“I mope around for a little while,” says Adele of her post-breakup routine. “I do embrace the fact that I’m heartbroken. I don’t move on quickly. I don’t know if that’s because it seems that I’m only really creative when I’m a bit momentarily depressed.” The songs born out of these “momentarily depressed” states are among the most emotionally powerful the pop music canon. As long as the newly single nurse their shattered psyches with endless pints of ice cream, her music will live forever.
Adele, 28, is the queen of breakup songs, but what are some tracks that helped her through those ruined relationships? She shared her picks.
1. “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” by Bonnie Raitt
We can’t make ourselves stop bawling at this 1991 hit from Ms. Raitt. Listen to Adele’s stunning cover for extra sadness.
2. “After the Storm,” by Mumford & Sons
Marcus and Co. achieved biblical levels of bummed out on this album cut from their 2009 debut, Sigh No More.
3. “Cosmic Love,” by Florence + The Machine
“A falling star fell from your heart and landed in my eyes,” sings Florence Welch on this 2009 track from Lungs. “I screamed aloud, as it tore through them, and now it’s left me blind.” Apparently Florence’s machine produces tears.
4. “This Year’s Love,” by David Gray
Gray is best known in the U.S. for his 2000 smash, “Babylon” – but this U.K. Top 20 is an intense slow burner. Bonus bummer points: the song was featured in an episode of Dawson’s Creek.
5. “Not Like the Movies,” by Katy Perry
Don’t be fooled by the uptempo bangers, summery music videos and candy-coated bras – Perry’s Teenage Dream album packs a subtle melancholic wallop strong enough to reduce the statue to sobs. Here Perry reminds us that love doesn’t always have a Hollywood ending.
6. “All I Could Do Is Cry,” by Etta James
Adele threw it back to 1960 for this gloriously old-school classic by a young James.
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While we’re on the topic of breakup songs, it seems blasphemous not to mention some of Adele’s major league tear-jerkers. Here are six of our very favorite from throughout her relatively short – but emotionally devastating – career.
1. “Chasing Pavements”
2. “Don’t You Remember”
3. “Rolling in the Deep”
4. “Someone Like You”
5. “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”
•With reporting by TIM STACK