Breakup songs toxic relationship

16 Best Songs About Toxic Relationships

Love should not hurt, so turn up the volume and sing your heart out! Toxic relationships can have a daunting effect on a person’s mental health. We’ve compiled best songs about toxic relationships that can help you get back to normal life.

Time has shown us, there are countless songs written about toxic relationships. It spans every decade and every genre. Sadly, toxicity in love is an occurrence many people have witnessed.

A lot of those songs are about how hard it is to remove someone from your life despite it being toxic to one or both of you.

Let’s figure out what toxic relationships look like, and then we’ll get to the musical wisdom.

It’s not all about romance. Toxicity hides out in friends and family relations too!

Domestic violence is the most extreme example of a toxic relationship.  It involves one partner abusing the other.  The abuse could be physical, verbal or both.

Not all toxic relationships involve violence, but they’re still damaging.

If you feel worse, rather than better, when you’re around them- it’s probably toxic.

There are other, more subtle signs, pointing you away from the relationship to a healthier alternative.

Toxic Signs:

No one should have to live with these feelings from the person who is supposed to love them.  Whether it’s a best friend, family member, or romantic partner.

Being in a toxic relationship lowers your self-esteem.  

So if you know you’re in a bad relationship but feel you’ll never be able to do any better read this over and over: 

Thinking you don’t deserve better is a lie, you are enough, you deserve to be happy.

Maybe write that, or a different self-affirming note to yourself on a Post-It note where you’ll see it several times a day.

When you listen to these songs it becomes crystal clear, staying in a toxic relationship is not an option.  For your health and sanity, you need to go.

Before Britney Spears fought her father for conservatorship, she was making music about toxic relationships.

“Baby, can’t you see I’m calling?
A guy like you should wear a warning

It’s dangerous, I’m falling

There’s no escape, I can’t wait

I need a hit, baby, give me it

You’re dangerous, I’m loving it”

John Cougar Mellencamp admits something’s not right in “Hurts So Good” but sings there’s still some pleasure in the pain.

“Sink your teeth right through my bones, baby
Let’s see what we can do
Come on and make it, uh

Hurts so good

Come on baby, make it hurt so good

Sometimes love don’t feel like it should

You make it hurt so good”

“Irresistible” is about a couple in a bad relationship that neither one seems to want to end even though it is clearly unhealthy.

“All of your flaws are aligned with this mood of mine
Cutting me to the bone, nothing left to leave behind
You ought to keep me concealed just like I was a weapon
I didn’t come for a fight but I will fight ’till the ending …
And I love the way you hurt me
It’s irresistible, yeah”

In “Somebody That I Used to Know” through the lens of a toxic relationship the singer has decided love is supposed to be lonely and sad.  It is not. But change, even for the better, is hard.

When you can’t quite put your finger on what toxic looks like in your own relationship, turn to these songs.  These artists name it very directly.
In the music video for “Hot N Cold” the couple are in the church, surrounded by loved ones about to be married when the fiance hesitates, yet again.

“And you overthink, always speak cryptically

I should know that you’re no good for me …

You’re wrong when it’s right

It’s black, and it’s white

We fight, we break up

We kiss, we make up”

Bon Jovi understands what the pain of being in a bad relationship feels like.  The singer very directly calls out his girlfriend in “You Give Love a Bad Name”.

“Shot through the heart and you’re to blame
Darlin’, you give love a bad name

An angel’s smile is what you sell
You promised me heaven, then put me through hell

Chains of love got a hold on me

When passion’s a prison, you can’t break free”

“You forgive, you forget, but you never let it go
Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes
You say sorry just for show
If you live like that, you live with ghosts
If you love like that, blood runs cold”

Skillet gets right down to the heart of the matter from the first lyric in this song and we love it!

“Hotter Than Hell” is the story of a real-life toxic relationship the singer was in.  One she said eventually made her feel worthless.  She turns the tables through the song lyrics to give herself back the power, as though she was in charge all along.

