20 Best Songs About Emotions

By Nico Gonzalez

We experience a range of emotions every day, and there’s no better way to express them than through song. From the joys of love and happiness to the sadness of loss and heartbreak, music has been used to capture all kinds of emotions for centuries. Here are 20 of the best songs about emotion, each one telling a unique story in its own way.


Attention – Charlie Puth

Charlie Puth - Attention [Official Video]

There’s something about the song “Attention” by Charlie Puth that just resonates with so many people. Maybe it’s the relatable lyrics, the catchy beat, or both. In any case, the song has a way of getting under your skin and provoking an emotional reaction. And that’s precisely what it’s meant to do.

I Drink Wine – Adele

Adele - I Drink Wine (Live at The BRIT Awards 2022)

I Drink Wine by Adele is a song about emotions. Adele is clearly struggling with her emotions in this song, and she copes by drinking wine. Throughout the song, she tries to numb her emotions with alcohol, but it doesn’t work. At the end of the song, she admits that she can’t keep running from her problems. She needs to face her emotions head-on in order to move on. I Drink Wine by Adele is a powerful song about the struggles of dealing with emotions. It is relatable to anyone who has ever struggled to deal with their feelings.

Emotion – Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey - Emotions

Emotion is a popular song by Mariah Carey. The song is about the emotions that people feel. It is a ballad with a slow tempo. The lyrics talk about the different emotions that people feel. These emotions include happiness, sadness, love, and anger. The song talks about how these emotions can be overwhelming at times. But, it also talks about how they are what make us human. The song has a positive message about emotions and how they are a part of our lives. The song is popular because it is relatable to many people. It is a song that people can relate to because it talks about the different emotions that we all feel.

Hurt – Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash - Hurt

Johnny Cash’s song “Hurt” is a powerful and emotive ballad that speaks to the pain and hurt that we all feel at some point in our lives. The lyrics are simple but effective, and the delivery is raw and emotive. The song starts with the line “I hurt myself today / To see if I still feel”, which sets the tone for the rest of the song. Cash then goes on to explore the hurt that we feel when we lose somebody close to us, when we make mistakes, and when we are disappointed in ourselves. The song ends on a hopeful note, with the line “I focus on the good / And I know I’ll be alright”. “Hurt” is a moving and insightful song that captures the complex emotions that we all experience.

Only love can break your heart – Neil Young

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

“Only Love Can Break Your Heart” is a song written by Neil Young. It was first released on his 1972 album Harvest. The song is about the pain of love and loss. The lyrics talk about how love can make you happy, but it can also break your heart. The song has been covered by many artists, including Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen. In 2010, the song was used in a commercial for the video game Red Dead Redemption. The song has been described as a “classic” and “one of Young’s best-known songs.”

Teardrop – Massive Attack

Massive Attack - Teardrop (Official Video)

“Teardrop” is a song by Massive Attack that was released as a single in 1998. The song is notable for its use of a sample from “Plucked”, a composition by John Martyn. The sample consists of the repeatedly plucked notes of an acoustic guitar, which create a melody that carries throughout the song. The lyrics of “Teardrop” are written from the perspective of a person who is feeling overwhelmed by emotions. The lyrics make reference to tears, both literal and metaphorical, and describe the feeling of being drowned by one’s own emotions.

I know it’s over – The Smiths

The Smiths - I Know It's Over (Official Audio)

“I Know It’s Over” is a song from The Smiths’ 1986 album The Queen Is Dead. The song was written by Morrissey and Marr and produced by Steve Lillywhite. “I Know It’s Over” is a ballad that clocking in at over six minutes, making it one of the longest songs on the album. The song is about the resignation that comes with the end of a relationship. In the first verse, Morrissey sings about how he tries to find comfort in small things, like “a cheap rubbish bag” and “a betting slip.”

No distance left to run – Blur

Blur - No Distance Left To Run (Official Music Video)

The song “No Distance Left to Run” by Blur is a song about the intense emotions that can come with the end of a relationship. The lyrics describe the feeling of being “trapped in a burning house” and wanting to get away from the pain. The song also talks about how sometimes it can feel like there is “no distance left to run” when you are stuck in a difficult situation. Despite the negative emotions expressed in the song, it also has a hopeful message about how even though things may be tough, there is always hope for a better tomorrow. This makes “No Distance Left to Run” an emotional and powerful song that resonates with many people who have experienced heartbreak.

The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer (from The Concert in Central Park)

“The Boxer” is a song by Simon & Garfunkel, released in 1969 on their album Bridge over Troubled Water. The song was written by Paul Simon and recorded in 1968. It features Art Garfunkel on lead vocals, with Simon & Garfunkel’s harmonizing vocals in the chorus. The song is about a boxer who struggles to make ends meet and is eventually forced to retire. The lyrics are full of emotion, with the boxer feeling down and out, but still holding on to hope. The song has been covered by many artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash. It remains one of Simon & Garfunkel’s most popular songs and is considered to be one of the greatest songs of all time.

Dry your eyes – The Streets

The Streets - Dry Your Eyes (Official Video)

“Dry Your Eyes” is a song by British singer The Streets. The song was released in 2004 as the second single from his album A Grand Don’t Come for Free. Written and produced by Mike Skinner, the song is about the breakup of a relationship and the resulting emotional turmoil. It debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming The Streets’ second number-one single. In the United States, it peaked at number 74 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was widely acclaimed by music critics, with many praising Skinner’s honest and relatable lyrics. “Dry Your Eyes” has been cited as one of the best break-up songs of all time and is considered one of The Streets’ most iconic songs.

