Sad Songs Playlist

Let’s not lie to ourselves here. Being an adult is hard work. Things hardly ever go the way they’re supposed to and the universe is definitely out to get you this week.  Even when things are going great, listening to Moonlight Sonata makes me think about all the dogs I’m never going to pet in my lifetime. So schedule in some me time in your weekly agendas and play some of our favorite sad music for some emotional catharsis.


Blood – Middle East

“Blood” by The Middle East will never not be heart wrenching to me. Covering topics mostly related to death, I just can’t help but feel sad. One chunk of the song touches on the subject of cancer related death and the emotional loss experienced by loved ones, which hits it home for me. Death being an unavoidable part of life, we can all relate and wallow in sadness together with this song. (Written by Maggie Knoll)



Everybody Hurts – REM

No Sad Song playlist is complete without this one. It’s one of the classic sad songs of Hollywood that’s been used for countless movie montages of people breaking up or losing someone. It’s as emblematic of a sad song as McLachlan’s “In the Arms of an Angel.” Most people can relate to the words and the emotions performed aptly by REM. Everyone has lost someone in some way, and this song tells you its ok and normal, allowing you to just sink into your emotions. Though it is a classically sad song, there is comfort in knowing that everybody hurts and cries sometimes. (Written by Andie García Sheridan)



John My Beloved – Sufjan Stevens

The king of all sad songs really outdid himself on his latest album Carrie & Lowell, because I simply cannot listen to this song without crying. Not to mention this album was written after the passing of his mother and this album was a therapeutic creation of coming to terms with death and loneliness. “John” in this song is no doubt a biblical reference, however the more I listen to the song, the more it’s meaning perplexes me. Now, I simple listen in and the first three chords will send me into an emotional downfall. (Written by Emma Kelley)



Tired Eyes – Neil Young

Neil Young’s 1975 album “Tonight’s the Night” can really bring you down. In many of the songs Young’s voice falters to the point of completely breaking. The album is dedicated to Neil’s friends who passed away from drug abuse, and its songs emote the drunken pain of a man in his mid twenties. Songs deal with themes of loss, death, meaninglessness, and depression.. the penultimate song “Tired Eyes” illustrates many of these themes well. The lyrics oft repeated “please take my advice, please take my advice” allusions to those trying to help the those close to them who are dealing with addiction. Words of love that make no mark on the addict. “Tired Eyes” is quite the sad song, and is sure to bring many tears. (Written by Harrison Lindholm)



Unsteady – X Ambassadors

This song hits you right in the feels. With lyrics like “Mama, approach, appear; Daddy, I’m alone ’cause this house don’t feel like home” it allows your mind to wander into the dark depths that are sometimes hard to come out of. For me, if you want to take it in a literal sense, we as students can relate to this set of lyrics because we are in a foreign place and sometimes feel so alone and just want our moms. There’s no shame in that either, just a thought. This sort of song can really be molded to fit any situation, so artists wet your hands with your tears, go to the pottery wheel and get to work. (Written by Cassandra Smith)



Drunk Again – Reel Big Fish

This song takes a pretty depressing look at getting drunk, a pretty fun activity for most people. These lyrics are brutally honest, the singer deciding that staying in bed all day would be bad for his back, so he should just go to the bar to forget. The whole song is full of all these depressing explanations. The cello, the instrument for the lonely, rounds this song into a rock ballad. The chorus is when it gets dramatic with crescendo and cymbal crashes as the singer proclaims “I’m scared of myself again.” The bridge is when it gets a little scary with organ and guitar biting into your sides as the singer starts to lose it a bit. Alcoholism is one of the heaviest things a person can go through. (Written by Mateo Muro)



Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

A song can only get sadder once you understand the context behind it. As for this one, Roger Waters pays homage to estranged band mate, Syd Barrett, who had to drop out of the band after continuous episodes of erratic behavior and ultimately, mental illness. The 60s was a wicked time and some didn’t make it out alive. It goes beyond just being a sad soft tune, it questions decisions and conceptualizes outcomes as Waters asks much of Barrett. If you’re ever in the mood for a good reflection and a tear or two, this is your go-to. (Written by Kayla Martinez)  



Katalina and Erica Mendel- Not About Angels

So often we hear “this is better than the original!” but I actually prefer this version to the original “Not About Angels” by Birdy. Maybe it’s the purity in their voices, maybe it’s the simplicity of the piano, but this song will always evoke a melancholy or sad emotion from me. The original of this song will never be as touching as the cover version of this song to me. They two girls made it their own and gave the song a very authentic performance. You can hear the emotion voices in their voices and if you are ever in need of a good cry or just wanting to wallow in some emotions, this song should be one of your go to’s. With tones of desperation and sadness, this song continues to be one of the saddest I know, not just because of the content of the song, but also the performance of the two girls. (Written by  Andie García Sheridan)



Symphony No. 5: IV Adagietto

For years the symphonies of Gustav Mahler have captivated and exhilarated audience from all over. As a classical music enthusiast and classically trained musician (only on my better days), his symphonies have always comfort me through some of my most difficult moments. This is the only movement from his fifth symphony in which the strings are exclusively featured. Its somber mood suspends the listener into a profound, reflective state of mind. Almost at the very end of the movement, the long-waited resolution arrives only to bring across this satisfying sense of ease and tranquility. (Written by Brenda Herrera)



Enjoy the spotify playlist on the go!

About WPGU Music Staff

We're a gang of music lovers.

View all posts by WPGU Music Staff →