“You probably still adore me
With my hands around your neck …

You ain’t gonna walk free, boy
Not finished with you yet, no”

It doesn’t get much more raw than “Love the Way You Lie”.  The song lyrics are a spot-on depiction of the cycle of violence in an abusive relationship.  The rapper admits his apologies are only lies and there’s more violence to come.  His girlfriend has a tragic refrain about how it’s ok and she even likes it.  She doesn’t like it, she just doen’t see any other way to live.

Many believe Rhianna wrote “Love on the Brain” about her own experience with domestic violence.

11. Love on the Brain by Rhianna

“Baby you got me like oh
You love when I fall apart
So you can put me together
And throw me against the wall”

In “Don’t You Want Me” a couple goes back and forth, she’s trying to leave while he keeps up the pressure by throwing around threats in hopes of grabbing control back.

12. Don’t You Want Me by The Human League

“Success has been so easy for you
But don’t forget it’s me who put you where you are now
And I can put you back down too ….
You know I don’t believe you when you say that you don’t need me …
It’s much too late to find

When you think you’ve changed your mind
You’d better change it back or we will both be sorry”

TW // domestic violence

It can be satisfying to imagine getting revenge on someone who has harmed you.  It’s even more satisfying when you turn the volume up on these songs and sing along.  Plus, singing about it won’t get you in any trouble.

In “Blown Away” the singer tells the story of her abusive father, and how she uses some deadly Oklahoma weather to finally settle the score and wash away every toxic trace.

“She heard those sirens screamin’ out
Her daddy laid there, passed out on the couch
She locked herself in the cellar
Listened to the screaming of the wind
Some people called it taking shelter
She called it sweet revenge

Shatter every window ’til it’s all blown away
Every brick, every board, every slamming door blown away
‘Til there’s nothing left standing, nothing left of yesterday
Every tear-soaked whiskey memory blown away
Blown away”

“Gunpowder and Lead” is about a woman who has had enough and she’s not going to take it anymore.  She sings these lyrics just minutes before they guy is set to get home from jail.  He was put in there for beating her up, again.

14. Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert

“I’m goin’ home, gonna load my shotgun
Wait by the door and light a cigarette
He wants a fight well now he’s got one
And he ain’t seen me crazy yet
Slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll
Don’t that sound like a real man
I’m gonna show him what little girls are made of
Gunpowder and lead”

Sometimes it’s hard to get our bodies to go along with what our brains know the difference between good and bad.  Even knowing there will be regrets “Tomorrow”.

“But tonight I’m gonna give in one last time,
rock you strong in these arms of mine,
forget all the regrets that are bound to follow.
We’re like fire & gasoline,
I’m no good for you,
you’re no good for me,
we only bring each other tears & sorrow.
But tonight, I’m gonna love you like there’s no tomorrow.”

You can sing and dance it out hard to “One More Night”.  The singer knows he’s equally to blame as his partner for the toxic relationship they’ve built.  Despite the guilt he wants to be with her, again, and vows to go for good right after that. 

“You and I go hard
At each other, like we’re going to war
You and I go rough
We keep throwing things and slamming the doors
You and I get so damn dysfunctional we stop keeping score

You and I get sick

Yeah, I know that we can’t do this no more, yeah
But baby there you go again, there you go again making me love you
Yeah, I stopped using my head, using my head

Let it all go

Got you stuck on my body, on my body like a tattoo

And now I’m feeling stupid, feeling stupid crawling back to you

Music expresses for us things we can’t put into words.  It can be a safe outlet for upset feelings.  Songs that speak to you can be used to turn the focus back on yourself and your own well-being.

Tell us in the comments your favorite songs from this list or add to our list.  If you’ve been in a toxic relationship please share how you got out.  And if you think someone else needs to see this, please share it around.

Remember, if a certain person makes you feel drained of your energy and happiness, you’re being poisoned by a toxic relationship and it’s time to get on with the business of closing that door.  Your better life is on the other side.

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