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If your kink is being depressed, we have the top 20 songs to fuel your sad little soul. These are the ones you crank up, and end up with tear soaked faces in the corner considering a prescription and major life change. From the end of true love to the loss of a loved one, every sad moment is covered to kick your empathy into overdrive, and possibly remind you it could be worse.
20. 'Moments' - One Direction
Whether you are a boy band fan or not, this one is relatable to pretty much every one of us. It is about being present and enjoying the bits and pieces of your time with the one you love, and about fear of being honest about your feelings. Love is never a guarantee you will be together forever, but the time you really feel it, and remember to enjoy it, is worth it.
19. 'Unsteady' - X Ambassadors
A song about an alcoholic family dynamic, as told from the child’s POV. You know this one is going to get to you. “Dad, I know you’re trying to fight when you feel like flying.” Yeah... this one will rip you up.
18. 'Sad!' - XXXTentacion
“Who am I? Someone that’s afraid to let go, uh
You decide, if you’re ever gonna let me know, yeah
Suicide, if you ever try to let go, uh
I’m sad and low, yeah. I’m sad I know, yeah.”
Those are the lyrics throughout the entire song. This one almost didn’t make the cut, as I wouldn’t want to support a musician known for beating a woman almost to death, but he’s gone and his children will benefit from what this brings in. From his history of abuse toward his child’s mother and lyrics like this prior to his young death, you get to really see the shattered ego and mental illness involved.
17. 'Shots and Ladders' - Low
“They’re gonna build a ladder
It’s gonna take you forever
You’re always such a disaster
But all you hear is laughter
They want to keep you for more tests
Stick a needle in your chest
And send you home to your own bed
And kiss your beautiful forehead
See how you feel in the morning”
Lyrics that convey so much in so little will always be powerful. I attempted to research them to figure out if this could be about overdose, terminal illness, or any number of situations involving hospitals, but found nothing other than guesses of others. It is powerful to pack this much sadness in such a short burst of words and sounds.
16. 'The Sound of Silence' - Disturbed
The original is pretty haunting, but Disturbed took it to a new level with this cover of Sound of Silence. David Draiman’s voice melts through the lyrics like butter on warm toast as he portrays the loneliness and despair the words convey.
15. 'Black' - Pearl Jam
“I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life,
I know you’ll be the Sun
In someone else’s sky
Why… why can’t it be mine”
This one was on repeat during most of your parent’s teenage years. We knew the words, belted them with swollen eyes, and thought about someone when we did. It was the OG emo kid's anthem.
14. 'The Scientist' - Coldplay
This one hit a personal cord. This was one of the songs we chose for my late husband’s funeral. The lyrics are all about loss, regret, and love. If you really want to get in your own feelings, watch the video.
13. 'High and Dry' - Radiohead
Radiohead is known for writing sad songs. They even appear twice on this list. High and Dry is one of their most heart wrenching. The lyrics tell a story of losing yourself for validation and to be liked (successful, money, fame), only to find in the end you’ve lost everything and the things you’ve sacrificed for are nowhere to be found. Depressing… huh?
12. 'Mad World' - Gary Jules
This one has been used many times in movies and shows to convey sadness: Donnie Darko, Riverdale, Daredevil, Grey's Anatomy, and on Gears of War in 2006. Originally by Tears for Fears, something about Gary Jule’s cover version kicks it up a notch to express sadness and filmmakers love it.
11. 'Say Something' - A Great Big World ft Christina Aguilera
The first time we heard this one, we all asked, “Why’d they have to go this hard?” Admit it. You still snot cry when you hear it.
10. 'Nothing Compares 2U' - Sinead O'Connor
O’Connor’s cover of this Prince song oozes loss. She belts out a vocal love letter better than anyone out there. Who pops in your head when you hear this one?
9. 'Everybody Hurts' - R.E.M.
They do, but this song can illicit hurt when you hear it. It takes you full circle by the end to encourage you to keep going, but the roller coaster has plenty of lows to keep it on the list.
8. 'Concrete Angel' - Martina McBride
This one is about a child dying at the hands of an abusive caregiver, and no one stopping it in spite of signs it was happening. Of course, it’s depressing.
7. 'Whiskey Lullaby' - Brad Paisley ft Alison Krauss
Despite its reputation of being the most sad genre, with jokes about losing your job, your woman, your dog, and your truck breaking down as the makings of a perfect country song, only two made our list. This is the second. It is the story of a soldier returning from war to find his wife in bed with another man, and drinking himself to death, to have her riddled with guilt and die of alcoholism, too. I’m not crying, you are.
6. 'Pale Blue Eyes' - Velvet Underground
The cover of a Lou Reed song, about adultery and forbidden love, this one made the list. Falling in love with a married woman is never a good thing and it’s “truly, truly a sin” per the lyrics.
5. 'Eleanor Rigby' - The Beatles
This one is about loneliness and disconnection. Eleanor spends her life looking at others find happiness but it is always just a dream of hers. She dies alone, no one mourns her, and this is why it makes the list.
4. 'Not About Angels' - Birdy
About love and loss, which made it the perfect song for the soundtrack of Fault in Our Stars. Is it better to have loved and lost than never loved at all?
3. 'Hurt' - Johnny Cash
Cash’s cover of this Trent Reznor song will easily remain in the top 5 saddest songs ever. Hearing the "Man in Black" singing this with the idea of the love of his life just passing, and him being at the end of his own life, gave the song a totally new meaning. It became a timeless tale of introspection and regret.
2. 'Small Bump' - Ed Sheeran
What could be sadder than the story of losing a child? The anticipation of meeting your baby to have it never come to fruition. Sheeran did a number on us with this one.
1. 'True Love Waits' - Radiohead
Second time on the list, Radiohead delivers the sad songs. There was actually scientific research done by a data scientist named Charlie Thompson to provide evidence for this one. As seen in Verge using overall "valence" and sad lyrics as units of measure, this one took first place.