50 Best Songs About Moving On To Help You Move Forward

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woman listening to songs about moving on

Music is among the best kinds of medicine for healing a broken heart. When you're trying to move forward after a breakup, having a playlist full of songs about moving on you can cry to, laugh to, dance to, and do whatever you need to do to is key.

Luckily, making music is part of the recovery process for many musicians as well, which means there's no shortage of breakup songs for you to choose from as you work on picking up the pieces of your broken heart.

Uplifting songs about moving on and letting go can be great — to an extent. But if you don't want to end up wallowing in self-pity for too long, what you really need is breakup songs about moving on to bigger and better things.

Happy songs about moving on from your ex can also help mend your broken heart.

So open up Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, or whatever music app it is you love most and make yourself a playlist using the list of songs below. Then play it on shuffle and repeat whenever you feel the desire to call your ex or when it feels like you the pain is just too much to bear.

As the artists who wrote these songs prove, you can and will find a better, truer love in the (nearer than you may believe) future.

Here are the best songs about moving on to help you move forward from a breakup.

1. "Better In Time" by Leona Lewis

This song will put things into perspective by reminding you that your heartbreak won't last forever. One day, you might even be thankful for the experience.

"Even though I really love you / I'm gonna smile because I deserve to"

RELATED: 100 Sad Songs (With The Saddest Lyrics) That Will Make You Cry

2. "Tears Dry On Their Own" by Amy Winehouse

If your tears can dry on their own, your heart can heal on its own, too. It may take some time, but the body and heart are self-healing.

"We could've never had it all / We had to hit a wall

So this is inevitable withdrawal"

3. "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie

A reminder that breakups can be for the better even when they're tough. And you can get through it because you're a big girl.

"And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket / But I've got to move on with my life"

4. "Don't Bother" by Shakira

Be like Shakira and refuse to change yourself for anyone, your ex included. If they couldn't appreciate you for who you are, they weren't the one for you after all.

"I'm really a cat, you see / And it's not my last life at all"

5. "Someday You Will Be Loved" by Death Cab for Cutie

You can pretend you're the woman with "eyes like the summer" that Ben Gibbard is singing to. Because someday, you will be loved again, and it will be even better than last time.

"You'll be loved, you'll be loved / Like you never have known

And the memories of me will seem more like bad dreams"

6. "New Rules" by Dua Lipa​

Repeat these lyrics to yourself before it gets tempting to let your ex back into your life. You know you're only asking for trouble if you do.

"Don't let him in / You'll have to kick him out again"

7. "Apologize" by Timbaland ft. One Republic

This one is s for when your ex tries to win you back with an apologetic gesture. Actions speak louder than words, especially if those words are "I'm sorry."

"And to say sorry like the angel heaven let me think was you / But I'm afraid it's too late to apologize"

8. "Irreplaceable" by Beyoncé

For the same purpose, but with more sass. Nobody can lift your spirits after a breakup like Beyoncé.

"I could have another you in a minute / Matter fact, he'll be here in a minute, baby"

9. "Silver Lining" by Rilo Kiley​

You may have been each other's silver lining, but now you're gold. And there's more gold to come in your post-breakup life.

"I was your silver lining but now I'm gold."

10. "Song for the Dumped" by Ben Folds Five

Folds' fixation on the shirt his ex still has will give you the good laugh you need during this tough time. It will also validate all your rage, even toward the little things.

"So you wanted to take a break? / Slow it down some and have some space?

F— you too"

11. "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton

Let this classic ballad teach you how to make peace with your breakup. No hard feelings here — you can move on and retain love for your ex as a friend and as a person.

"I hope life treats you kind / And I hope you have all you've dreamed of

And I wish you joy and happiness / But above all this I wish you love"

12. "Dammit" by Blink-182

This fast-tempo yet melancholy song will simultaneously take you back to the 90s and remind you that you're "growing up." It might even bring you back to your first breakup. If that was for the better, this one can be, too.

"And it's happened once again / I'll turn to a friend

Someone that understands / Sees through the master plan"

13. "Merry Happy" by Kate Nash

This breakup song is the perfect combination of angry and adorable. You'll get lost in the story of how the couple in the song met, and your heart will break all over again when they part ways.

