As Kelly Clarkson belts it best, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger - and there's nothing like a little music to bolster your spirits post-divorce. Art is at its best when it mirrors real life, and divorce songs just hit home in a way not many others do.
As you're moving on after a divorce, listen to songs that reflect your feelings, your fears, and your triumphs and shout them out as loudly as you can. But, if no bangers come to mind, we've got a few hits you should add to your just divorced playlist, pronto. Whether you prefer country, pop, rock, or another genre, this list has options for you to help celebrate your new chapter and move on.
1. A Little Bit Stronger
Sadness is a natural reaction to the end of a marriage. In the country music song "A Little Bit Stronger," Sarah Evans acknowledges that strength returns in small steps, even in the early days after your relationship's come to an end. The song can provide comfort for those who are ready to start recovering and moving on, even when the pain of splitting up is relatively new.
2. Better By Myself
Hey Violet's "Better By Myself" serves as a powerful a reminder that going solo is far preferable to being in a toxic relationship. Listen to this tune when you're looking for reinforcement that you made the right decision by leaving a relationship that was a barrier to being able to live your best life. It's a great song for those who like pop-rock too.
3. Better in Time
Wondering why the pain of divorce is lingering longer than you like? "Better in Time" by pop/R&B singer Leona Lewis provides reassurance that things will get better than they are now. Healing from divorce isn't a fast process, but you will ultimately be fine and move on, in your own time.
4. Bye Bye Bye
Ready to put any lingering doubts about ending your marriage behind you? Give a listen to NSYNC's upbeat pop anthem "Bye Bye Bye" and break out those dance moves that're locked into your muscle memory.
5. Dancing With Myself
Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" is a great reminder that you don't need anyone else to enjoy life. This pop-punk/dance-rock tune will convince you once and for all that there's no reason to feel apprehensive about going solo.
6. Free Bird
Are you rediscovering the real you after staying too long in a relationship that's run its course? Lynyrd Skynyrd's power rock ballad "Free Bird" just may be the perfect classic rock song to help you move on following a marriage you felt stifled in. After all, you're as free as a bird now.
7. Go Your Own Way
When you realize that loving your ex really "isn't the right thing to do" and you're ready to move on, the hard rock hit "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac will just feel like the soundtrack of your life. It doesn't get more high-profile of a breakup than the couples in Fleetwood Mac and Rumors is filled with their journey towards forgiveness and reconciliation.
8. Gonna Get Over You
Looking for a tune that expresses the complexity of realizing that it's time to move on yet not being quite ready to fully let go? That's exactly what American pop singer Sara Bareilles' song "Gonna Get Over You" provides. Tune in and get inspired to "find the other side of someday."
9. Harden My Heart
If you want to stop putting energy into grieving a broken marriage, "Harden My Heart" by Quarterflash is the perfect rock song when you're ready to leave the past firmly behind you and step into the future.
10. I'm Movin' On
"I'm Movin' On" by Rascal Flatts is a soulful country song that may reflect the complicated emotions you're feeling. It's a ballad that expresses the sense of loss that comes with the realization that a marriage is beyond repair. But in the end, you're moving on.
11. I'm Still Standing
Elton John's synth-pop song "I'm Still Standing" is the perfect tune to announce to the world that you're on your feet and prepared to face the future. If you're ready to let the world know that you can't be kept down and can't wait to move on to the next chapter of your life, play this song loud and proud.
Beyoncé's Irreplaceable is a beautiful and empowering pop ballad - a perfect song to listen to when you're finally free from a cheating spouse who took your love for granted.
13. My Life
Leaving a relationship that didn't work means you can take control of your life and chart your own course to the future. Billy Joel's classic rock song "My Life" is the perfect tune to reinforce your confidence and determination to live life on your own terms.
14. One Way Ticket
If you're ready to make your way in the world now that you're single again, LeAnn Rimes' "One Way Ticket" is an upbeat reminder of all the possibilities that await you now that you can make a fresh start.
15. Separate Ways
Journey's "Separate Ways" is an '80s rock anthem for moving on after a marriage, especially when there are still feelings of love lingering between partners who've moved in different directions.
16. Silver Lining
Getting divorced can mean that the best is yet to come. Rilo Kiley's Indie pop song "Silver Lining" acknowledges that there's beauty in a lost love, but healing and moving on may bring something even better.
17. Since U Been Gone
Redefine your life post-divorce and get ready to move on with this as your background music. Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" is the empowering theme song for moving on and embracing the freedom and release that can come after a stifling relationship. Every divorcee could do with a little in-car therapy session belting out alongside Kelly Clarkson.
18. So What
Pink's "So What" is an upbeat and catchy tune that reflects the freedom that comes from realizing that your ex doesn't define your identity. Own who you are and realize that you don't need anyone else to be your best self.
Tell the world that you have the strength to thrive on your own as you begin your post-divorce journey. Let Britney Spears' pop hit "Stronger" become your theme song as you come into your own following your divorce.
20. These Boots Are Made for Walking
"These Boots Are Made for Walking" is a great song about breaking free from a relationship that's holding you back. Whether you listen to the original record by Nancy Sinatra or Jessica Simpson's version, this song can help you walk away from a marriage that's over and into a brighter future.
Are you ready to own your strength and power? Have you put a toxic relationship squarely in the past? Demi Lovato's "Warrior" is a passionate song for those who have overcome heartbreak and adversity to emerge strong and proud on the other side.
22. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
There's strength in realizing you define your own future. Taylor Swift's relationship expertise comes through in her song "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Again."
23. Wide Awake
Sometimes we just need a song that reflects the clarity that comes with moving forward from a relationship that doesn't work. "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry just may reflect the empowering feeling that comes with moving on.
24. You Learn (Alanis Morissette)
Alanis Morissette's anthem, "You Learn" provides a powerful perspective for people preparing to move on post-divorce. Get inspired by the alt-rock song's reminder of the growth that can come as a result of navigating love, loss, and other life challenges, including the dissolution of a marriage.
25. You're No Good
Have you realized that the bad far outweighed the good in your former relationship? Acceptance can be powerful. Singing along with Linda Ronstadt as she repeats "you're no good, you're no good, you're no good" just might be what it takes to help you start feeling better and looking toward a brighter tomorrow.
26. Got My Name Changed Back
Like Crosby, Stills, and Nash or The Highwaymen, Pistol Annies is a supergroup of hit female country performers helmed by Miranda Lambert. Their song "Got My Name Changed Back" makes the mundanity of getting your name changed back feel powerful and righteous. Reclaim that piece of your independence and celebrate with Pistol Annies.
Building Your Perfect Post-Divorce Playlist
Of course, these are just a few of the many great break-up songs that make a great addition to any post-divorce playlist, including tunes that are sad, angry, or make you want to dance. Music can serve as a soothing soundtrack or be a source of inspiration as you heal following the end of a marriage and get you prepared for the many new experiences life has in store for you as time goes by.