5 Breakup Songs You Need to Hear Right Now (Heartbroken or Not) – By Laila Kharouba

5. I Do- Wild Rivers

In their new single “I Do”, Toronto based folk band Wild Rivers muses on a feeling we all know too well— the realization that someone is over you when you aren’t even close. This melancholic song circles around melodically, as the heart does around memories after a breakup. Devan and Khalid’s intertwining harmonies become almost indistinguishable as they repeat the inherently romantic proclamation ‘I Do’, but with a completely different sentiment than one would expect from the song title. I’ve had this gorgeously sad song on repeat since it came out on August 9th, and you will as well.

“Seems like you’re getting on, I ain’t getting nowhere”. 

4. okay- LANY & Julia Michaels

This song is a simple and earnest retracing of a relationship’s beginning and end. Songwriting queen Julia Michaels sings an octave above Laney (“Thru These Tears”) as the song almost whispers in your ear the question we often ask ourselves and our best friends: “I’m gonna be okay, right?”. The intimacy of the two voices suggests a shared experience of heartbreak while the instrumentation rolls underneath them, pushing them both to move on, and giving the situation some hope despite the defeat made clear in the lyrics.

“Is it wrong to think you’re sadistic? I know you’re sleeping perfect while I’m over here hurting.”

3. Leaving Song- Birds of Bellwood’s

“Leaving Song” is one of the many hauntingly beautiful songs from the popular and undeniably dynamic Birds of Bellwoods. The song reflects on a selfless sending of a loved one on their way, despite a selfish desire for them to stay. Stephen Joffe’s voice has a way of piercing through your headphones and right into your heart, while his bandmate’s voices echo behind him like the words in your head that you wish you had said.

“On the surface it appears that you have always loved it here, but still I know deep inside that you must change the tide.”

2- This Is On You- Maisie Peters

Up and coming British pop-folk powerhouse Maisie Peters has a way of singing complex scenarios into simple and accessible songs. “This Is On You” is sassy (in the sweetest way possible), honest, and tragic. The song is a recognition of what we deserve, and what we don’t, motivated by the anger from years of being loved and needed only at someone else’s convenience. Her vocals begin raw and hesitant as she contemplates a call from her ex, then build into a chorus where her layered vocals chant the words she has finally gained the confidence to say.

“So you wanna be friends of is that on weekends? I was your pick me up, and I would say pick me up, but not anymore”.

1- High On Heartbreak- Nick Babcock

Kingston, Ontario raised pop artist Nick Babcock presents an unquestionably unique perspective on breakups in his debut single “High On Heartbreak”. The song is a moody breakup anthem, tracing the nuances of contemporary relationships where the honeymoon phase turns into boredom in the blink of an eye. Nick doesn’t let this get him down, instead he gets high on the possibility of what’s next—which is often a step closer to where we are meant to be, and who we are meant to be with. The song features soaring romantic harmonies, juxtaposed with a quick, almost rap-like bridge where his lips move as fast as our brains might right before we self-sabotage a relationship. The song captures a sentiment that has not been written before, but has been experienced by many.

“Now I’ve probably passed by another potential wife, bullshit the reasons and regret it every time. But I haven’t missed her in a while like she’s going out of style. I don’t get down, I get high.”

Check out the Spotify playlist featuring all these songs:


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6 Songs to Instantly Elevate Your Mood – By Laila Kharouba

Recently I’ve been working on curating a ‘power playlist’—a collection of songs that I can count on to lift me out of a slump, get me motivated, and have me feeling like I can take on the world.

I asked my Instagram hive to share songs that instantly raise their mood. I got an overwhelming amount of answers, with songs I knew well, and songs I didn’t know at all.

I can’t pinpoint exactly what magical element all these songs posses, but I know that it’s definitely more than just an upbeat major chord progression. I’ve had an incredibly positive and productive past few days, which I attribute to this playlist (and okay, also the fact that we’re finally getting some sunshine in Toronto).

My favourite part of this research project was discovering what these songs have in common. While they all hold the ability to elevate mood, the subject matter isn’t so simple: most of these aren’t love songs or songs about happiness. They are about struggle, and finding balance. How lovely.

It’s officially June, which is the sixth month of the year. We’re half way through, isn’t that wild? Here are 6 Songs to Instantly Elevate Your Mood:

  1. Truth Hurts- Lizzo 

Okay, this one is an easy first, and not only because it was suggested by more than 5 of my friends. Thanks ladies! I’ve officially found my go-to song when I need to feel like a badass. I recognized this song from the iconic scene in Netflix’s Someone Great where Jenny, Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez, dances around in her PJs post-breakup. It worked for her (well, sort of), and it will work for you. If you like “Truth Hurts” also listen to “Juice” by Lizzo.

