Stuck in a love snare? These 20 songs about toxic relationships hit close to home, reminding us that love isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Let the music speak when words fall short.
Life’s not always a stroll down lover’s lane. Sometimes, it’s a battlefield, replete with toxic relationships that can break your spirit. Music, however, always manages to salvage the unsaid, the felt, and the experienced. We’ve handpicked 20 songs that perfectly capture the turmoil of a toxic relationship. They won’t magically solve your problems but they will reassure you – you’re not the only one fighting these battles!
- 1. “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry
- 2. “Mad Love” by JoJo
- 3. “Irresistible” by Fall Out Boy
- 4. “Vicious Love” by New Found Glory
- 5. “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift
- 6. “Kill For You” by Skylar Grey
- 7. “Walls Could Talk” by Halsey
- 8. “Closer” by The Chainsmokers Ft Halsey
- 9. “Love On The Brain” by Rihanna
- 10. “Put My Heart Down” by Sara Evans
- 11. “Energy” by Keri Hilson
- 12. “The Heart Wants What It Wants” by Selena Gomez
- 13. “Poison” by Rita Ora
- 14. “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5
- 15. “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran
- 16. “Girl” by Destiny’s Child
- 17. “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga
- 18. “New Rules” by Dua Lipa
- 19. “Leave Me Lonely” by Ariana Grande
- 20. “Numb” by Linkin Park
- Final Remarks
1. “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry
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.” Crafted by the music maestros Perry, Max Martin, and Dr. Luke, the song is a musical journey through the tumultuous waves of an uncertain relationship.
2. “Mad Love” by JoJo
The song “Mad Love” by Jojo is from the American singer/songwriter’s third studio album. The album was released in 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
Embrace your rocker side with “Irresistible” by the iconic American band, Fall Out Boy. Featured in their 2015 album “American Beauty/American Psycho,” this track paints a vivid picture of a toxic relationship through biting sarcasm. It’s a twisted love story that stings yet you can’t help but sway along with its infectious beat.
4. “Vicious Love” by New Found Glory
“If you’re all about that punk life, you’d better crank up “Vicious Love” by New Found Glory. This pop-punk anthem delves into the chaos of a turbulent relationship, making it the quintessential track for anyone who’s loved and lost… and still picks up the pieces. Featured on their album “The New Found Glory Resurrection,” this song is a lyrical punch to the heart.
5. “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift
You can’t talk about songs on heartbreak and toxic relationships without mentioning the queen of the genre, Taylor Swift. Swift is known for translating her emotional battles into chart-topping hits. “I Knew You Were Trouble” stands as a testament to her talent, offering a raw, melodious narrative of love’s pitfalls and disappointments. It’s like a love letter to anyone who’s been through the ringer and lived to tell the tale.
6. “Kill For You” by Skylar Grey
Allow indie pop sensation Skylar Grey to capture your heart with her hauntingly beautiful song “Kill For You.” Released in 2016 from her fourth studio album, “Lemonade,” this track features the lyrical genius of rapper Eminem. It tells a compelling story of blinding love and the destructive lengths one would go to protect it. Turn the volume up and get ready to lose yourself in this emotional rollercoaster.
7. “Walls Could Talk” by Halsey
“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
Who can forget the 2016 hit “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey? This song encapsulates the intoxicating allure of a love that defies time. It’s a testament to the undying flame that keeps lovers forever young, despite the toxicity that often accompanies such passions. Dive into this timeless hit and relive those bittersweet memories.
9. “Love On The Brain” by Rihanna
Pop icon Rihanna’s “Love On The Brain” is a poignant confession of a tumultuous love affair. Known for her raw and revealing lyrics about toxic relationships, Rihanna’s 2016 track is a heart-rending cry for help, reflecting the struggles of dealing with domestic violence. It’s a powerful piece that truly puts love on the brain.
10. “Put My Heart Down” by Sara Evans
Delving into the country genre, we have Sara Evans with “Put My Heart Down.” This 2014 release is an emotional plea from a woman caught in a spiralling relationship. It captures the desperate longing to be set free, to break away from the chains of a destructive love. This song is sure to strike a chord with anyone who’s battled a broken heart.
11. “Energy” by Keri Hilson
Turn up the volume for “Energy” by Keri Hilson, a melodic reflection on how love can alter our perceptions and realities. From her 2009 album “In A Perfect World,” Hilson delves into the uncontrollable force of love and its profound impacts. Forged in the fires of R&B and hip-hop, Hilson’s voice adds an extra layer of emotional depth to this track. Listen here.
Pop sensation Selena Gomez brings you “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” a bittersweet song allegedly inspired by her on-and-off relationship with Justin Bieber. This 2014 track, the lead single from her album “For You,” is a reminder of the uncontrollable and often painful nature of love.
13. “Poison” by Rita Ora
“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. Drawing from her own challenging experiences, Ora likens the men in her life to serpents, their love like venom coursing through her veins. This track, off her 2015 album, is a must-listen for anyone navigating the stormy seas of love.
14. “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5
“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
“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
Iconic trio Destiny’s Child, featuring Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams, gave us the classic “Girl.” Crafted as a message of support for Kelly Rowland during a tough relationship, the song’s strong message resonated worldwide. A 2004 release, this tune underlines the importance of friendship during troubled times.
17. “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga
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. As the lead single from her 2009 EP “The Fame Monster,” Gaga’s pulsating beats and poignant lyrics remind us that not all romances are fairytales.
18. “New Rules” by Dua Lipa
English singer/songwriter Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” is a rallying cry for self-preservation in the face of toxic love. As a 2017 hit, this song emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries and protecting one’s heart amidst romantic turbulence.
19. “Leave Me Lonely” by Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande’s “Leave Me Lonely” is a haunting exploration of a harmful relationship. Born from personal heartache, this 2016 track presents a struggle of yearning for a love that is ultimately destructive. It’s a reminder that sometimes, love is not enough.
20. “Numb” by Linkin Park
Finally, we have “Numb” by Linkin Park. As the fifth track of their album Meteora, this song is a profound exploration of emotional numbness and disconnect. Released in 2003, “Numb” remains one of Linkin Park’s most successful songs and is a testament to their ability to resonate with listeners on deep emotional levels.
Listening to these tracks, it’s clear that even in the darkest corners of love, there’s a shared human experience and an opportunity to grow, learn, and ultimately, heal. Remember, though, while these songs can resonate and provide solace, if you or someone you know is caught up in a toxic relationship, professional help is vital. Music is therapy, but it’s not a substitute for professional guidance.