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Break up playlist

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10 heartbreaking songs from Asian artists to heal your emotional damage

    With breakup season and seasonal depression making their way into the year, let this breakup playlist of Asian artists provide you with the best therapy — without breaking the bank.

    new survey commissioned by eHarmony and conducted by OnePoll found that the average adult in the U.K. experiences four breakups in their lifetime. Meanwhile, a similar survey found that the average adult in the U.S. experiences three. Of the multiple coping mechanisms available, almost half of the U.K. participants selected listening to sad music as a preferred way of coming to terms with a breakup.

    According to relationship expert Rachael Lloyd, listening to music can unlock feelings and emotions that can help us properly grieve. This process allows a person to accept their emotions, reflect, grow and potentially start a new, healthy relationship in the future.

    To help you with this process, here’s a collection of songs by artists of Asian descent that will give you a moment to reflect and experience catharsis.

    10. “Glimpse of Us” by Joji

    First on the list is Japanese singer Joji’s viral single “Glimpse of Us.” Although its lyrics may not resonate with everyone, the stripped-down ballad and its dive into love’s darker side leaves listeners in a sea of echoing solitude. 

    After skyrocketing in popularity, the ballad is now considered by many listeners as this year’s ultimate “breakup song” for letting loose and crying without judgment. However, concerned stares are warranted if you blast it in dorm rooms or public spaces.

    9. “Tired” by Beabadoobee

    In a world that seems to be moving at an alarming rate, Beabadoobee‘s “Tired” pauses its listeners and gives them space to contemplate their place in life. Especially after the loss of a partner or during times of exhaustion, “Tired” provides a sense of momentary comfort.

    The lyrics by the Filipino British singer-songwriter, who also goes by Beatrice Kristi Laus, depict a stressed state that everyone can relate to, offering a place of belonging when the listener is at their lowest.

    8. “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo

    Like many of the song’s listeners, Filipino American superstar Olivia also reflects on her past relationship in “Traitor.” Filled with lyrics about betrayal and hurt, the song is a somber explosion of anger, lashing out against not only one’s previous partner, but the self as well. 

    7. “Heather” by Conan Gray

    With the third of December slowly approaching, it’s impossible to leave out this masterpiece by Texas singer-songwriter Conan Gray, who got his start by posting videos on YouTube during his teenage years. As one of his most popular singles, the transition from soft longing to an inevitable acceptance of unrequited love is perfect for the year’s sweater weather. 

    6. “Linger On” by Roy Kim

    Unlike the previous songs on this list, Korean singer-songwriter Roy Kim’s  “Linger On” focuses on an ex-partner who is unable to fully leave the relationship, solemnly watching the person they love move on. In addition to its lonely tone, the translated lyrics are guaranteed to create an ache in your chest.

    5. “Francis Forever” by Mitski

    “Francis Forever” by Japanese American singer-songwriter Mitski is a depiction of the feeling of loss and hesitation after coming right out of a relationship. Mitski’s lyrics echo sentiments of isolation and describe the void that is left after the loss of a lover.

    4. “Oceans & Engines” by NIKI

    A beautiful story of loving and letting go, “Oceans & Engines” is a lyrical masterpiece alongside its nostalgic music video, which sees Indonesian musician and producer NIKI and her partner attempting to maintain their long-distance relationship before having to say goodbye.

    3. “A Daily Song” by Hwang Chi-yeul

    A classic Korean breakup song to cry to, 2017’s “A Daily Song” by 39-year-old South Korean singer Hwang Chi-yeul reminisces about past lovers who had a song they called their own, only to feel repeated heartbreak whenever it lingers in the air.

    2. “Heartbreak Honeymoon” by Mad Tsai

    Known for his viral song “killer queen,” 21-year-old Mad Tsai is a rising LGBTQ-plus artist who is dominating TikTok. “Heartbreak Honeymoon” is a message channeling both anger and revenge to an ex after a breakup.

    1. “Don’t Touch Me” by Ailee

    Dubbed by many as Korea’s Beyoncé, Korean American artist Ailee is powerful after her breakup in “Don’t Touch Me,” making her past lover bitterly regret their actions.

    If you’re looking to discover more songs by other talents of the Asian diaspora, check out these must-listen albums of 2022 so far.

    Featured Image via Conan Gray

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