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If you see me cry-singing, no you didn’t.
We may just have started 2023, but now that New Year’s resolutions have mostly dropped off (ask me if my new treadmill has already become a funky coat rack) and there’s no more sparkly ~holiday magic~ to make the colder, grosser weather more fun, things are, um, not always amazing. And I don’t know about you, but when those sadder feelings come up, I personally like to lean into them with some songs that match the energy, because nothing says healthy emotional processing like cry-singing along to a few sad songs, amirite?!
But do we want to listen old sad music? Of course not! I’m always on the lookout for new music that makes me feel some type of way to add to my “when you need a good cry” playlist. Whether you’re going through a post-holiday breakup, dealing with the fact that literally just breathing feels wildly expensive these days, or are suffering from winter blues, there are plenty of entirely valid reasons to feel a little sad rn (just ask my therapist!), and thankfully 2023 has already given us a few new great sad songs to
throw on blast loudly while you sing along and really feel those occasionally-uncomfy emotions. Already this year, we’ve been graced with new albums from Sam Smith and Lukas Graham—which you just know are always good for an emotional, sad song or two—plus some other really amazing new bops from artists you may not have discovered yet. So go grab your headphones, speakers, and/or listening device of choice, because we’ve got some important music-playing to do.
Sam Smith really does create the best emotional heartbreak songs, and “How to Cry“ off their new album Gloria is another one to add to the list. For anyone who has been in an emotionally abusive relationship, this song will hit home with lines like “I believed you could change / But you’re still the same / And I’m still invisible,” really cutting deep.
The lead single off of Etta Marcus’ new album Heart-Shaped Bruise is equal parts calming and saddening, which TBH is exactly what I’m looking for in a sad song to throw on. As you might have been able to guess, this song is about the “heart-shaped bruise” that’s left after having to leave someone you love.
It’s not always the end of a relationship that’s sad. Sometimes you’re in it and slowly realize it isn’t what it used to be but, at the same time, you don’t want it to end. Those contrasting feelings aren’t exactly easy to deal with, and that’s what this song is all about.
If you’re not listening to Khai Dreams yet, you really should be, and “Overall” is the perfect song to make you really sink into your feels. It has a chill yet sad sound to it, with lyrics like, “I’m just in my head like time again, time again” really resonating with anyone whose overthinking can get them feeling blue.
Mac DeMarco’s new album may be entirely instrumental (and based on different cities he’s visited) but even still, “Vancouver 2“ has a melancholy sound about it that’ll let you catch a sad vibe without having to listen to lyrics.