50 Songs About Toxic Love Relationships
Songs About Emotionally Poisonous Love Relationships
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
- just not practical and
- 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.
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
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?
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?
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.
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.
What words MOST describe your current love relationship?
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
- 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
Even More Songs About Toxic Love Relationships
21. On My Way
22. Cuts Both Ways
25. Better Love
26. Leave Me Lonely
28. Bad Boys
Alexandra Burke (featuring FloRida)
29. Kill For You
Skylar Grey (featuring Eminem)
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
35. Angry All the Time
36. #1 Crush
37. I Guess I'll Miss the Man
38. Letting Go
39. It's Not Me It's You
40. Kiss with a Fist
Florence + The Machine
41. You Give Love a Bad Name
42. Everything She Wants
43. You're No Good
44. You're So Vain
45. It Was Faith
Puddle of Mudd
47. Skinny Love
49. I Was a Fool
Tegan and Sara
What's In a Name? Locations with Names Associated with Toxic Love Relationships
© 2017 FlourishAnyway