Loss, grief, trauma, and pain can all take a toll on a person. Sometimes, there are no words to comfort people through difficult life challenges. But there might be a song or musician that helps someone grieve. We all have genres of music that we prefer, but heartache and healing span across all types of music.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Best Songs About Moving Forward After a Breakup
- Best Songs About Moving Forward After a Death or Trauma
- Best Songs About Moving Forward and Not Looking Back
You might be searching for a song to soothe your pain after a breakup or a loss. Or just need something to remind you you’re heading in the right direction. No matter the reason, there is music out there that will touch your heart.
After all, music helps people cope with all types of moods and feelings. Besides practicing healing techniques like journaling, spending time with friends, or getting rid of sentimental items, check out this selection of songs to help you create your next playlist.
Best Songs About Moving Forward After a Breakup
There’s no other way to say it—breakups are hard! If you’re looking for the perfect playlist to see you through those first few days, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here is a small collection of “moving on” songs that span genres (you are sure to find something that speaks to your heart):
- "Someone Like You" by Adele
- "It Don't Hurt Like It Used To" by Grace Carter
- "Better by Myself" by Hey Violet
- "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor
- "Better in Time" by Leona Lewis
- "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
- "You Learn" by Alanis Morissette
- "So Yesterday" by Hilary Duff
- "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
- "Stronger" by Sarah Evans
1. "Someone Like You" by Adele
Adele’s beautiful voice coupled with relatable lyrics makes this song the ultimate “moving forward” song. This song is about remembering a relationship. But it is also about realizing that it’s time to move on.
2. "It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To" by Grace Carter
The truth is, pain doesn’t last forever. Grace Carter’s song is an excellent reminder that you don’t need to rely on another person to make you happy.
3. "Better by Myself" by Hey Violet
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to just reflect on who you are. And remind yourself that you don’t need another person to be happy. Hey Violet does an excellent job of delivering powerful lyrics that can help you move on after a breakup.
4. "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor
If you’re looking for an upbeat song to help battle the blues, then you’ll love this one! You’ll dance your heartache away with this classic tune.
5. "Better in Time" by Leona Lewis
Just because it may take time to move on, doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen. Give yourself a moment of grace as you work through your feelings. This song will help you step out of that situation feeling stronger than you used to.
6. "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
Breakups don’t have to be bitter. You can still move on without things getting ugly. The Whitney Houston version is likely the most familiar one.
But Dolly Parton wrote and originally performed this song. Both versions are powerful reminders that loving someone doesn’t mean they’re right for you. And that’s okay.
7. "You Learn" by Alanis Morissette
The truth is, failed relationships always teach you something. This song expresses that it’s okay to move on. But don’t forget the life lessons you learned along the way.
8. "So Yesterday" by Hilary Duff
Your heartache may feel incredibly significant right now. But one day it will be just another memory. Duff’s song reminds you how irrelevant that relationship will soon feel. You just have to give yourself time to move on.
9. "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
Sometimes, it takes going through a breakup to realize how toxic it truly was. “Since U Been Gone” is an anthem that explains how your breakup can allow you to live your life again.
10. "Stronger" by Sarah Evans
Moving forward doesn’t happen overnight. But as Evans’ song so clearly explains, day by day it gets a little bit better. And then one day you realize that you’re healing.
Best Songs About Moving Forward After a Death or Trauma
Death and trauma are difficult things to overcome. Fortunately, there are songs out there that almost perfectly describe this pain. They might help you learn how to let go and move forward with your life.
Here are some of the best “moving on” songs that speak on the pain of processing death and trauma:
- "See You Again" by Carrie Underwood
- "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day
- "There You'll Be" by Faith Hill
- "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
- "Everybody Lost Somebody" by Bleachers
- "I Promise It's Not Goodbye" by Chris Cornell
- "How to Save a Life" by The Fray
- "If You Were Here" by Poe
- "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.
- "When I'm Gone" by Joey+Rory
11. "See You Again" by Carrie Underwood
Loss is never easy, but as this song by Carrie Underwood expresses, there is still hope. All you need to do is believe that one day you will be reunited with your loved one once.
12. "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day
This song was written in response to the frontman of Green Day losing his father to cancer. But the video shares an important message about loss during war. In short, the song is about grief, loss, and moving forward from pain.
13. "There You’ll Be" by Faith Hill
Faith Hill gives a moving performance in this song about the loss of a loved one. It is a song that focuses on reflecting on your relationships. It encourages you to celebrate how important this person was in your life.
