20 Best Songs About Being Sorry

By Nico Gonzalez

Saying sorry is never easy. It can be one of the most difficult things a person has to do, but it’s also one of the most important. Whether you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, done something wrong, or simply made a mistake, apologizing is always the right thing to do.

These 20 songs explore the wide range of emotions associated with saying sorry. From regret to heartbreak to pure apology, these tunes are sure to hit home.


All Apologies – Nirvana

Nirvana - All Apologies (MTV Unplugged)

Kurt Cobain wrote “All Apologies” in 1993 and it was released on Nirvana’s album In Utero in 1994. The song is an apology to Cobain’s Wife Courtney Love, and his daughter Frances Bean. The song is also an apology to himself for all the pain he has caused in his life. In the song, Cobain is trying to say that he is sorry for everything and that all he wants to do is make things right. He talks about how he knows he can be a better person, and how he wants to change for the better. The song is a powerful message about taking responsibility for your actions, and about the importance of making things right.

Apologize – Timbaland

Timbaland - Apologize ft. OneRepublic

Apologize by Timbaland is a song about being sorry. It was released in 2007 and features vocals from OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. The song was a huge commercial success, reaching number one in over 20 countries and selling over 10 million copies worldwide. The lyrics of the song are focused on the idea of taking responsibility for one’s actions and asking for forgiveness. The song has been widely praised for its ability to capture the emotion of regret and remorse.

Apology Song – The Decemberists

The Decemberists are an American indie rock band from Portland, Oregon. The group consists of singer-songwriter and guitarist Colin Meloy, bassist Nate Query, drummer John Moen, keyboardist Chris Funk, and multi-instrumentalist Jenny Conlee. The band’s 2009 album The Hazards of Love reached No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and received generally positive reviews from critics. “Apology Song” is a track from the album, and it is a song about being sorry. The lyrics tell the story of a man who has done wrong by his lover and is begging for forgiveness.

Hello – Adele

Hello” is a song recorded by English singer-songwriter Adele for her third studio album, 25 (2015). It was released on 23 October 2015 by XL Recordings as the lead single from the album. The song was written by Adele and Greg Kurstin, and produced by the latter. “Hello” is a piano ballad with soul influences and lyrics that discuss themes of nostalgia and regret. Upon release, the song was well received by music critics, who compared it favorably to Adele’s previous work and praised the song’s production.

Sorry – Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber - Sorry (PURPOSE : The Movement)

Released in 2015, “Sorry” is a song recorded by Canadian singer Justin Bieber for his fourth studio album, Purpose. The song was written by Bieber, Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter and Sonny Moore, and produced by Skrillex and Blood. It is an uptempo dance-pop song that features guest vocals from American rapper Big Sean. Lyrically, the song is a plea for forgiveness for prior misdeeds.

Sorry – Ciara

Ciara’s song “Sorry” is a ballad about a failed relationship. The lyrics express regret and remorse for the part she played in the breakup. Ciara apologizes for her mistakes and begs for forgiveness. Despite the sad subject matter, the song is upbeat and catchy. The production is heavy on drums and bass, with a simple piano melody playing in the background. Ciara’s powerful vocals are the highlight of the track. She delivers the emotional lyrics with raw honesty and emotion. “Sorry” is a moving song about trying to mend a broken heart.

Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato - Sorry Not Sorry (Official Video)

Demi Lovato’s Sorry Not Sorry is a song about owning up to one’s mistakes and being unapologetic for them. The song opens with the narrator apologizing for her past mistakes, but quickly followed by the declaration that she “ain’t sorry.” The rest of the song explores the idea of not being sorry, even when faced with relationships that have ended because of the narrator’s actions. The message of the song is clear: sometimes people make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they should spend their lives being sorry for them.

So Sorry – Feist

The Canadian singer-songwriter Feist rose to prominence in the early 2000s with her critically acclaimed album Let It Die. The album’s lead single, “So Sorry,” is a soulful ballad about regret and remorse. “I’m so sorry for what I’ve done / I’m so sorry for what I’ve become,” Feist sings over a plaintive piano melody. “I’m so sorry for all the damage I’ve done / But I can’t take it back, no I can’t take it back.” The song’s mournful lyrics are offset by Feist’s angelic voice, creating a sense of both heartbreak and hope. “So Sorry” is a moving testament to the power of apology and forgiveness, and it remains one of Feist’s most beloved songs.

Swallow My Pride – Ramones

RAMONES - Swallow My Pride

“Swallow My Pride” is a song by the Ramones that was released as the lead single from their 1976 album, Leave Home. The song is about a person who is apologizing for their mistakes and asking for forgiveness. The lyrics describe how the person is “swallowing their pride” in order to make things right. The song is set in a fast tempo and features simple, catchy chords that are typical of the Ramones’ sound. “Swallow My Pride” peaked at #88 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has been widely praised by critics as one of the best songs from the Ramones’ early years.

Sorry, Blame It On Me – Akon

Akon - Sorry, Blame It On Me (Official Music Video)

Akon’s 2007 song “Sorry, Blame It On Me” is a remorseful ballad in which the singer takes responsibility for his own mistakes. The song opens with a piano intro and Akon’s regretful vocal performance, set against a backdrop of programmed drums and strings. Throughout the song, he details how his actions have led to pain and suffering for others, and asks for forgiveness. While the lyrics are remorseful, the melody is catchy and upbeat, giving the song a hopeful feeling. “Sorry, Blame It On Me” is a candid look at taking responsibility for one’s mistakes, and an apology for the hurt that has been caused.

