by Bhumi Patel Contributing Writer
Regardless of whether you’re the breaker or the breakee, it’s not always a fun transition from “we” to “I” (read: it’s never a fun transition). It is from this that I have spent years perfecting the “Break-Up” playlist on my computer. Not just for me, it’s for anytime anyone I know dumps someone or is dumped, and needs some cheering up. I don’t find myself inclined to listen to sappy, sad “Big Girls Don’t Cry” break up music because that’s just wallowing. I hope you can find some solace (or humor) in a few of my selections.
5. Ace of Base // I Saw The Sign
Oh come on! I know you have this song, probably on a cassette somewhere in the room you grew up in. (okay, maybe it’s just me, and I accept that). Although I’m really not sure what has happened to Ace of Base since the mid-nineties, this song is a perfect example of being the better of the two coming out of a break up. “I saw the sign, it opened up my mind and I am happy now living without you.” Damn right, you should be happy without his or her pathetic ass hanging over your head. I would recommend going all out on the nostalgia and watching the entire series (one season) of My So-Called Life after listening to this song.
4. Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds // “#41”
…preferably from the “Live at Luther College” album. First of all, this is one of my favourite ambiguous break up songs because it might not really be about a break up, which to me makes it kind of funny. Dave Matthews is one of those people that you either love or hate. Every person I’ve ever asked about Dave has had a very quick, visceral reaction. You either love him or hate him, and I happen to adore the man, so this is definitely one of the songs I’ll put on during a break up. It sounds like it might be about any kind of partnership that fell through, so you get his feelings about the end of something without Dave telling you his most recent sob story. Dave admits that there is difficulty, but he also says that he’s going to find his own way out. A little more serious than the last selection, but it’s a good one to light up and sit in dark room with.
3. Ke$ha // “Blow”
In addition to an excellent beat to rage out and throw everything of your previous significant others into a giant box that you either set on fire or cordially return, it reminds you to do the one thing that you should be allowed to do at least once a month, lose your mind and let the crazy out. Do it. You know you want to. And while you’re going insane, please for the love of all things good, throw some glitter and make it rain. Nothing would make you or I happier, I’m sure. I wouldn’t just recommend this song during break ups, really it’s appropriate always.
2. Florence + the machine // “Shake It Out”
So I’m a modern dancer (no, not a stripper) and I once danced in a piece called “Shakers.” The piece itself is irrelevant because it was about the Shaker sect of Christianity, but the Shakers believed that you could dance and essentially “shake” the sin out of your body. This has become one of the things I tell people when they’re going through things that they have little to no control over. “Shake it out” is what I naturally turn to because sometimes it feels good to just move around and do something funky. You’ll feel better. This song isn’t quite as funny or amusing as the others, but it does remind us that it’s always darkest before the dawn, and it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back. Shake it out. You’re good. You got this. Of course, it’s pretty difficult to feel badly when you’re listening to Florence. Also, this song is perfect to play one of my favourite drinking games to. Pick a phrase or word (for this song, “shake it out”) and take a shot every time she says it.
1. Celine Dion // “My Heart Will Go On”
Because love was when I loved you, and much like Rose did to Jack, I will let go if that means saving my ass from freezing to death. I find myself referring to Celine in most situations, because she has a song for every occasion. You were just born? Try “I’m Alive.” Dating someone ugly? Try “Beauty and the Beast.” Stalking someone by showing up at their house in the middle of the night and waking them up by having sex with them? Try “I Drove All Night.” Went into a coma and are just getting your memory back? Try “It’s All Coming Back To Me.” Celine fits every occasion, especially break ups. Your heart will go on, and you’ll be an empowered Kate Winslet and save your own ass. You don’t need to get dragged down by any man or woman. Also, if you ever break up with someone or are broken up with, find me because I will sing this song to you in a Celine voice and you’ll forget you were ever upset about anything.