2 min

Breakup songs

Several studies claim that, while the pre-holiday season is lush with holly and hopeful children, late-November through mid-December is the time of year most of us will ditch or be ditched by our significant other.

One 2010 study by David McCandless gathered data from more than 10,000 Facebook status updates, searching for the use of the words “break up” and “broken up.” McCandless’s study found that the month before Chrismas is the likeliest time for breakups, alongside spring break, while Christmas Day itself is the least likely (see a graph of breakup highs and lows at the end of this post).

If your partner has given you an aversion to mistletoe this year, here are 10 breakup songs you can sooth yourself with. The list features many queer artists, including PeachesGossipWoodpigeon and Tegan and Sara. This opener from Swedish imp Lykke Li is an obvious choice and a great song if you can overcome the off-key chorus. For more breakup tracks, pick up Li’s 2008 debut, Youth Novels, which is essentially a breakup album (also see “Little Bit,” “I’m Good, I’m Gone” and “Let It Fall").

"Breaking It Up,” Lykke Li

"Darling we’re here but my true love is not.”



"Lose You,” Peaches

"How does it happen all of a sudden? Finger to button, push it and nothing.”  



"Love Long Distance,” Gossip

"I heard it through the bass line. Not much longer would you be my baby.”


"Emma et Hampus,” Woodpigeon 

"And if your baby’s gone back. He’s gone for good.”


"Back in Your Head,” Tegan and Sara 

"Build a wall of books between us in our bed.”


"Knives Out,” Radiohead

"Look into my eyes. I’m not coming back."



"Cupid,” Spinnerette

"Cupid don’t you know that, that it’s over?”



"Not in Love,” Crystal Castles, featuring Robert Smith

"And we were lovers. Now we can’t be friends. Fascination ends." 



"You and I,” Cut Off Your Hands

"You were not there for me. I just moved on. I’ve been moving on for so long.”



"Divorce Song,” Liz Phair

"And the licence said you had to stick around ‘til I was dead. But if you’re tired of looking at my face, I guess I already am."



A graph of breakups throughout the year, according to British writer David McCandless’s 2010 Facebook study. Breakups peak before Christmas and during spring break. Additionally, while Monday is widely considered the worst day of the week, it is the least likely day for a breakup to occur.

Bookmark and Share