If I Were Sorry – Frans

Frans - If I Were Sorry

“If I Were Sorry” is a song by Swedish singer Frans. It was released on 11 March 2016 as a digital download in Sweden. The song was written by Tobias Kamkoff, Fredrik Kempe, Marcus Vinberg, and Frans, and it was produced by Marcus Sinnergard. “If I Were Sorry” is a ballad with pop and indie elements. It is about a man who regrets cheating on his girlfriend. The song was inspired by the cheating scandal of Tiger Woods.

Cleanin’ Out My Closet – Eminem

Eminem - Cleanin' Out My Closet (Official Music Video)

Released in 2002, “Cleaning Out My Closet” is a song by American rapper Eminem in which he reflects on his problematic upbringing and expresses remorse for the way he has treated those closest to him. The song was a commercial success, reaching the top ten of multiple music charts, and is widely considered to be one of Eminem’s best-known and most-loved songs. In the song, Eminem looks back on his childhood and acknowledges the pain that he caused his mother due to his father’s absence and his own anger issues.

Please Forgive Me – Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams - Please Forgive Me (Official Music Video)

Please Forgive Me is a song written by Bryan Adams, co-written with Michael Kamen and Mutt Lange, and released in October 1993 as part of the Soundtrack album for the film “The 3 Musketeers”. The song was moderately successful, reaching number 6 on the Canada Top Singles chart and number 23 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, the song peaked at number 27 on the UK Singles Chart. The song earned Adams a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards.

Sorry – Halsey

Halsey’s song “Sorry” starts with an apology and moves into a period of reflection. The speaker is coming to terms with the choices they have made, and how those choices have impacted the people around them. While the song is about being sorry, it is also about growth and understanding. The speaker recognizes their mistakes and is working to change for the better. The song ends on a hopeful note, with the speaker vowing to do better in the future. “Sorry” is a powerful song that deals with important topics like accountability and personal growth. Halsey’s raw emotion and honesty make it a moving and relatable track.

I’m Sorry – Brenda Lee

I'm Sorry (Remastered)

“I’m Sorry” is a song written by Dub Williams and recorded by American singer Brenda Lee. It was released as a single in 1960 and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is about a young woman who is apologetic for breaking up with her boyfriend. Despite her apologies, she still believes that it is for the best and that they are better off apart. “I’m Sorry” was a massivecommercial success, helping to launch Lee’s career and solidify her status as a teen idol. The song has since been covered by numerous artists, including John Lennon, Patsy Cline, and Dolly Parton. Despite its age, “I’m Sorry” remains a popular tune and continues to resonate with listeners today.

Who’s Sorry Now – Connie Francis

Who's Sorry Now (Remastered)

“Who’s Sorry Now” is a song written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, with lyrics by Ted Snyder. The song was published in 1923. It was first recorded by Isham Jones and his Orchestra in 1923, and released as a Columbia Records single. “Who’s Sorry Now” became a big hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard charts. The song has been covered many times since its release, most notably by Connie Francis in 1958. Francis’ version of the song was a big hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Who’s Sorry Now” has been featured in many movies and TV shows over the years, including The Sopranos, The Simpsons, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

For What It’s Worth – Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher - For What It's Worth (Live At Air Studios)

The song “For What It’s Worth” by Liam Gallagher is a remorseful ballad about a past relationship. The lyrics detail a experience where the speaker made a mistake and is hoping for forgiveness. The song begins with an apology, admitting that the speaker was in the wrong. They express regret for their actions and ask for another chance. The chorus reveals the speaker’s true feelings, proclaiming their love for the person they wronged. Despite their mistakes, they still want to be with them. The song ends on a hopeful note, with the speaker promising to change their ways. Overall, “For What It’s Worth” is a heartfelt apology to someone who has been hurt by the speaker’s actions.

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Elton John

Elton John - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

The song Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word was released by Elton John in 1976. The lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin, and the music was composed by Elton John. The song is about a relationship that has ended, and the protagonist is struggling to apologize. The title comes from the opening line of the song, which states “What have I got to do to make you love me? / What have I got to do to make you care?” The protagonist is apologizing for their mistakes and begging for forgiveness, but they realize that the other person may never forgive them.

Sorry – Madonna

Madonna - Sorry (Official Video)

Released in 2015, “Sorry” is a song from Madonna’s album Rebel Heart. The song was co-written by Madonna, Toby Gad, and Sean Douglas, and produced by Madonna and Abe Munitz. It is a mid-tempo dance track with elements of house music, EDM, and Hip hop. The song features an appearance by rapper Nas. “Sorry” is about apologizing for past mistakes. The lyrics are remorseful and contrite, and express a desire to make things right. In an interview with Beats 1 Radio, Madonna explained that the song was inspired by her own experience of apologizing to someone she had wronged.

Don’t Love You No More (I’m Sorry) – Craig David

Craig David - Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry) (Official Video)

Don’t Love You No More (I’m Sorry) is a song by English singer Craig David. It was released as the lead single from his second studio album, Slicker than Your Average (2002). The song peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming David’s third number-one single. The song also topped the charts in Denmark and New Zealand. In Australia, it was certified double platinum for selling over 140,000 copies. “Don’t Love You No More (I’m Sorry)” was written by Craig David and Mark Hill of The Artful Dodger. The song is about a break-up and how the protagonist is trying to express his regrets to his ex-lover.