30+ Greatest Songs About Overcoming Tragedy & Pain


We all endure tragedy at one point or another in our lives. Overcoming tragedy is a necessary step to move forward and heal. Music can be a great tool to express and relieve our emotions. Listening to songs about tragedy can even help you put complex feelings into words. 

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Through music, we are able to release emotions and overcome tragedy. In this article, we list 30 soulful songs that might help you overcome difficult situations in your life.

Songs About Tragedy and Loss

Perhaps one of the hardest moments in life is losing a loved one. Grieving is different for everyone and there’s no set timeline for how long grief lasts. Find ways to release some of your grieve with the following soulful songs.

1. “Everglow” by Coldplay

This beautiful song by Coldplay focuses on expressing how loved ones are always present, even after passing away. The lyrics of the song describe their presence as a feeling of an “everglow.” 

2. “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton

This is a heartwarming piece written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings. Eric Clapton wrote this song for his 4-year-old son, who lost his life in a tragic accident. The lyrics express grief and a longing to meet a loved one again in heaven. 

3. “Why” by Rascal Flatts

This song was released in 2009 and describes the story of a man who lost a friend to suicide. "Why" is just one of many songs about losing a friend and puts complicated emotions into words.

4. “Since I lost You” by Genesis

"Since I lost You" expresses the pain of not being able to see a loved one again.

Phil Collins wrote this single for his friend Eric Clapton who lost his 4-year-old son in a heart-wrenching accident.

5. “Appreciate” by Nick Jonas

"Appreciate" narrates the story of a dad who passes away in an unfortunate car accident. In his last words, he urges his daughter to be appreciative and resilient. 

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Songs About Tragedy and Love

When we lose someone close to us, it takes time and effort to come to terms with a new reality. Listening to sad songs about tragedy can be a comforting way to release pain and to be one step closer to healing.

The following songs are great tracks to listen to when you are missing someone that is no longer around.  

6. “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran wrote this song for his grandmother, who sadly passed away after being critically ill. Originally, the singer didn’t plan to release the song to the public—however, his grandfather encouraged him to do so. 

7. “In The Arms of an Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

This song was released in 1998 and has been covered by numerous artists since. The song expresses the pain someone feels when they are trapped in a bad situation. 

The song is written from the perspective of someone who is suffering, and it was inspired by a musician’s tragic death from an overdose. This can be a complex piece to listen to, but the singer’s voice is calming and peaceful.

8. “Heaven Got Another Angel” by Gordon Garner

This is a song that resembles a lullaby. If you are looking for a calming song to remember a loved one, this song is for you. The content of the song conveys the message that a loved one is in a better place.

9. “Saturn” by Sleeping At Last

This is a profound creation by Sleeping At Last. The lyrics are an ode to life and death and express the sorrow of not having a loved one around anymore.

If you are someone who enjoys meditating on the meaning of life, this is certainly a single that you should check out.

10. “Slipped Away” by Avril Lavigne

If you prefer more contemporary sounds to ballad songs, this piece is for you. Avril Lavigne wrote this song after she found out her grandfather had died. 

Rock and Pop Songs About Tragedy

Pop songs are enjoyed by many people. Pop music can be found anywhere: in public places, cafes, and restaurants. Pop and rock music are louder than ballads or classical music and have catchy tunes as well. If you are looking for pop and rock tracks, the following list is for you. 

11. “In Memory” by Ed Sheeran

"In Memory" is a tribute to never forget a loved one. The lyrics narrate memories of a friend with a "cheeky smile, jokes, and laughs." With the characteristic voice of Ed Sheeran and the calming effects of a ballad, this song can be relaxing as well as meditative and thought-provoking.

12. “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

This musically rich track was released in 1971 and is considered a rock classic by many. The title is a metaphor that symbolizes a physical path to heaven and talks about both the superficiality of life and permanency of death.

13. “This Is Not Goodbye“ by Sidewalk Prophets

This song is different from many other tracks in that it talks about an understanding of death’s approach. The lyrics mention “I can see it in your eyes that you are restless, the time has come for you to leave." 

