20 Songs About Pain, Suffering, and Hurting

Tragedies and difficult experiences can leave long-lasting physical, mental, and emotional damage. Sometimes the pain is so great that it feels impossible to bear. But it’s a good thing that we have music to help us cope.

Here are 20 songs about pain that can help you express your feelings:

1. “Love Hurts” by Nazareth

This rock classic tugs at any heartstrings that are still intact. It’s a simple, straightforward acknowledgment of love’s capability to hurt as well as heal. Dan McCafferty’s vocals can literally bring one to tears. This song is for people who have experienced love’s intense highs and lows.

2. “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.

This is a timeless tune that helps people feel less alone in their pain. Michael Stipe’s iconic vocals capture the essence of hurt and desperation, but he also conveys a sense of hope.

This song is for anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed by life’s struggles. If you’re feeling a little bit lower than normal, always know that you’re not alone and this song is here to remind you of that.

3. “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” by Culture Club

This Culture Club classic captures the hurt and confusion that comes with not knowing where you stand in a relationship. Love can be confusing, and this song encapsulates the feeling of not knowing whether someone really wants to hurt you or just wants to love you.

The lyrics are poignant and touching, making this an appropriate song for anyone who has been through an uncertain relationship or unrequited love.

4. “Valley Of Pain” by Bonnie Raitt

A woman’s suffering is explored in this bluesy Bonnie Raitt song. She’s been through a lot of pain and heartbreak in her life, yet she still manages to keep on going.

This song is for anyone who has been battered by life but still manages to stand strong. It’s an anthem of resilience and strength in the face of pain and suffering.

5. “My Immortal” by Evanescence

Evanescence’s power ballad is for anyone who has ever felt unbearable sadness. The haunting vocals and captivating piano riffs make it a powerful song that can help those who are feeling the lingering pain of love and agony. This song can be used to embrace dark feelings and allow them to pass through you like a wave.

6. “Let’s Hurt Tonight” by OneRepublic

As this song was featured in Will Smith’s movie Collateral Beauty, it’s clear that it speaks to those who have experienced pain and problems in a relationship.

Trying to mend things and make a relationship work can be painful, and this song captures the torment of loving a person despite all the difficulties and troubles.

7. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash

Self-harm and depression are touchy topics, but “Hurt” by Johnny Cash reflect how people feel about these issues.

The doubts, disappointments, and despair of life can be heavy burdens, and this song speaks to those who have ever felt that they were just too much to bear. This heavy, yet beautiful ballad can help anyone open up, share their darkest thoughts, and be reminded that there is hope.

8. “Pain” by Three Days Grace

Pain reminds us that we are still able to feel, even when things seem unbearable. This rock anthem is for people who are used to feeling the pain and are already accustomed to it.

This track is for those of us who rather feel pain than feel nothing at all because being human means feeling every emotion, even the darker ones.

9. “Let It Hurt” by Rascal Flatts

Pretending to be okay is one of the most common ways of dealing with pain, but it’s not the healthiest way. 

This tune tackles that idea and encourages people to confront their emotions instead of suppressing them. The idea of this track is to get listeners to confront their feelings and work through the hurt before they can begin to heal.

10. “Hurts” by James Arthur

Loving can hurt and this song from James Arthur captures this emotion. This track speaks to anyone who has ever been hurt in love and has been treated as a stranger. 

His soulful vocals just perfectly ooze the feeling of pain and anguish that come with loving someone and not being able to find solace. This track is for anyone who hasn’t gotten over their last relationship and still feels the pain of it.

11. “Hurts So Good” by John Cougar Mellencamp

The idea of embracing pain instead of running from it especially when you’re in love is explored in this classic track from John Cougar Mellencamp. 

With its bluesy guitar riffs and folksy vibe, the song talks about pain in love hurts so good. Not all pain is bad and this track will remind you that it can bring joy and pleasure too.

12. “This Too Shall Pass” by Ok Go

Pain is only temporary, and this upbeat track from Ok Go captures that idea perfectly. The song is a great reminder to keep going and power through the pain because, in the end, it will pass.

With its catchy chorus and inspiring lyrics, “This Too Shall Pass” is an anthem for anyone who has ever been stuck in a rut and needs to be reminded that things will eventually get better.

13. “Hurts” by Emeli Sandé

Being vulnerable in a relationship can be difficult, but Emeli Sandé’s track “Hurts” tackles this idea head-on. 

This song speaks about a relationship that felt so perfect but abruptly ended, leaving the narrator feeling pained and dejected. This upbeat track is something you would play when you’re trying to acknowledge the pain and hate.

14. “Everybody Lost Somebody” by Bleacher

Everyone has experienced heartbreak in one way or another and this track from Bleachers speaks to that. The song talks about the grief of losing someone and how it can hurt so much that moving on is a difficult task. This indie rock anthem is for anyone who needs a reminder that they are not alone in their pain.

15. “Don’t Hurt Yourself” by Beyonce

Being angry because of a cheating partner can be understandable and venting out is one way to show it. 

Beyonce’s powerful anthem “Don’t Hurt Yourself” talks about being confident in yourself despite the hurt and betrayal, coming strong, and making it clear that the other person made a terrible mistake. This track is a great way to vent out anger while also reclaiming your power.

16. “Physical Pain” by Joan Armatrading

This track dives into the idea that pain can be physical and emotional. 

Joan Armatrading has delivered a heartbreaking ballad about how physical pain can manifest inside of someone due to hurtful memories, grudges, and past experiences. This song is for anyone who feels like their life is full of unresolved pain and struggles with the hopes of fixing it.

17. “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera

A hauntingly beautiful track, Christina Aguilera’s “Hurt” is a ballad about the pain of losing someone who is no longer alive.

Her powerful yet delicate vocals will make you feel the sorrow and grief in her words. This track is for anyone who needs a release when they’re feeling overwhelmed with pain and sadness.

18. “First Cut Is The Deepest” by Sheryl Crow

“First Cut Is The Deepest” is a song about how the pain of first love can be the most painful of all. Sheryl Crow’s rendition of this classic track talks about the pain of a broken heart and how it can be hard to move on from that kind of love. This soulful song is perfect for anyone who needs love that heals a broken heart.

19. “Feel No Pain” by Sade

Sade’s “Feel No Pain” is the anthem when you just want to feel numb and invincible. This soulful track talks about not wanting to feel any kind of pain because he needs to be strong for his family.

His family wallows and listens to blues after they got laid off, so he cannot show any weakness. This sad tune is for the breadwinners of the family who need to be strong for their loved ones despite the pain.

20. “Pain In My Heart” by Otis Redding

This classic soul track from Otis Redding speaks about the twinge of pain a person feels when their heart is broken.

The narrator in the song talks about how much it hurts to beg for love yet the person already left. It’s a heartbreaking song that will certainly make anyone feel the anguish of a restless and broken heart.


These songs about pain express different stories of heartache, hurt, and grief. Whether you need a reminder that your pain is valid or if you just want to wallow in self-pity, these tunes are sure to help you feel seen and understood.

So, if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed by your struggles, don’t hesitate to give these tracks a listen.