List of songs that help in grieving and healing

Music is a universally accessible form of art that carries subjective interpretations. There is a tune for every season and every reason. Studies have shown that in times of bereavement, music can be a great avenue for healthy grieving. Here are 25 songs to aid you in the process of grieving and the journey of healing.


Songs to reminisce your loved ones

1. Gone Too Soon - Simple Plan

A simple soft-rock tune to sing along to when you are missing someone that left unexpectedly.

2. Memories - Maroon 5

Despite the ebbs and flows of change that life brings, some memories will be etched in our minds forever. Sometimes the best way to honour someone is through these memories. Even though they might not be physically here, their legacy lives on in and through us.

3. See You Again - Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth

Written as a tribute to Paul Walker, See You Again is an emotionally powerful song that celebrates the sense of brotherhood shared by Walker and others. This is a great tune to reminisce those who shared an intimate bond with us.

4. Always Remember Us This Way - Lady Gaga (from A Star Is Born)

This country-ballad is about two separated lovers. Gaga sings of the love the couple once shared. Be it grieving from heartbreak or the passing of someone you loved, this song beautifully wraps up the fond memories you once had with the special someone.

5. Remember Me - Anthony Gonzalez, Ana Ofelia Murguía (from Coco) This beautiful piece was sung by Miguel in the Disney animation film Coco as a tribute to his family members who had passed on. Though our loved ones may no longer be here, we can honour them in different ways.

Sad songs to grieve

1. What Hurts The Most - Rascal Flatts

The band sings of the sudden loss of someone close to one’s heart. Within the music video, we see the pair of teenager lovers separated by a car accident. We follow the female protagonist as she goes through the process of grieving for her lover. Indeed, what hurts the most, are the many words left unsaid, the many possibilities unattained.

2. Here comes goodbye - Rascals Flatts

Another emotional song by the Rascals Flatts, the music video shows a family visiting the grave of a father. It was later revealed that the father’s grave was beside the female protagonist’s son’s grave. This song is an obe to grieve and eventually finding closure by bidding goodbye to the passing of one’s beloved.

3. When You’re Gone - Avril Lavigne

Sometimes we only recognise how much someone means to us when they are gone. Avril’s power vocals cry out of the longing and the ache she feels when her loved one is no longer here with her. All that’s left to say is simply “I miss you”.

4. Why - Rascal Flatts

This song questions if there is anything one could have done to stop a troubled soul from passing. One might resonate with the rhetorical lyrics of sorrow and regret. May you find solace amidst the questions and pain.

5. Slipped Away - Avril Lavigne

Written by Avril after the passing of her grandfather, this punk-rock tune embodies the process of grieve that Avril went through herself. This song is for all who might have encountered the sudden loss of someone dear to them.

6. Appreciate - Nicholas Jonas

This song narrates of a father who had passed away in a car accident. The last words of the father echos throughout the lyrics to remind his daughter to appreciate the gift that is life.

7. Since I lost You - Genesis

Phil Collins wrote this song as a response to the accidental death of his friend Eric Clapton’s 4-year-old son. This heart-wrenching tune laments the premature loss of a loved one.

8. Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton

This song was written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings following the tragic death of Eric’s son, Conor’s death. This ballad encapsulates the pain and longing that Eric experienced. However, it also sings of hope as Eric encouraged himself to “stay strong and carry on”.

9. All I Want - Kodaline

This emotionally-charged song is about lost love and the desire to be with the one they love. Beyond the loss of romantic love between couples, it is also suitable for those who had experienced the passing of their loved ones.

Upbeat songs to grieve

1. death bed (coffee for your head) - Powfu ft. beabadoobee

This lofi-chill tune is written by Powfu from the perspective of one on their death bed. The song is akin the last words the rapper has for his loved ones as he recounts of all that he is grateful for.

2. I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab For Cutie

Lead singer Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie wrote this love song on the inevitable death of one’s partner. To Gibbard, there might not be a heaven or hell, but whatever nothingness death brings, he will follow his love into the dark. This song alludes to a form of companionship and bond that lingers beyond our time on earth.

3. How To Save A Life - The Fray

The Fray’s lead singer Isaac Slade wrote this song in remembrance of a troubled teen he encountered at a youth camp. Though many tried to reach out to the teen, they were unable to prevent him from taking his own life. Isaac laments in the chorus on his inability to save a friend and all he could offer was prayer and support.

4. Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day

Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead singer of Green Day wrote this song after his father passed on 1st September 1982. From experiencing the pain of losing someone dear to us to moving on to emerging stronger from the experience, this song is open to personal interpretation.

5. If I Die Young - The Band Perry

The Band Perry wrote this song to remind themselves to make the most of the time they are given. This country ballad is a good tune to comfort those who might either have experienced the loss of someone or as a source of encouragement to live with their might.

Songs of healing

1. You're Gonna Be Okay - Brian & Jenn Johnson

When all hope seems lost, sometimes we need to hear that still small voice that tells us to simply carry on and know that this is not the end. We might not be at a great place right now, but, one step at a time, may we find the courage to get to a better place.

2. The Next Right Thing - Frozen 2

When the ones closest to you are not in reach, you might feel like you are placed in a space of loneliness never experienced before. Grief can be heavy and like Anna, you might feel as if all hope is lost. Even when you are alone, take the time to heal and to find the strength within. Sometimes healing is not about being completely fine, but to simply take that step of courage and do the next right thing.

3. Rescue - Lauren Daigle

For the faithful, Lauren sings of a God that will rescue you even in the darkest of nights. Even if you do not subscribe to the same faith as Lauren, this song provides a source of hope and strength, to know that you are never alone even when the journey gets rough.

4. Saturn - Sleeping At Last

The ethereal instrumental at the beginning of the song offers comfort and solace to listeners. The lyrics then reminisce about the passing of our loved ones but encourage listeners to recognise the beauty of simply existing.

5. Blessings - Laura Story

Laura wrote this song when she faced the fear of losing her husband to cancer. This ballad encourages those who might not be in the best of circumstances to consider how sufferings might in fact be blessings in disguise.

6. Safe & Sound - Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars

This country-lullaby by Taylor is akin to a warm embrace and comforts those who might be suffering from the loss of someone close to them.

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