The best songs about divorce capture both the pain and heartbreak that people feel from breaking up as well as the sense of hope for a brighter future.
This pain is something people from all walks of life have encountered, with this universality reflected throughout the music genres that have approached the topic.
In this playlist, we’ll break down the details of the best divorce songs you can listen to from some of the leading singers and bands of all time.
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The 21 Best Songs About Divorce
Going through a divorce is typically a highly charged and emotional time, which is reflected in the lyrics of the songs that explore this sensitive topic.
We’ve picked songs from a broad selection of musical styles for this playlist, ranging from hugely popular chart-topping hits to more obscure country and parody songs.
Without further ado, here’s our playlist of the 21 best songs about divorce:
21. “Don’t Speak” – No Doubt
Many of the best songs about divorce draw upon the personal experiences of the artist to create enduring and meaningful music on the subject.
“Don’t Speak” by No Doubt is one such divorce song, with lyrics centered around the break-up of vocalist Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal.
One of the most popular songs about divorce, “Don’t Speak” is a great piece of music that captures the emotional impact of breaking up with someone you love.
20. “Better By Myself” – Hey Violet
Divorce is perhaps the ultimate sign that a relationship has failed, but while it can be traumatic, it can also be a liberating experience.
The song “Better By Myself” is all about the potential the future holds following a bitter divorce and having the courage to move on to new experiences.
While this isn’t necessarily advocating singlehood, Hey Violet’s great song nevertheless urges the listener to appreciate their personal value when a relationship ends.
19. “Alimony” – Weird Al Yankovic
Weird Al Yankovic wrote many amusing parody songs over the years, with the track “Alimony” focusing on the stress of dealing with lawyers and the legal process.
It’s a crazy and fun song about divorce that references alimony payments while also parodying Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony” song with hilarious results.
Weird Al Yankovic also parodied one of the best songs about family, “Papa Don’t Preach,” by the queen of pop music, Madonna.
18. “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” – Tammy Wynette
Tammy Wynette literally spells things out for her fans with her popular song from 1968 on the subject of divorce, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.”
When this song was released, divorce was relatively rare compared to today, and Wynette brings her inimitable vocal range to this moving piece of music.
It’s a song that understands how divorce can impact other members of the family, with the couple’s son dealing with the impact when his parents divorce.
17. “The Winner Takes It All” – ABBA
Legendary Swedish pop group ABBA needs little introduction, having written and performed one of the best songs of all time, “Dancing Queen.”
With “The Winner Takes It All,” the band contributes to this playlist of divorce songs and brings their trademark melodic skills and their own experiences of divorce.
The title has many meanings fans can take away, including the financial costs of divorce as well as the emotional toll it can take on those involved.
16. “Broken Home” – Papa Roach
The aftermath of divorce often leads to more trouble down the line, as the American rock band Papa Roach covered in their song “Broken Home.”
“I’m stuck in between my parents, I wish I had someone to talk to,” the lyrics state, continuing, “someone I could confide in, I just want to know the truth.”
Released by Papa Roach in 2000, “Broken Home” was featured on their popular album “Infest,” which represented the band’s debut on a major label.
15. “I Cried All The Way To The Bank” – Norma Jean
After receiving a financial payout following a divorce, the subject of Norma Jean’s song still feels devastated by the separation in spite of her newfound wealth.
“I Cried All the Way to the Bank” is a powerful reminder that money isn’t everything and that a healthy and happy relationship should trump amassing a fortune.
Released in 1965, “I Cried All the Way to the Bank” is one of Norma Jean’s more enduring songs that still resonates with many people to this day.
14. “Gonna Get Over You” – Sara Bareilles
One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is taking the time to heal from the relationship and handle the pain of a breakup.
Sara Bareilles encourages everyone to approach these challenges with optimism in her track “Gonna Get Over You,” one of the more upbeat songs about divorce on our list.
Sara Bareilles has turned her hand to a range of subjects in her career, with a discography that includes one of the best songs about birds, “Bluebird.”
13. “A Little Bit Stronger” – Sarah Evans
Just as Sara Bareilles encourages people who’ve been through a divorce to move on, so, too, does Sarah Evans see something positive in the aftermath of divorce.
“A Little Bit Stronger” is another powerful, vocal-driven song that sees the artist drawing on her own experience and desire to move forward after breaking up.
If you’re going through a failed marriage yourself and want something to put you in a better frame of mind, “A Little Bit Stronger” by Sarah Evans could be the perfect song.
12. “Dancing With Myself” – Billy Idol
Billy Idol sang about dealing with the aftermath of a toxic marriage with his song “Dancing with Myself,” released in 1981.
The lyrics capture this post-divorce sense of isolation, singing, “If I looked all over the world, and there’s every type of girl, but your empty eyes seem to pass me by, leave me dancing with myself.”
It’s a great example of how effortlessly Idol blended elements of new wave, post-punk, and rock in his songs.
