Best Angry Breakup Songs

There’s always one song after a break-up that reminds you of your former partner. It can catch you at odd moments, sometimes hours, sometimes years after the fact.

Here are some of the best angry break-up songs to help you move on from that lost love and let them and those errant, sentimental songs go in the process.

1. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood

“Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood

Song Year: 2005

This angry break-up song is ideal for anyone daydreaming about burning their ex’s possessions. You can’t get away with setting anything on fire. In real life, it’s a recipe for lawsuits and arrests. But as a musical fantasy, it makes for cathartic listening.

Underwood’s vocals are smooth, and the beat is steady. The melody simmers with barely-suppressed fury. Revenge might be best served cold, the lyrics suggest, but fiery, combustible anger has its virtues too.

2. “Thank U Next” by Ariana Grande

Song Year: 2019

Ariana Grande’s “Thank U Next” makes another excellent break-up song. It rattles off the faults of the speaker’s various exes, and it’s a sentiment anyone recovering from a break-up will sympathize with.

But then it starts talking about how the speaker coped with all the loss. It turns out they stopped chasing the ideal romance. Instead, they’re enjoying being single and using it to get to know themselves better. It’s a precinct reminder that as painful as break-ups can be, sometimes they’re the wake-up call we need to reimagine our lives.

 3. “So What” by P!NK

Song Year: 2008

P!NK’s “So What” is another excellent angry break-up song. It’s catchy, and the melody is appropriately spikey.

 It gives you a musical outlet to vent your frustrations while reminding you that you don’t need a relationship to get the most out of life. 

4. “F*ck You, Goodbye” by The Kid LAROI

Song Year: 2020

The Kid LAROI’s song “F*ck You, Goodbye” is one of the more recent songs on this list. When the song debuted in 2020, it was immediately popular. The melody is upbeat, the tempo moves at a clip, and the lyrics are memorable.

It’s also more than an angry break-up song. It’s a reminder that boundaries are always worth setting. Sometimes, enough is enough, and there’s nothing wrong with saying so. 

5. “I Hate Men” by Rachel York

Song Year: 2003

Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate is a musical adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew, and it spawns one of the most satisfying songs there is with “I Hate Men.”

The lyrics are wonderfully tongue-in-cheek. Clever word-play aside, the song requires a hefty belt and wail from the singer, ideally suited to listeners who want to rail and scream at the person who hurt them.

6.“Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” by Cole Swindell

Song Year: 2014

Country music is rife with angry break-up songs. Its mellow harmonies and the occasional chordal dissonance suit the oeuvre perfectly.

What’s delightful about these country break-up songs is their overt civility. This speaker raises a glass to a former love, but everything from lyrics to instrumentation crackles with tension. There’s an inchoate fury here that isn’t going anywhere fast.

7. “It’s My Party” by Leslie Gore 

Song Year: 1963

Leslie Gore’s musical commemoration of the furious, tearful break-up proves that songs about breaking up are older than today’s youth suspect.

The speaker’s insistence that she will indulge in whatever feelings she wants, irrespective of the social situation, is an invitation to vent her anger and frustration. There’s never an opportune moment for a break-up, and a little indulgence is allowed.

8. “Breakin’ Dishes” by Rhianna 

Song Year: 2009

Rhianna’s “Breakin’ Dishes” is another angry break-up song about indulging in destruction. In this case, the speaker’s dishes catch the brunt of her ire.

Arguably, it’s not a practical way to temper your anger, but it feels satisfying while you do it. The trouble is that it leaves you less of your kitchen crockery. Rhianna lets you fantasize about that kind of cathartic revenge without indulging in it.

 9. “Caught Out There” by Kelis

Song Year: 2009

Kelis dedicated this 2009 rap song to the many women who feel lied to or betrayed by their former partners.

Its lyrics are full of lines imbued with anger and frustration, making it ideal for after a breakup.

10. “Picture to Burn” by Taylor Swift

“Picture to Burn” by Taylor Swift

Song Year: 2006

Taylor Swift does an excellent line in angry break-up songs and “Picture to Burn” is the perfect example.

Its lyrics fantasize about how best to mete out revenge on an ex-partner and range from the petty to the extravagant. They’re the kind of mundane daydreams few of us have the gumption to act out, but it’s fun listening to someone else meditate on doing what you know you won’t.

11. “Don’t” by Ed Sheeran

Song Year: 2014

With its snaps and claps there’s a quiet aura of menace about this angry break-up song by Ed Sheeran.

The tempo is more relaxed than other songs on this list, but there’s no second-guessing the lyrics. In particular, the chorus is a message to people everywhere not to take love lightly. The consequences are invariably messy and painful.

12. “My Happy Ending” by Avril Lavigne

Song Year: 2004

“My Happy Ending” doesn’t start sounding like an angry break-up song. Instead, its speaker is confused and hurt.

But it soon escalates into anger that manifests by belittling the speaker’s old date, their friends, and the choices they made.

It’s not a mature attitude, but it’s a human one, and one that hurt and angry listeners can appreciate.

