20 Songs About Toxic Relationships

There is nothing worse than being in a bad relationship. A song comes on the radio and takes you back to a time when you were not treated well and experienced so much pain from your lover.

These are 20 best songs about toxic relationships. They will remind you that there are other people who have experienced unhealthy relationships and that you are not alone. 

1. “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry

Katy Perry - Hot N Cold (Official)Katy Perry – Hot N Cold (Official)

Grammy award-winning Katy Perry is one of the biggest pop music superstars on the planet. She has also had her share of heartbreaks which she reflects in the song “Hot N Cold.”

The song was written by Perry, Max Martin, and Dr. Luke. It was produced by Luke and Benny Blanco for her 2008 second studio album, “One of the Boys.”

2. “Mad Love” by JoJo

JoJo - Mad Love. [Official Audio]JoJo – Mad Love. [Official Audio]

The song “Mad Love” by Jojo is from the American singer/songwriter’s third studio album. The album was released on October 14, 2016. The song focuses on the complexities of the mind when it comes to matters of the heart. It conveys what it feels like when you can’t let go of someone you were in a relationship with.  

3. “Irresistible” by Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy - Irresistible (Official)Fall Out Boy – Irresistible (Official)

“Irresistible” is a song written and recorded by the American rock band “Fall Out Boy.” It was created for the group’s 2015 sixth studio album, “American Beauty/American Psycho” The lyrics speak about a toxic relationship where the woman is constantly being hurt by her partner but sarcastically says she finds his type of love irresistible.

4. “Vicious Love” by New Found Glory

New Found Glory - Vicious Love (feat. Hayley Williams) Official Music VideoNew Found Glory – Vicious Love (feat. Hayley Williams) Official Music Video

“Vicious Love” by New Found Glory is a pop-punk anthem by the group. It speaks about a troubled relationship. The song is the 2014 sixth track and fifth release from the “The New Found Glory Resurrection” album.

5. “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were TroubleTaylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble

It seems like Taylor Swift went from being a little girl playing the guitar to a country and pop bona fide musical superstar in a matter of years. She is famous for writing about her troubled relationships, sometimes before they are over.

She is a master at turning the pain from her relationships into millions of dollars and prosperity. The song “I Knew You Were Trouble” was released in 2012 and is from her fourth studio album, “Red.”

6. “Kill For You” by Skylar Grey

Skylar Grey - Kill For You (Official Audio) ft. EminemSkylar Grey – Kill For You (Official Audio) ft. Eminem

“Kill For You” is a song by Indie pop singer Skylar Grey. The song was released on September 16, 2016, as part of her fourth studio album, “Lemonade,” and it features the talented rapper Eminem.

Grey went on a 12-day tour to promote the album and song, which is about two lovers played by Eminem and Grey. The woman is so blinded by their toxic love that she is willing to kill anyone to save what she thinks they have.

7. “Walls Could Talk” by Halsey

Halsey - Walls Could Talk (Audio)Halsey – Walls Could Talk (Audio)

“Walls Could Talk” by Halsey is a song that describes the back and forth arguments she has had with her lovers. She discusses the lengths her lovers are willing to go to keep the toxic relationships alive and how long many of them stay in those relationships. The song was released in 2017.

8. “Closer” by The Chainsmokers Ft Halsey

The Chainsmokers - Closer (Lyric) ft. HalseyThe Chainsmokers – Closer (Lyric) ft. Halsey

“Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey is a song that discusses the power of a love that will never die. It talks about how this kind of love will keep them forever young. The song was released in 2016.

9. “Love On The Brain” by Rihanna


“Love On The Brain” by Rihanna is about a woman who finds herself in a tumultuous love affair. The song was released in 2016.

Rihanna is a mega pop star who is known for writing about her toxic relationships. Her much publicized relationship with the artist Chris Brown was a cry for help regarding domestic violence in her relationship. 

10. “Put My Heart Down” by Sara Evans

Sara Evans - Put My Heart DownSara Evans – Put My Heart Down

“Put My Heart Down” is a song that describes the many fights a woman is having with her lover. She says that she never imagined how the relationship could have gone so wrong.

She asks her lover to put her heart down and let her live again. The song was released in 2014 by American country music artist Sara Evans.