11. “I’m Movin’ On” – Rascal Flatts
There are no prizes for guessing the attitude of Rascal Flatts when it comes to dealing with divorce in his song, “I’m Movin’ On.”
This is another of the sad divorce tunes that are full of melancholy and yearning, which transforms into a song that talks about making peace with yourself and moving forward.
Country music singer Rascal Flatts has written many popular tracks over the years, including one of the best songs about sons, “My Wish.”
10. “Bye Bye Bye” – *NSYNC
*NSYNC tackles the topic of divorce with an upbeat song that proved to be a smash hit when it was released in 2000 “Bye Bye Bye.”
This song talks about how the singer “don’t want to be a fool for you” and how he’s fed up with the relationship and is desperate to move forward.
“Bye Bye Bye” was a big hit for the pop band, peaking at number four on the American Billboard Hot 100 charts and performing well globally.
9. “Better In Time” – Leona Lewis
We move on to another hit pop song about divorce from an altogether different perspective with “Better in Time” by Leona Lewis.
Released in 2007, this is a song that explores how time is the best healer, even when dealing with a broken relationship and the regret that follows a separation.
It showcases the impressive vocal range and emotional expression of the British singer and is an uplifting reminder that things usually work out for the best.
8. “Highway 20 Ride” – Zac Brown Band
This powerful divorce song by the Zac Brown Band was composed by Wyatt Durrette while driving to visit his son following a divorce.
The song acknowledges just how damaging divorce can be for the children caught up in the middle and how both parents need to prove they’ll be there in the future.
Released in 2008, “Highway 20 Ride” is another great country music song that deals with the topic of divorce in a sensitive and insightful manner.
7. “Someone Like You” – Adele
With her powerful vocals and probing lyrics, Adele tackles the subject of a failing marriage with her iconic song “Someone Like You.”
In this song, Adele sings about anticipating a new life after her marriage falls apart and finding a new lover who will treat her how she deserves to be treated.
With an extensive discography to her name, Adele’s “Someone Like You” is also considered to be one of the best karaoke songs you can sing along to.
6. “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
From one iconic female singer from the United Kingdom to another, number six on our list is “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.
This popular song is a clear affirmation of the aftermath of a toxic relationship and how people find the resilience to move on to new pastures.
It’s also a powerful anthem for female empowerment and how women can move on from their lowest moments to achieve greatness.
5. “So What” – Pink
While breakups can be very hard for some people, for others, they are an opportunity to enjoy a newfound freedom from responsibility.
This is the underlying theme in the song “So What” by Pink, which sees her coming to the realization that not everything revolves around an ex-husband.
It’s one of the more upbeat songs about divorce you can listen to, with an optimistic and playful vibe that’s missing from some of the other songs on this playlist.
4. “Misunderstanding” – Genesis
Progressive rock band Genesis, who has won a Grammy Award for their single “I Can’t Dance,” sums up the issues that lead to divorce in their song “Misunderstanding.”
The song was written by lead singer and drummer Phil Collins following his split from his wife, Andrea, in 1980.
It’s a fictionalized retelling of the events that led up to this divorce and was featured on the band’s popular album “Duke.”
3. “Got My Name Changed Back” – Pistol Annies
If you’re looking for a more lighthearted and amusing spin on the subject of divorce, then “Got My Name Changed Back” by Pistol Annies is well worth a listen.
This is another uptempo song that pokes fun at divorce while exploring the honky-tonk country music style of the 1950s.
It’s about the complications that divorced parents have to deal with, working through legal issues while also trying to reclaim their identity and move on.
2. “Ms. Jackson” – Outkast
Outkast takes on the man’s point of view in the song “Ms. Jackson,” which offers an insight into some of the most common breakup issues.
All the usual elements of divorce are explored in this song, from dealing with lawyers and settlements to the fights that undermine progress.
Outkast released “Ms. Jackson” in 2000, with Andre Benjamin basing the lyrics around his separation from Erykah Badu around that time.
1. “Divorce Separation Blues” – The Avett Brothers
The title of The Avett Brothers’ song about divorce sums up the weeks and months after a divorce is finalized and features beautiful vocals from Seth Avett.
“Divorce Separation Blues” explores the painful experience of love’s end following a divorce based on Seth’s firsthand experiences of going through the process.
The Avett Brothers enjoyed several hit releases over the years, including one of the best songs about spring you can listen to, “A Father’s First Spring.”
So there you have it — our comprehensive guide to the best songs about divorce you can listen to from a wide range of solo artists and popular bands.
Whether you have divorced parents or have been through a painful break-up yourself, these songs offer a relatable listening experience to help ease your pain.
It’s a topic that will continue to come up again and again through the best musicians around the world, helping them to process their pain and move on with their lives.
Have you experienced divorce and used music to help you to deal with it? Leave a comment below.
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