13. “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette 

Song Year: 1995

Alanis Morissette is another artist who overlays angry break-up songs with a veneer of scathing civility.

A surface listening to “You Oughta Know” suggests it’s about two former lovers meeting up and discussing their new romantic entanglements.

Further, listening reveals it’s a damning indictment of the ex-partner. The speaker takes every opportunity to remind their partner of how and why their relationship fell apart and anticipates that their new romance also won’t last. 

14. “Superman” by Eminem 

 Song Year: 1992

“Superman” commemorates a brief but catastrophic romantic relationship between rapper Eminem and Mariah Carey.

The song has a fast, furious sound with an unrelenting percussive beat. It’s the ideal angry break-up song because it critically dissects why these two artists had such a disastrous and short-lived romance.

15. “Der Holle Der Rache” by Diana Dimrau  

Song Year: 2017

Not all break-ups are romantic, and few relationships are as fraught as that between mother and daughter. In this show-stopping and operatic angry break-up song, a mother threatens to disown her daughter if she doesn’t murder her father.

Even if your break-up was romantic, it’s still cathartic. Music is only a half-step from the primal scream and all those high F sharps sound like nothing more than one extremely articulate and outraged scream. 

16. “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera    

Song Year: 2003

“Fighter” splits its time between being an angry break-up song and an anthem of female empowerment.

The speaker is patently furious at their ex. But they also realize how much better off they are without that person in their life. Even as the song rattles off a litany of grievances the ex committed, it acknowledges that the speaker is stronger for surviving them. Crucially, they will know better next time.

17.“Smile” by Lily Allen    

Song Year: 2006

“Smile” is another wonderful example of an angry break-up song.

The speaker explores their feelings for their ex. They admit that while they were initially confused, the more they learn about their ex, the angrier they become.

They rattle off many misdemeanors that may sound familiar to listeners. But the thing that makes them angriest is the ex trying to re-establish contact as if all these past transgressions were acceptable. 

18. “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects     

“Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects

Song Year: 2009

The All-American Rejects blend punk music with rock in this jaunty but angry break-up song.

As the song progresses the tempo speeds up to reflect the speaker’s mood. Like other songs discussed, it lists the ex’s transgressions. The speaker hopes they regret these, but not enough to give them a second chance. 

19. “I Hate Everything About You” by Three Days’ Grace     

Song Year: 2003

From the title onwards, “I Hate Everything About You” is the consummate angry break-up song.

It expresses a blend of frustration towards the speaker’s persistent feelings for their ex and fury at their ex for the effect they still have on the speaker.

20. “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac     

Song Year: 1977

What’s remarkable about this angry break-up song is that the broken-up couple stayed together artistically and performed it.

Despite this, it gives vent to the frustrations of putting up long-term with someone else’s foibles and getting nothing in return. It’s a sentiment anyone in a recently-soured romance can appreciate.

21. “Never Again” by Kelly Clarkson      

Song Year: 2007

Here’s another angry break-up song with a speaker who takes pleasure in imagining their ex’s ongoing misfortune.

Most of these tribulations are the petty kind we all fantasize about post-break-up. The speaker also takes delight in saying they never read their ex’s attempt at apology. They want many things for their ex, but comfort and forgiveness aren’t on the list.

22. “Ex Factor” by Lauryn Hill       

Song Year: 1998

While still an angry break-up song, this one is more mellow than other songs on the list. The tempo is slower and Hill sings with vulnerability.

The vocals are high, exposed, and raw. It cuts to the quick of that sad and angry sensation that’s all too familiar for anyone who’s survived a breakup, and it lets you cry as much as it allows you to shout.

23. “ShadowBoxer” by Fiona Apple        

Song Year: 1996

“ShadowBoxer” also has a slow, even seductive tempo. But there’s a quiet anger there, too.

It condemns the subterfuge of the speaker’s ex, who gets people’s on-side by seeming friendly. Only later do their faults emerge. And once they do, the speaker can’t unsee them. She’s furious and she won’t be going back, whatever the ex tries.

24. “Shut Up And Let Me Go” by The Ting Tings         

Song Year: 2008

This song doesn’t pull its punches. Its speaker isn’t happy about the recent breakup. They didn’t want it to happen, but even less do they want anything to do with their former partner.

It candidly rattles off the pain and anguish the break-up inflicts on them, making it cathartic listening for anyone in the same boat.

25. “Better Than Revenge” by Taylor Swift          

Song Year: 2010

From the start, Swift’s “Better Than Revenge” is angry and condemnatory. It wants the speaker’s ex and new partner to feel a proportionate amount of guilt for what happened.

It’s also a warning. The speaker practiced revenge and never misses an opportunity to inflict it. It’s not something the average person can get away with. But you can take vicarious pleasure in listening to someone else daydream about realizing your revenge fantasies.

26. “This Love” by Pantera          

Song Year: 1992

“This Love” starts somber and reflective. The speaker would have done anything to keep their ex with them.

As the song progresses, it gradually becomes an angry break-up song. The initial melancholy gets replaced by outrage that all that time and effort was for nothing.

By the time the song ends, happiness is a distant daydream. The speaker would much sooner forget their old love.