14. “Gone Too Soon” by Simple Plan

The main topic of this track is the devastation of those who die young. This song touches on this sensitive subject and tries to convey these gloomy emotions in its lyrics.

15. “Wish You Were Here” by Incubus

This rock song describes experiences that would make someone that is no longer living happy. 

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Country Songs About Tragedy

Acoustic guitar and heartfelt lyrics, typical of country music, give a special feeling to this genre of music. Many people connect deeply with country music because of the stories portrayed through song. Many of the following country songs about tragedy come from albums to listen to before you die.

16. “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley ft. Dolly Parton

This song sheds a positive light on death and tragedy and is written from the perspective of someone that is going away.

17. “If I Had Only Known” by Reba McEntire

"If I Had Only Known" is a song that appreciates moments shared with friends and family. In the song, the singer regrets that she isn’t able to walk in the rain with her loved ones, hold their hands, or hear their words again. 

18. “Riverbank” by Jeff Bates

"Riverbank" describes what life in the countryside can be like. The raspy voice of the singer provides a delightful piece that speaks about being appreciative of the times shared with a loved one by the riverbank.

19. “My Old Man” by Zac Brown Band

This song draws inspiration from fathers. It describes how people admire their fathers since childhood; feeling comfort and protection. If you are missing your dad, this song will offer you some comfort. 

20. “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” by Justin Moore

In this song, the author fantasizes about the possibility of visiting friends and family who have passed away. This song reminisces about past memories with loved ones, and how he would visit them if it was feasible.

Rap and Hip-Hop Songs About Tragedy

Rap and hip-hop songs contain thought-provoking lyrics that are fast-paced and, at times, blunt. If you enjoy rhythmic, fast beats, check out the following list.

21. “The Message” by Dr. Dre ft. Mary J Blige

This song asks God about the tragedy of losing a loved one and is inspired by Dr. Dre’s brother.

23. “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans

The message of the song is to not forget someone. Originally inspired by the single "Every Breath You Take," this song won a Grammy and topped the Billboard chart for eleven weeks.

The catchy tune with the touching lyrics provide a great channel to release emotions. If you find it difficult to convey the sorrow of grief, perhaps this song will help you put some of those feelings into words.  

24. “We’ll Always Love Big Poppa” by Lox

This song is a tribute to rapper The Notorious B.I.G. who perished in an unfortunate accident. If you enjoy story-telling, give this rap a try. The singer narrates stories of B.I.G. and expresses the pain of not being able to see him again.

25. “The Good Die Young” by Scorpions

The "Good Die Young," by German band Scorpion, is a piece that brings attention to those who have fallen in war. Many people risk their lives protecting their countries and, many times, these soldiers are quite young. 

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Religious Songs About Tragedy

Religion is essential to making peace with tragedy. Many people find comfort knowing that their loved ones are in a better place. Listen to the following religious songs about tragedy to remember your loved ones and keep their memory close. 

26. “Comforter” by CeCe Winans

This song’s lyrics are centered on God’s healing presence. This is a soothing, melodic ballad in which the singer describes the healing power of God.

27. “I Will Be Here” by Gary Valenciano

This song is written from the perspective of God’s omnipotence, emphasizing that God’s presence will keep you company and give you comfort during trying times. 

28. “Go Rest High On That Mountain” by Vince Gill

The author was inspired by his own experiences with tragedy to write this song. Released in 1995, this single won two Grammys and sold thousands of copies across the US.

29. “Amazing Grace” by Harlem Gospel Choir

Amazing Grace is a unique song that reminds believers to focus on God’s grace that keeps them through every trial and tragedy.

30. “It’s Not Death To Die” by Sovereign Grace

In times when it’s hard to find consolation, this song encourages people to look to Jesus for hope and healing. 

31. “The Hurt & The Healer” by MercyMe

As the title suggests, this song praises Jesus and his healing presence during tragedy in life. If you enjoy slow-paced ballads, give this song a try.

Encourage Your Soul through Song 

Tragedy and loss are inevitable. Coping with difficult situations is not a quick, easy process. Music can be a great channel to express painful emotions and be one step closer to overcoming adversity, trial, tragedy, and sorrow.


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