14. "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
Listeners are most familiar with this song from Titanic. It is a ballad about the importance of moving on even though it may hurt to do so. It’s a song about missing someone and those difficulties. But it is also a song that reminds you that things will be okay.
15. "Everybody Lost Somebody" by Bleachers
One true thing is that each person on earth has experienced some level of loss. That fact can be comforting. This song reminds you that you aren’t alone in your grief.
16. "I Promise It's Not Goodbye" by Chris Cornell
This song reminds you that separation between this world and the next is only temporary. For listeners that have a religious background, this song is a good choice. You can take comfort in knowing that you will see your loved one again in heaven.
17. "How to Save a Life" by The Fray
This song is all about loss and what it means to grieve for someone when they are gone. If you’ve ever had someone leave your life abruptly give this song a listen. It might be the right one to help you cope with their absence.
18. "If You Were Here" by Poe
It may help you to move on if you take a moment and remember the person who is gone. As this song discusses, sometimes it’s therapeutic to imagine what that person would say to you. It might help you to imagine what they would say if they knew you were sad because of them.
19. "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M
When you lose someone, you may feel tempted to just give up and let the grief consume you. And sometimes, that is the right course of action.
This song encourages people to lean into their grief so that they can overcome the suffering. Everyone experiences loss, but grief can feel very lonely. Sometimes, it’s comforting knowing that everybody feels this way.
20. "When I’m Gone" by Joey+Rory
This song is all about moving on after your partner has passed away. This type of pain is deep, and grieving this loss shouldn’t be rushed. But the song helps teach you how to find the strength to press forward.
Post-loss tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, the emotional and technical aspects of handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
Best Songs About Moving Forward and Not Looking Back
Moving on might be easy. But not looking back may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Perhaps a song will help you find the courage to forget about your past and embrace your future.
Here are some great "moving on" songs encouraging you to look to the future:
- "No Turning Back" by Brandon Heath
- "Already Gone" by Sugarland
- "Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis
- "Changing of the Seasons" by Two Door Cinema Club
- "Don't Wanna Be Your Girl" by Wet
- "100 Letters" by Halsey
- "Across the River" by Bruce Hornsby & the Range
- "The Best Days of Your Life" by Kellie Pickler
- "Bittersweet Memories" by Bullet for My Valentine
21. "No Turning Back" by Brandon Heath
Brandon Heath is a faith-based singer who incorporates his belief into all his music. This song is about pushing forward and relying on God to see you through hard times.
22. "Already Gone" by Sugarland
This chart-topping song by Sugarland explains how sometimes you think you’ve reached the end. You get pushed to a place you struggle to come back from.
This song reminds the listener that reaching that place isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes you have to leave a situation mentally and emotionally before you walk away.
24. "Don’t Look Back in Anger" by Oasis
Leaving something behind means that it no longer takes up a lot of emotional real estate in your mind. This song suggests moving forward without anger. Doing that may help you move forward quickly, and with less grieving.
25. "Changing of the Seasons" by Two Door Cinema Club
Eventually, people come to terms with the fact that it’s time to move on and not look back. This song compares it to the changing of seasons. Sometimes the way you feel about someone changes, just like the seasons you’re living through.
26. "Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl" by Wet
Sometimes, you might forget just how much strength you have. This song is about making the choice to walk away and take back your power. With that power, you’ll have the strength to move on.
27. "100 Letters" by Halsey
Halsey wrote this song after a breakup. It tells her story of discovering who she is again. The lyrics encourage the listener to embrace their emotional transition during this difficult time.
28. "Across the River" by Bruce Hornsby & the Range
This particular song is about getting out of your comfort zone. It reminds you to do it, even if naysayers say it can’t be done. If you’ve ever wanted to transform your life and never look back, give this song a listen.
29. "The Best Days of Your Life" by Kellie Pickler
Kellie Pickler wrote this song with Taylor Swift. She was inspired by a breakup she went through. This song is her story of moving forward.
Sometimes, realizing that you have so much to offer helps you move forward. That can help you find a situation where you’re appreciated.
30. "Bittersweet Memories" by Bullet for My Valentine
Moving forward doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have some sadness along the way. But, it's important to acknowledge those memories and then let them go.
Expression Through Music
Music has such a unique place in many people's lives. As these songs suggest, music can help pull you through even the darkest of times. You never know which song may help you grieve or heal. Hopefully, one from this list puts you on the path to feeling better.