27. “Take A Bow” by Rhianna           

Song Year: 2008

Rhianna’s “Take a Bow” was a staple angry break-up song of the early 2000s.

Its melody is slow and even lugubrious. But the degree of vitriol she doles out over the percussive rhythm is unmatched. It’s earned too, because the ex hanging around her front door uninvited would get even the most patient person’s hackle’s up. 

28. “Done” by The Band Perry            

Song Year: 2013

This country song makes ideal listening after a breakup. Its lyrics are as angry as many abandoned partners are.

The lyrics are also memorable. The most striking quips about the advice the speaker’s mother gave. It stressed the importance of manners and is, apparently, irrelevant and inapplicable confronted with the sheer cheek of the speaker’s late lover.

29. “Cry Me A River” by Justin Timberlake             

Song Year: 2002

Timberlake wrote “Cry Me A River” following a split with Brittany Spears.

Allegedly, Spears didn’t want the relationship to end, but Timberlake was adamant. The song became a way to work through his feelings.

It starts slow, and almost sounds choral, becoming angrier and faster as it goes.

30. “Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez          

“Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez

Song Year: 2015

Gomez’s delivery of this angry break-up song is astonishing. It blends anger with vulnerability and the result is a passionate and memorable performance.

It sizzles and pops under the vocal line, making it ideal for moments when you want to indulge in anger-fueled fantasies about an ex.

31. “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green          

Song Year: 2010

What’s immediately striking about this R&B song is its sound. The opening bars sound bubbly.

But the lyrics are undeniably angry. They’re full of resentment for how cavalierly they were treated by their ex, and anyone who has been dumped without warning will sympathize.

32. “How Many Times, How Many Lies” by The Pussycat Dolls          

 Song Year: 2005

“How Many Times, How Many Lies” is an anthem to anyone who ever ignored advice from friends to get out of a relationship.

The speaker rattles off grievance after grievance and demands to know how many lies they have heard over the years. They might have been fooled once by their ex, but they won’t be again.

33. “The Bleeding” by Five Finger Punch        

Song Year: 2007

“The Bleeding” is not only atypically lyrical for a heavy metal song, but it’s also more tuneful than normal for Five FInger Punch.

But don’t underestimate the song. It might be light on guitar riffs, but it’s one of the angriest songs on this list.

What gives the song an extra poignancy is that it’s obvious there’s real love fizzling away under the surface of the anger. These are people who care about each other, even as they make each other furious. Despite that, there’s no way for them to reconcile. They’ve done too much damage and come too far to turn back and reconnect now.

34. “Hung Up” by Madonna        

Song Year: 2005

Lots about “Hung Up” feels slow. The initial tempo has hesitancy to it, and even the lyrics reflect how slowly time goes.

That’s appropriate for a song that starts by evoking how waiting for someone makes time feel suspended or even paused.

Eventually, the waiting becomes untenable and the speaker snaps. The result is a song that bristles with fury even as it delineated the faults of the person who failed to show up. It’s the kind of cataloging we all do of our exes, and it’s a relief to know it’s an integral part of human nature.

35. “Sorry” by Beyonce     

Song Year: 2016

While it’s inarguably an angry break-up song, “Sorry,” by Beyonce, is also an optimistic one.

It unapologetically lambasts the speaker’s ex for their failings. But that’s not its only focal point.

It’s also a song about how liberating it can be to be newly single and recognize the virtues and even advantages of that life.

It ends with a reminder to celebrate what you have, making it an excellent way to work through your anger and towards acceptance.

36. “Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan     

Song Year: 2008

“Bust Your Windows” has an amazing and distinctive rhythm. It uses a tango rhythm to channel the speaker’s anger into something painfully elegant.

With each lilting snap of the orchestration, the speaker’s temper boils hotter and the vocals become warmer and more sultry.

It’s a textbook example of controlled, exacting vengeance. The speaker is unapologetically irate and they detail their revenge in exacting detail, all while keeping time to the tango.

37. “Ex’s and Oh’s” by Ellie King     

“Ex’s and Oh’s” by Ellie King

Song Year: 2015

Finally, “Ex’s and Oh’s” is a fascinating angry break-up song, because the anger isn’t completely directed at the ex in the situation.

The speaker is also angry at themselves for getting drawn into the relationship.

But it’s not only about self-directed anger. It’s also a song about female empowerment and learning to embrace and accept your choices.

Top Angry Breakup Songs, Final Thoughts

Nothing is as emotionally cathartic as listening to music that feels the same way you do. It’s a healthy way to work through feelings, whether you are sad, hurt, or angry.

Angry breakup songs are a particularly effective way to work through a break-up because of how human their speakers are. Many of them exhibit behaviors we recognize. Some even indulge in behavior we wish we could participate in but can’t, either because of manners, morals, or some other boundary.

But undeniably listening to someone indulge in our fantasies is satisfying, imbuing angry break-up songs with emotional catharsis for irate listeners everywhere. So, spare your dishes. Don’t throw any stones. Instead, gear up a Spotify playlist and let someone else get up to hot-tempered mischief on your behalf.

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