We don’t fuck with lies, we don’t do goodbyes
We just keep it pushing like aye yi yi

  1. You Get What You Give- New Radicals 

I was hoping someone would suggest this as I was ready to throw it on the list myself. This song speaks for itself, so have a listen. The New Radicals’ “Get What You Give” was sampled last year (20 years after the original release—talk about timeless) by Felix Cartal to create a techno-pop hit of the same name, using the title lyric to create a super catchy hook. While I guarantee that you heard this remix at a few parties last summer, I do feel that the original is more powerful, youthful, and rebellious in spirit. If you like Blink 182’s “All the Small Things”, you’ll like this song. Also, the music video features dogs, and a 1998 shopping mall.

This whole damn world, could fall apart
You’ll be ok, follow your heart

  1. Light On- Maggie Rogers

I think I might have to thank Maggie Rogers’ entire Heard It in a Past Life album for most of my creative inspiration this year. This track is guaranteed to get you moving, maybe even as much as Maggie in her live performances. This song navigates the struggle to be happy amidst change and accelerated success. Prior to releasing “Light On”, Maggie tweeted:

“This is a song about gratitude. It’s the most vulnerable I’ve ever felt in a song. It’s about how overwhelmed + scared I was during all that change, but mostly about all the light you gave me when I couldn’t always find it for myself”.

How sweet is that? Also, if you want some added joy in your life, watch Maggie’s live performance for La Blogothèque in Paris. Watch until the end, it gets overwhelmingly cute and wholesome. Also check out the links below a video of me performing this song.

And I am finding out
There’s just no other way
That I’m still dancing at the end of the day

  1. Shotgun- George Ezra 

George Ezra’s vocals in this song are simple, smooth, and flirty, and the song features a trombone, which is an automatic win for me. This is the perfect song to blast while driving down a sunny highway with the windows down—it’s right there in the lyrics. “Shotgun” is a straight-up, feel-good cocktail made up of adventure and liveliness (probably shaken in a dazzling rose gold cocktail shaker). Go to 2:00 on George Ezra’s BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge performance to see how much fun this song truly is.

There’s a mountaintop that I’m dreaming of
If you need me you know were I’ll be

I’ll be riding shotgun underneath the hot sun

Feeling like a someone

  1. Roll Up Your Sleeves- Meg Mac 

While this may be the slow burn of the list, Meg Mac’s motivating folk tune will surely get you feeling like you can take on the world. This song was suggested by a fellow musician friend. About 10 seconds into my first listen of “Roll Up Your Sleeves”, I almost decided that it wasn’t uplifting enough. But then, the chorus happened. And I think I actually said out loud: “Wow. Okay. I needed this.” If you haven’t heard the song before, listen to Meg Mac’s live version for 89.3 The Current. Her live performance is identical, if not better, than the record.

Roll up your sleeves
And face the faces looking right back at me
It’s easier to leave it all
It’s easier to fake it, oh oh

  1. Dog Days Are Over- Florence + the Machine 

If the video that circulated a few years ago of Florence Welch singing this song to a fan in the hospital doesn’t convince you of how much power “Dog Days Are Over” holds, I don’t know what will. Well, I don’t know…maybe the Glee Version? Florence’s voice is especially haunting on this track as she sings of struggle, pain, and survival, like most of the band’s songs. While interpretations of these lyrics vary from ‘a girl afraid of love and happiness’, to ‘a girl trying to escape an abusive partner’ (I know, I’m sorry), to my favourite, “a song about the apocalypse but in a positive light”, the key to this song is the underlying passion and emotion; “Dog Days Are Over” is written and performed so intricately that it is accessible to countless interpretations. Whatever your take on the lyrics are, this song’s ability to move and motivate is undeniable.

Happiness, hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back

That’s all from me today. Thanks for reading, lovelies! I hope you have an incredible, positive, and inspired rest of your week!



Links Mentioned:  

Someone Great Dancing Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIMLMXW1JdE

“You Get What You Give” Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL7-CKirWZE

“Light On” for La Blogothèque: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVLDxmjeyVo

Laila Covering “Light On”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp7sXJSZ1PY

“Shotgun” for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxG44-EpfhI

“Roll Up Your Sleeves” for The Current: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDwdZM6W1oc

Florence Sing to a Cancer Patient: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HuYEOO2r1g


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