15 Tracks to Get You Through National Ex Day

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  • Those were the days.

So, since every 24 hours is National Something-or-other Day, it's only fitting that out of 365 of them one should be devoted to our former lovers/current haters. So, whether y'all are still tight, couldn't hate each other more or "it's complicated," check out our playlist – there's a little something for everyone. 

There's no better way to start off a playlist of past paramours than with the current reigning queen of scorned lovers – Queen Bey. This live joint is for anyone that has ever tried to even the score after their significant other scored with someone else. Sorry, I ain't sorry.

Before Taylor Swift dominated breakup songs in the country music scene, there was LeAnn Rimes. Recorded at the age of 13 (and let's face it, that's the time heartbreaks hurt the most), "Blue" is the song you need to listen to on repeat before you can even think about forgetting your ex. 

What's more painful than spending the final night next to the one that will be just a memory in the morning? In "For the Good Times," the Rhodes scholar displays his gift for lovelorn lyrics and gut-wrenching melody. For further heartbreak, check out the Ray Price version. The use of a melodramatic string arrangement under the Cherokee Cowboy's vocals adds a little extra of that sweet, sweet sorrow.

If "Por Tu Maldito Amor" is a male-specific breakup song, then "Que Creias" is for the ladies. Essentially a "told you so" of a tune, Selena belts out these extremely emotionally-wracked notes that still hold just a hint of longing. In essence — "No, you won't find someone like me. No you're not going to find me here when you get back from who-ever-the-hell. You're on my done-zo list, bruh. Move it along." 

There's some mystery behind the breakup in "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain." What's keeping the narrator and their loved one apart? Did they die? Or simply move on to greener pastures, so to speak? Whatever transpired, it's left Willie pretty broken. And now he's got nothing left but to stare into the campfire and think about the astral plane, when maybe he'll see his lover again. Plus, the song's music video is in the running for greatest of all time.

Still in the mourning stages of a breakup? No song better helps someone indulge in self-pity quite like No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”. Frontwoman Gwen Stefani and her brother Eric wrote the song about bandmate Tony Kanal, who Stefani had been engaged in a seven-year relationship with, although it could just as easily be about Gavin Rossdale now.

What works so well about “You’re So Vain” is that nearly everyone knows someone to which this song applies. In fact, chances are if you can’t think of anyone who is shallow enough to fit the bill then you yourself may be the self-absorbed person described in this breakup classic. Interestingly, although it has been rumored that the tune is about Mick Jagger, you can hear the Stones frontman singing harmony in the final chorus. "Don't-chu?! Don't-chu?!"

OK, so this song is dark … like being trapped in an awful relationship to the point of being murdered by a breezeblock dark. But breakups can put people in dark places. Oddly enough, hearing Gus Unger-Hamilton's soothing vocals can help work out whatever toxic occurrences may have happened in your relationship and allow you to come out the other side of the four-minute tune much more at peace.

The good news about whatever lover your pining over is that the relationship was probably nowhere near the historic on-again off-again coupling of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The white witch and Fleetwood Mac's guitarist reportedly used some of the biggest names in entertainment to make each other jealous ... and keep the fires of passion stoked.

Hearing Axl Rose perform post-Guns N' Roses is almost as heartbreaking as the worst breakup imaginable. However, at one time, the slithering frontman could belt out notes that would make the toughest hard-ass weep like a babe. If that doesn't get you, Slash's 16 solos surely will.

Who says punks can't be heartbroken? The Clash, whose handle of reggae, country, rock 'n' roll and World music puts them in a far greater category than many of their three chord counterparts, were some of the best at writing breakup tunes. Of course, everyone knows "Should I Stay or Should I Go," but "Train in Vain," the last track off of the perfect London Calling LP, is a masterpiece from Splitsville. Props to Mick Jones, one of the most criminally underrated singers and guitarists in the world.

A lot like National Ex Day, I am searching for a decent reason that this turd of novelty should even exist. If this song "gets you" – or whatever – you probably need to rethink your life choices. But don't go throwing the mullet and high-tops out with the bathwater – Billy Ray's style is choice.
This song is from 2006, which is a little too new for most AARP-ers and a little too old for millennials, but give it a chance. It perfectly describes that feeling of still loving a girl, even after she's slept her way through half of your friends and family. 

Now this isn't a traditional break up song, but it does chronic-le (get it?) Eazy's split with Dre and features key emotions that follow a break-up: Anger, blame, self-promotion, etc. It's a perfect track for when your crew and you split and you need to throw some shade before you can move on.

Another queen (or kween, if we're being real) singing about dodging a bullet. This one is purposefully at the end of the playlist. It's one of Adele's bounciest tunes to date and couldn't be more empowering. "Treat her better / Gotta let go of all of our ghosts / We both know we ain't kids no more." Mmmm-m-m.

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