The 25 Best Heartbreak Albums Of All Time

Get your tissues, lads - we're going cryin'.
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Get your tissues, lads - we're going cryin'.


So, I got this text over the weekend.

“The woman in the flat above me has played 'Someone Like You' nine times in a row. She then took a brief 'Rolling in the Deep' break before putting on 'Someone Like You'.”

England I love you, yeah, but your heartbreak game is bringing me down. If you're going to stamp around your flat wailing and hurling jars out of the window, by all means give Adele a spin. Once. Then move on to this lot:

Lykke Li – I Never Learn

Wall-to-wall heartbroken torch songs like you wouldn't believe. For when you've been dumped on a mountain, by a giant hefty fucker with an axe who's covered in frost.

Top Weeping: 'Never Gonna Love Again'

The Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs

For a proper wallow, you can't beat a sentiment as nakedly self-pitying as “I Don't Wanna Get Over You.” Also, “69”, lol amazing.

Top Weeping: 'I Don't Wanna Get Over You'

Richard and Linda Thompson – Shoot Out the Lights

Underrated GOAT cool music couple these two, and not just because they've got two of the best album titles AND covers of all time.

Top Weeping: 'Shoot Out the Lights'

The Antlers – Hospice

The central heartbreak behind this one is so intense and gut-wrenching, I'm scared to talk about it in case you accidentally sob on your keyboard and blow up your computer.

Top Weeping: 'Two'

Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved a Man The Way That I Love You

Step down, Adele. Step. The fuck. Down. If you really want to wail yourself inside out, you can't beat Aretha.

Top Weeping: 'Baby Baby Baby'

Eels – Blinking Lights, And Other Revelations

You can't be heartbroken, or sad, or feel any kind of emotion without an Eels album. Electroshock Blues is the best and saddest, but it's about every single other sad thing BESIDES breaking up. I've gone for this because it came out closest to lead singer E's divorce, and it's also amazing.

Honestly, the state of me.

Top Weeping: 'I'm Going to Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart'

Leonard Cohen – New Skin for the Old Ceremony

'Chelsea Hotel No. 2' isn't just the saddest song to explicitly reference famous blowjobs, it might be THE saddest song.

Top Weeping: 'Chelsea Hotel No. 2'

Joni Mitchell – Blue

As if you needed a reason to hate Richard Curtis, the absolute fucker tried to steal Joni Mitchell from us. YOU CAN'T HAVE HER RICHARD. AND YOU CAN'T HAVE EMMA THOMPSON EITHER.

Top Weeping: 'River'

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

Sometimes all you need is a gut wrenching weepy about unrequited love, named after a really overrated pop-punk band.

Top Weeping: 'Bad Religion'

Phil Collins - ...But Seriously

The man wrote 'Against All Odds', and that's not even his best heartbreak song. And 'In the Air Tonight' isn't even his best air drumming moment. Altogether now: “Da-DUN! Da-DUN! NYEEEEEOW, NYOW NYOW, NA NA NA-NOWWWW!”

Also, bonus points for redeeming Eric Clapton's otherwise total embarassment of a career.

Top Weeping: 'I Wish It Would Rain Down'

Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel...

Maybe the smartest album ever made about love and mental illness. Quite hard to make gags about this one, on account of it being so amazing. The line “I ran out of white dove feathers / to soak up the hot piss that comes from your mouth / every time you address me” is pretty spectacular though.

Top Weeping: 'Werewolf'

Kanye West – 808's and Heartbreak

Remember when Kanye West got so sad that he changed pop music forever? WHAT A SCAMP, EH?

Top Weeping: 'Love Lockdown'

ABBA – Super Trouper

DO NOT front like ABBA weren't flawless banger machines. DO NOT front like 'The Winner Takes it All' doesn't absolutely destroy you every. Damn. Time. If it's good enough for Alan Partridge, it's good enough for you.

Top Weeping: 'The Winner Takes It All'

Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

The best British album of the 90's - ALRIGHT RADIOHEAD FANS FEEL FREE TO STAND DOWN WHENEVER - is mostly about heroin and God and stuff, but it's also an absolutely brutal breakup record. It's got 'Broken Heart' for when you're hurting, but also 'Stay With Me' for when heartbreak has made you literally fill your entire body with gear.

Top Weeping: 'Broken Heart'

Perfume Genius – Learning

Sometimes two people break up because one of them is 15 and the other is his teacher who's just jumped off a building. This is for that, among other things.

Top Weeping: 'Mr. Peterson'

Los Campesinos! – Hello Sadness

Gareth Campesinos! is our greatest living lyricist, and the scenes he paints are so vivid that it's hard not to imagine them as your own. Even when he's getting pecked to death by massive birds, like.

Top Weeping: 'To Tundra'

The Rosebuds – Loud Planes Fly Low

Another one of those husband and wife duos that broke up and decided to keep being a band anyway. “No we won't be like that, we're adorable and indestructable” they probably thought, while very pointedly hiding their copy of 'Rumours' under a cushion.

Luckily they're really good at writing songs, so no harm done.

Top Weeping: 'Limitless Arms'

Cursive – Domestica

Want to relive the most painful night of your life? This landmark of second-wave emo (back when it was all surly types with normal haircuts singing brutal post-hardcore about feelings) is a razor-edged snapshot of a marriage collapsing in on itself, and best experienced when cowering in a cupboard.

Top Weeping: 'The Night I Lost the Will to Fight'

Billie Holliday – Lady Sings the Blues

Every aspect of human misery is right there in Billie Holliday's voice. You have to sit there and study it like it's Shakespeare. Might be enough to distract you from whoever dumped the fuck out of you, to be honest.

Top Weeping: 'Lady Sings the Blues'

Beck – Sea Change

Aw Beck, lad, it's gonna be alright. Shall we do a silly dance to 'Devil's Haircut', cheer you up a bit? Yeah. Lovely little dance to 'Devil's Haircut'.

Before you all mouth off about 'Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes': yes, I know, it's very very sad. Well done. It's not on an album though, is it? Prick.

Top Weeping: 'Guess I'm Doing Fine'

The Mynabirds – What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood

The Mynabirds are incredibly underrated producers of big hearted indie pop bangers, so at the very least you'll be educating your fool self while weeping into a giant fruit bowl full of cereal.

Top Weeping: 'What We Gained in the Fire'

Drake – Take Care


Top Weeping: 'Marvin's Room'

The Mountain Goats – Get Lonely

Careful with this one. It's like, weapons-grade sad. Have an energy drink before you go in to balance yourself out.

Top Weeping: 'Get Lonely'

Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight

“Poke”, man. Fucking “Poke”. Brief moment of sincerity, but if you can make it through “And now we're unrelated / and rid of all the shit we hated / but I hate when I feel like this / and I never hated you”, during which Scott Hutchison's voice cracks a full NINE times, then you're literally Yul Brynner in Westworld.

Top Weeping: 'Poke'

Taylor Swift – Red


Top Weeping: 'All Too Well'