind of place Hell, Michigan is, huh? And why it's called that.

    • profile image

      Grand Old Lady 4 months ago

      This is a fantastic list. I feel old, though...I had to play most of the videos to know the songs, haha. My favorite is Ellie Goulding. Oh, and this is the first time that I learned there is a place called Hell, hahaha.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      Anonymous - Yep, already have some that fit that description. Try out the "I'm Here For You Playlist: 65 Songs About Supporting Someone and Being There": . Or, you might try: "74 Songs About Marriage and Long Term Love Relationships" at . Thanks for commenting!

    • profile image

      Anonymous 4 months ago

      Can we have a list of songs about very healthy relationships to contrast this list?

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 6 months ago from USA

      Frances - Oh, a loving and practical man who can cook. He is a definite keeper!

    • profile image

      Frances Metcalfe 6 months ago

      Wow! What a great article. I love youe style - witty and entertaining. I especially wa amused by your other half's description of what a toxic relationship is. I'm in a loving ( and practical!) relationship and feel very fortunate. He cooks too - how good is that?

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 6 months ago from USA

      Martie - Thank you for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed it and think you're right about appreciating what you can. Have a great week.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      Flourish, I love the information you give about each and every song. I can just imagine how much energy and brain power you put into these very handy playlists of yours. Thanks a lot!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Linda - Good for you that you choose healthy relationships. More people should follow your lead. I appreciate your stopping by and wish you a wonderful rest of your week.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the opening photo in this article. It's very appropriate! I'm lucky that I've never been in a toxic relationship. It was certainly interesting to read about this unfortunate situation, though.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Genna - May he eat his heart out. From prison or wherever he is.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 7 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Amen! But I remember one of them when I was still a teenager. And once was definitely enough. :-)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Genna - Bad boys that can't hold a job, don't show up timely and treat you right have no appeal here! I sure don't see it. Thanks for reading. I've added your two songs. Have a wonderful week ahead.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 7 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I remember when those handsome, bad boys could be attractive when we were very young, but thankfully we grew out of that. Didn't we? (Lol.) Yet another impressive list of songs. The only one could think of was "You're No Good," by Linda Ronstadt and Carly Simon's song, allegedly about Mick Jagger -- I can't think of the name of it -- "You're So Vain"?

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Gypsy Rose - Sign of the times, indeed! Thank you for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed it. Have a great week!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 7 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Another very well done hub. WOW I didn't realize there was so much music on toxic relationships. Must be a sign of the times.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      MsDora - I know, right!?! Real love shouldn't hurt at all. Thank you for your kind compliment. Have a lovely week.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Heidi - Glad you enjoyed this! I've added your song suggestion. George Michael sure was the bomb. (RIP George.) I always thought Father Figure was a little messed up, too, from a relationship point of view, but I LOVED that song. Have a great week!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 7 months ago from The Caribbean

      "Hurt so good?" We have to pity those who get so accustomed to being hurt that they associate it with love. I like how you interject the tables and polls in this and other articles to make the readers stop and think. Great job!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 7 months ago from Chicago Area

      Even though about a not-so-great situation, there are some good tracks on this list!

      I'd add "Everything She Wants" from the late, great George Michael and Wham.

      Happy Monday!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Jo - It's a good thing you don't do toxic relationships. They do seem to be quite the topic in music though and the lyrics make me glad I don't partake. Thanks for reading anyhow! Crying Creek is a creek between I-40 and Gatlinburg, TN.

    • jo miller profile image

      jo miller 7 months ago from Tennessee

      Great lists again, but, like others here, I have a hard time relating. Now I have to go look up Crying Creek, TN. Never heard of it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Linda - Yes, my reliable and conscientious husband doesn't do "toxic" either. We've been married over 25 years, and hope to one day be where you are. Congratulations on such a long and successful marriage!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Kryiaki - Having no experience with toxic relationships is a good thing! Count yourself lucky! Some of the popular music seems to indication toxic relationships are almost the norm these days, but balanced and healthy relationships are much more fun in the long run. Have a wonderful week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Suhail - Just thought of one from that era and added it in your honor as #41, Bon Jovi, "You Give Love a Bad Name." Any others? Thanks for reading.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 7 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Flourish - It was difficult for me to get into this one because a "toxic relationship" could not be any further from where I am. Thankfully, I have been blessed by being with a man who loves me (warts and all) and has for 4 decades. But, needless to say, you've got a good list here.

    • Kyriaki Chatzi profile image

      Kyriaki Chatzi 7 months ago

      Being a textbook millennial, I can honestly say that know just a song or two from this list. Luckily, I am also clueless when it comes to toxic relationships. Even so, I enjoyed reading your list and listening to new tunes. Thanks for sharing, FlourishAnyway. You never disappoint!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 7 months ago from Mississauga, ON


      Great list and I got to listen to some of them, but there is none from hard rock / heavy metal glam of 1980s ha-ha.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Larry - Glad you enjoyed. Have a great weekend. Looking forward to reading more Larry writing.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Bill - There are some really good songs on this list. Sometimes hearing about the bad relationships can make you appreciate a good relationship even more! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      cheaptrick - Absolutely hilarious, dark little poem. Anyone who has been through a nasty divorce would really appreciate it. (I'll send it my sister's way!) Thank you for reading and for your clever comment.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 7 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great list!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Gosh, I couldn't think of a single one. I feel pretty good about that. LOL Seriously, not one toxic relationship song would come to mind. Even going over your list, I only recognized two of them. Maybe I'm listening to positive songs and I didn't even know it. :)

    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 7 months ago from the bridge of sighs

      Quite a collection I must say.The dynamic of these relationships has always escaped me.I find them paradoxical.

      As a man devoted to loving women my whole life,I've had my share of 'frustrating' partners as well.So here's a poem by Jeff Ross I hope will make light of these diametric relationships;It's titled

      "I miss her sometimes"

      I ran into my ex

      the other day


      I backed up

      and ran into her again

      I miss her sometimes.

      Rest assured the eternal flame of romantic love will never be extinguished;On the contrary,it may engulf All our hearts in the end.

      Loved your hub,excellent effort.