"I can be alone, yeah / I can watch a sunset on my own"

14. "You Learn" by Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette's words of wisdom will help you move on from just about anything. No matter what hardship you're going through, you can always learn from it.

"You live, you learn / You love, you learn

You cry, you learn / You lose, you learn

You bleed, you learn / You scream, you learn"

15. "So Yesterday" by Hilary Duff

Your relationship will one day feel as passé as Hilary Duff's music career. It's true, though — time heals all wounds.

"If it's over, let's go, and / Come tomorrow it will seem so yesterday"

RELATED: 11 Iconic Breakup Songs To Help You Get Over Your Shady Ex

16. "A Minor Incident" by Badly Drawn Boy

This song will remind you that the relationship served a purpose, and it was good and worthwhile while it lasted. Just because the relationship is over doesn't mean you can't look back on it fondly.

"There's nothing I could say to make you try and feel OK / And nothing you could do to stop me feeling the way I do

And if the chance should happen that I never see that again / Just remember that I'll always love you"

17. "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson

No matter how bad it seems now, this breakup just might let you breathe for the first time. Hindsight is 20/20.

"How come I'd never hear you say, 'I just wanna be with you' / I guess you never felt that way."

18. "It Ain't Me" by Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

If your ex comes crying back, remember: they're not your responsibility now. It may be painful to watch them struggle, but you've got to worry about yourself.

"No, I don't wanna know / Where you been or where you're goin'

But I know I won't be home / And you'll be on your own"

19. "Never Forget You" by Zara Larsson

This tear-jerker will make you appreciate the good times you had. It's also fun to dance to.

"I will never forget you / And you'll always be by my side 'til the day I die"

20. "Shout Out to My Ex" by Little Mix

This one, on the other hand, will remind you why you're not together anymore. It can be easy to romanticize a relationship, but if you want to move on, it may be more useful to remember the bad stuff.


"Shout out to my ex, you're really quite the man / You made my heart break and that made me who I am"

21. “Let Me Go” by Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso

A breakup can be just as bad when you're the one to initiate it. If you were the one to end the relationship, this song will remind you not to feel too bad, because someone will love your ex in the ways you couldn't.

"I've been hoping somebody loves you in the ways I couldn't

Somebody's taking care of all of the mess I've made

Someone you don't have to change"

22. "The First Cut Is The Deepest" by Sheryl Crow

No matter how many breakups you've been through, you'll never lose your ability to love again. This song will help put you in the mindset to get back out onto the field.

"I would have given you all of my heart / But there's someone who's taken it apart / And he's taking it just that I had / But if you wanna try to love again"

23. "Better" by Regina Spektor

A reminder that your friendships will outlast your relationship, and you can count on your friends to help you move on. You can also count on Regina Spektor's angelic voice.

"If I kiss you where it's sore / Will you feel better, better, better"

24. "Shut Up and Let Me Go" by The Ting Tings

This song will make you want to get out of bed and jump up and down. It'll also make you determined to stop letting your ex rule your life.

"It's me that ought to be moving on

You're not adorable / I was something unignorable"

25. "Smile" by Lily Allen

Like Lily Allen, you'll be smiling again soon. In fact, this song itself may be enough to put a smile on your face.

"At worst, I feel bad for a while / But then I just smile, I go ahead and smile"

26. "No Scrubs" by TLC

If your ex was a "scrub," you've dodged that bullet. And if they weren't, at least be glad you had the privilege of dating a decent person.

"See, if you can not spatially expand my horizon / Then that's you in the class with scrubs, never rising"

27. "Stronger" by Britney Spears

It's thanks to this experience that you're stronger than yesterday. Take it from Britney: Her loneliness is no longer killing her.

"You might think that I can not take it, but you're wrong / Cause now I'm stronger than yesterday"

28. "I'm Too Good to You" by Drake

If you were too good to your ex, it's time to stop that and find someone who's equally good to you. Like Drake.