11. “Energy” by Keri Hilson

Keri Hilson - Energy (Official Video)Keri Hilson – Energy (Official Video)

“Energy” by Keri Hilson is a song about love and how it naturally changes how we think. It talks about how we cannot control love and how it can change our lives. The song is from her album “In A Different World,” released on January 1, 2009.

Keri Hilson is an American singer/songwriter and actress born in Decatur, Georgia. She worked with producer Anthony Dent and was a background singer for several hip-hop and R&B artists from the young age of 14.

12. “The Heart Wants What It Wants” by Selena Gomez 

Selena Gomez - The Heart Wants What It Wants (Official Video)Selena Gomez – The Heart Wants What It Wants (Official Video)

Selena Gomez is one of the most prominent pop singers of all time. Her song, “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” is a song that is said to be about her on and off again relationship with Justin Bieber. The song was released on the 6th of November, 2014, as the lead single from her album, “For You.”

13. “Poison” by Rita Ora

RITA ORA - Poison (Video)RITA ORA – Poison (Video)

“Poison” by Rita Ora is a song that talks about the artist’s bad luck with love. She has dated men like Rob Kardashian and Calvin Harris, just to name a few.

Nothing seems to go right in love for Rita Ora as she talks about the men in her life being like snakes from the Garden of Eden and poison in her bloodstream. The song was released on May 18, 2015, by British singer Rita Ora from her second studio album.

14. “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5

Maroon 5 - Harder To BreatheMaroon 5 – Harder To Breathe

“Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5 is a song that discusses the complexities of life. The song was written by lead frontman Adam Levine during a very trying time in his life. Adam wrote the song for the American pop band’s debut album, and it was released in 2002. 

15. “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)Ed Sheeran – Shape of You (Official Music Video)

“Shape of You” by British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran is about a budding romance that began in a bar. Sheeran often writes love songs about his relationship with wife Cherry Seaborn but has been known to write about relationships that can be considered toxic. The song was released on January 6, 2017.

16. “Girl” by Destiny’s Child

Destiny's Child - Girl (Official Music Video)Destiny’s Child – Girl (Official Music Video)

They are one of the most famous girl groups in musical history. Destiny’s Child has gone through heartaches and transformations before finally becoming the group we know today.

Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams have gone global with their many hits. “Girl” was written by Beyonce and Michelle Williams as a plea for Kelly Rowland to leave an abusive relationship. The song was released in the year 2004.

17. “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga - Bad Romance (Official Music Video)Lady Gaga – Bad Romance (Official Music Video)

With 11 Grammy awards to her credit, Lady Gaga has come onto the music scene in a strong way. She is a mega pop star who collaborates with everyone. Her odd costumes bring her phenomenal music to life.

The song “Bad Romance” talks about how Lady Gaga usually feels lonely in her relationships and how she always chooses men who do not want the relationship to work. The song was the lead single for her 2009 third EP, “The Fame Monster.”

18. “New Rules” by Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa - New Rules (Official Music Video)Dua Lipa – New Rules (Official Music Video)

“New Rules” is a song by English singer/songwriter Dua Lipa where she talks about the need for new rules in love to help save her from a toxic partner. The song was released in the year 2017.

19. “Leave Me Lonely” by Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande - Leave Me Lonely (Vevo Presents)Ariana Grande – Leave Me Lonely (Vevo Presents)

Grande has experienced her share of heartache when her former lover committed suicide. “Leave Me Lonely” is a song about one of those toxic relationships that she finds difficult to run away from.

She knows that her lover is no good for her, but she continues to beg for his affection. The song was released in the year 2016.

20. “Numb” by Linkin Park

Numb [Official Music Video] - Linkin ParkNumb [Official Music Video] – Linkin Park

“Numb” by Linkin Park is the fifth track of their album Meteora,  and it was released as the album’s third single on November 25, 2003. The song peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, and it’s one of their most successful songs to date. The song is about being numb to everything around you, not just physically but emotionally.

Final Remarks

Many of the songs on this list are written by artists who have chronicled their own toxic relationships and come out the other end. These songs offer a lot of insight into the cycle of abuse, although it’s not always easy to read those words.

For that reason, we don’t recommend that people who have experienced abuse turn to these songs for support. But if you are someone who happens to find themselves in a toxic relationship, understanding your experiences through these songs may benefit you somehow.