No Name – Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith - No Name No. 5 (from Either/Or)

No Name is a song about the complicated mix of emotions that come with a break-up. The lyrics tell the story of a relationship that has ended, and the protagonist is struggling to make sense of what happened. The song is written in Smith’s trademark style of simplicity and honesty, and it captures the confusion and pain of heartbreak. No Name is a beautiful example of Smith’s talent for turning personal experiences into art, and it is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever gone through a break-up.

The River – Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen - The River (The River Tour, Tempe 1980)

The River by Bruce Springsteen is a song about emotions. The lyrics tell the story of a young man who is in love with a girl but is afraid to express his feelings. The song is set against the backdrop of the American Midwest, and the river serves as a symbol of the emotions that the protagonist is feeling. The song reflects on the fear of rejection and how it can prevent us from taking risks and experiencing life. Ultimately, the song is about finding the courage to take those risks and follow your heart. The River is an affirmation of life and love, and it shows us that even though life can be hard, it is still worth living.

How to disappear completely – Radiohead

How to Disappear Completely

“How to Disappear Completely” is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released as the fourth single from their fourth studio album, Kid A (2000). The song was written by frontman Thom Yorke following the death of his father in 2000. It deals with themes of grief and loss, and includes elements of electronic music and ambient soundscapes. “How to Disappear Completely” was warmly received by critics, who praised its emotive lyrics and atmospheric sound. The song peaked at number 27 on the UK Singles Chart and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. Radiohead has performed “How to Disappear Completely” live on several occasions, including at the 2002 concert tribute to former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett.

Disintegration – The Cure

Disintegration (Remastered)

The Cure’s “Disintegration” is a song about the emotional rollercoaster of a relationship on the brink of collapse. The lyrics follow the perspective of someone who is desperately trying to hold on, even as they can feel themselves slipping away. The song opens with the lines “It doesn’t matter how we try to forget / Our love just won’t die.” This sets the tone for the rest of the song, which is filled with images of desperate longing and regret. “Disintegration” is a powerful song that captures the feeling of being pulled apart by your own emotions. It is an unforgettable listen that will leave you feeling both heartbroken and hopeful.

Famous blue raincoat – Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen - Famous Blue Raincoat (Live in Dublin - short)

The song Famous Blue Raincoat by Leonard Cohen is a song about a man reflecting on a past relationship. The lyrics describe the man’s feelings of regret and nostalgia, as well as his desire for forgiveness. Cohen uses metaphors and symbols to depict the complex emotions involved in the relationship. For example, the raincoat represents the man’s feelings of sadness and isolation, while the blue color symbolizes his longing for the woman he loved. Cohen’s use of imagery and symbolism creates a powerful and moving song that speaks to the difficulties and complexities of relationships.

Re Stacks – Bon Iver

Re Stacks by Bon Iver is a song about emotions. The lyrics are written in a way that allows the listener to feel the emotions that the singer is feeling. The song starts off with the lines “I’m up all night to get some, I’m up all night for good fun, I’m up all night to get lucky.” These lines set the tone for the rest of the song, which is about feeling good and having fun. The next section of the song talks about how the singer is “tired of being alive,” and how he “wants to die.” This section is much more dark and intense than the first, and it shows how complex emotions can be.

Marvin’s Room – Drake

In the 2011 song “Marvin’s Room,” Canadian rapper Drake tells the story of a man who is drunkenly trying to call an ex-girlfriend. The song begins with the protagonist slurring his words as he tries to remember the number for her new phone. He then proceeds to leave her a series of rambling and emotional voicemails, in which he confesses his feelings for her and begs her to come back to him. The level of emotion in the song is heightened by the use of stark and revealing lyrics, which give the listener a window into the protagonist’s soul.

Boots of Spanish Leather – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan - Boots of Spanish Leather (Official Audio)

Boots of Spanish Leather is a ballad written and performed by Bob Dylan. The song was first released on Dylan’s 1964 album, The Times They Are A-Changin’. The song is written in the point of view of a man whose lover is preparing to leave for Spain. The man pleads with his lover to stay with him, but she insists that she must go. As she prepares to depart, the man begs her to send him a pair of Spanish leather boots as a reminder of her. 

Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday-Strange fruit- HD

Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” is a searing protest against the injustice of lynching. It is widely considered one of the greatest pieces of political protest in music history. The song was inspired by a photograph of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, two young black men who were accused of robbery and murder in Marion, Indiana in 1930. Shipp and Smith were brutally beaten by a white mob before being hanged from a tree. The photo of their bodies, which was widely circulated at the time, deeply affected Holiday.

Heart-Shaped Box – Nirvana

Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box (Official Music Video)

“Heart-Shaped Box” is a song by Nirvana, released as the first single from their third and final studio album, In Utero. The song was written by Kurt Cobain and recorded in February 1993. The song’s title comes from a story Cobain heard about a man who had died and was buried in a heart-shaped box. The lyrics deal with Cobain’s feelings of love and hate, as well as his struggles with addiction and depression. “Heart-Shaped Box” was released to critical acclaim, with many critics praising its catchy melody and dark atmosphere. The song was a commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.