"I'm way too good to you

You take my love for granted

I just do not understand it"

29. "Bye Bye Bye" by N'Sync

​What better way to say bye to your ex than to relive N'Sync's glory days? There's a comfort in knowing their music's appeal has outlasted your relationship.

"I loved you endlessly / When you weren't there for me / So now it's time to leave and make it alone"

30. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift

This song may or may not be about John Mayer. 

"We are never ever, ever getting back together." 

RELATED: 11 Best Amazon Music Playlists To Ask Alexa To Play For You Now

31. "Survivor" by Destiny's Child

Because you'll come out stronger, smarter, and better after this. That's the upside of a breakup: You get some time alone to rediscover who you are.

"You thought that I'd be weak without you, but I'm stronger / You thought that I'd be broke without you, but I'm richer"

32. "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith

That feeling when you feel oh so latched, but need to let go. 

"So in the morning/Please don't say you love me/'Cause I'll only kick you out the door, yeah."

33. "Someone Like You" by Adele

There’s no such thing as a soul mate.

"Never mind, I'll find someone like you."

34. "Heart to Break" by Kim Petras

One look at you, she’s powerless.

"I feel my body saying yes/Where's my self control? Ah."

35. "Cry Me A River" by Justin Timberlake

Though the origins of this song have been hotly debated, it's still a classic when it comes to getting over a breakup.

"You told me you love me / Why did you leave me all alone."

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36. "You’re So Vain" by Carly Simon

A good reminder about how self-centered your ex is and why you're better off without them.

"You’re so vain. You probably think this song is about you."

37. "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men

The end of a road is just the beginning of another.

"Said we'd be forever/Said it'd never die/How could you love me and leave me and never/Say goodbye?"

38. "Ex-Factor" by Lauryn Hill

Heartache to heartache.

“Loving you is like a battle (it's like a battle)/And we both end up with scars."

39. "I Wish I Missed My Ex" by Mahalia

Sometimes they need to take a hint.

"Too many missed calls, too many texts/Damn, I wish I missed my ex."

40. "Coffin" by Jessie Reyez

They say love hurts, but it shouldn’t have to. You deserve someone who holds you up, instead of pushes you down.

"You make me wanna/Jump off the roof/'Cause I love you to death/Just like a fool."

43. "Blossom" by Nate Traveller

This one iss a total post-heartbreak banger. You’ll play it over and over on your phone so many times, you’ll fall in love with the song and forget about your ex.

“I’ll miss the smell of your hair/in the morning/ a kings bed without/ a queen at night.”

44. "Don’t Speak" by No Doubt.

Ever wished you could just prevent your ex from saying any words at all?

"I really feel that I'm losin' my best friend/I can't believe this could be the end."

45. "Airport" by Nate Traveller ft. Mils

Cry it out. Just cry it all out.

"I know you said it's the end/ a sea of tears to wash away our memories."

46. "Heartless" by Kanye West

That feeling when you loved your ex more than Kanye loves Kanye.

"How could you be so, cold as the winter wind when it breeze, yo."

47. "Damaged" by Danity Kane

If only the doctor could cure a broken heart.

"I thought that I should let you know / That my heart is damaged."

48. "7 Years" by Charli Xcx

This one is for those who stuck it out when it got rough.

"Seven years and it's been you and I, always/Really complicated, we're too deep, babe."

49. "Track Star" by Mooski

They keep running.

"She's a runner, she's a track star/She gon' run away when it gets hard."

48. "Dreaming With a Broken Heart" by John Mayer

Waking up is the hardest part.

"When you're dreaming with a broken heart/The giving up is the hardest part."

49. "Take a Bow" by Rihanna

The show is over, no more pretending.

"Grab your clothes and get gone (get gone)/You better hurry up/Before the sprinklers come on."

50. "Unfaithful" by Rihanna

You can’t just listen to one Rihanna song on replay.

"And I know that he knows I'm unfaithful/And it kills him inside/To know that I am happy with some other guyI can see him dying."

RELATED: The Best Breakup Songs To Help You Move On, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Suzannah Weiss is a writer whose work has also been published in The Washington Post, Salon, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Marie Claire, Seventeen, Paper Magazine, Bustle, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, and more.