The Break-Up Anthems, Swiping Songs and Pre-Date Jams You Need On Your Playlist
thank u, next
Music is scientifically proven to alter your mood. Whether you’re love life is calling you to mellow out or get hyped up, we have the ultimate playlist for when you’re…
Dealing with a Breakup
You may have just broken up with a person. You may have just broken up with men in general. Either way, the right playlist is key for quicker healing. Take as your mantra WWRD: What Would Rihanna Do. Indulge your misery and cry it out to a carefully curated selection of teary ballads ranging from heartbreaking acoustic covers to winsome country lite that will sound good played on repeat 100+ times during your daily sobfest. My go-to: “Stay” by Rihanna featuring hot moppet Mikky Ekko. (The video even shows the bad gal as sad gal moping in the bathtub.)
Throwback Faves: “Sea of Love,” Cat Power
“Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl,” Wet
Fresh Inspo: “thank u, next,” Ariana Grande
On a Swiping Spree
Rejection after rejection. Thumb sprain. Dozens of unsolicited man parts popping up on the daily. For most modern single people, swiping through the dreck overflowing your 13 different apps to find a decent human with whom to couple is less “fun” and more “tedious part-time job you dream about quitting every day in favour of starting an artisanal countryside cattery.” Cueing up a little babe-powered rock or pop with a pulsing beat will give you enough life to propel past the jillionth drugged-tiger pic or grotesque mirror selfie.
Throwback Faves: “Chick Habit,” April March
“Dog Days Are Over,” Florence + The Machine
Fresh Inspo: “Boys & Blondes,” Dear Rouge
“New Touch,” Caveboy
Prepping for the Biggest Date of Your Life
If love is a drug, long-term relationships are like weed: You’re cozy, cuddly, couch-bound and calm with no immediate excitement. Dating, however, is more like cocaine: In between the brief, dizzying highs, you just want to stab your eyes out. One of the best buzzes is the ecstatic moments before, during and after a spectacular first date—and the right accompanying track will help you really savour it. Light a small candle and send up a prayer to the gods of soul and blues that this time it will work out. Then finish off with a bouncy ’60s-inspired jam. Can you get an amen?
Throwback Faves: “Cry to Me,” Solomon Burke
“Smokestack Lightnin’,” Howlin’ Wolf
Fresh Inspo: “Let’s Call it Love,” Jill Barber
Trying to Hit it
OK, so you’ve got your crush back at your place. Now what? Every grown-ass woman should have a doing-it playlist at the ready. (Give it an innocuous label like “Work Tunes” or “Tax Songs” because you’re classy like that.) The perfect sex mix includes an elegant yet thirsty mélange of fuzzy synth-pop (’80s through to today), pervy hip-hop, Leonard Cohen and the live version of “Heartbeats” by The Knife—you know, the one mixed with the Twin Peaks theme. If any rumpy pumpy outlasts your playlist, (a) congrats, girl, and (b) one word: Sade.
Throwback Faves: “Try Me,” James Brown
“Tender Mercy,” Au Palais
Fresh Inspo: Anything from Sabrina Claudio’s mixtape About Time
Ready to Smash the Patriarchy
Replace all your misery music with bangin’ Rihanna and Rihanna-adjacent power anthems to blast at the gym, on the streetcar, in the shower—anywhere and everywhere. Let her strength course through you as you muster the courage to start dating again…then circle back to the beginning of this list and cue up your swiping tracks because it’s time to work, work, work, work, work, work.
Throwback Faves: “Here I Go Again,” Whitesnake
Fresh Inspo: “Lemon,” N.E.R.D. & Rihanna
“Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B