The Playlist for Every Relationship Status

Published February 11, 2024

Searching for Valentine's Day tunes often leads to a slew of sugary classics or heartbreak ballads, with the single folks either faced with love-gone-wrong anthems or songs about the joy of being by yourself — a sea of Taylor Swift tracks included. Love songs are ubiquitous, yet they can feel exceedingly narrow in focus, catering mainly to those enrapt in or exiting romantic relationships.

However, songs can be powerful — they have the capacity to mirror our deepest feelings about people and situations, transcending just the romantic ones. Not everyone will experience a serenade from the school bleachers, but that doesn't mean there aren't tunes that capture the nuances of being single or the complexities of love.

Far from yielding to the love-centric recommendations from Spotify's algorithms, which often peg singlehood with loneliness or heartache, there's an alternate playlist that embraces the full spectrum of emotions and experiences that come with love, breakups, and everything in-between — because being single is not synonymous with the absence of love.

The playlist kicks off with David Bowie's 'Modern Love,' an anthem for self-awareness and independence. It's followed by Mitski's candid 'That's Our Lamp,' a melancholic acceptance of a love's end. The Avett Brothers contribute 'February Seven', a haunting yet hopeful narrative on moving forward post-heartbreak.

By encompassing honesty and occasional escapism, tracks like Bonnie Raitt's 'Something to Talk About' and Alvvays' 'Adult Diversion' highlight the whimsical side of creating romantic scenarios, even if just in our heads. At the same time, ballads from The Beatles and TV Girl showcase the pure romanticism that can still exist in the heart of a single person.

There's also space for introspection and personal growth, as seen in Amy Winehouse's 'Tears Dry On Their Own' and The Chicks' 'There's Your Trouble,' both exploring the different facets of coping with love that's not reciprocated or lost.

With Hozier's 'Someone New,' the playlist touches on the bittersweet nature of transient attractions, while U2's 'Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World' offers a tender reminder of the importance of self-restraint and self-care in the pursuit of love and life.

For those still looking for companionship, Taylor Swift's 'How You Get The Girl' might provide hopeful instructions, whereas Natasha Bedingfield's 'Unwritten' is an ode to self-love and embracing life's unwritten future, single or otherwise.

Ultimately, whether embracing singlehood or navigating the waves of romantic endeavors, music is a universal companion that resonates with the multifaceted nature of the human heart — in all its forms.

love, single, playlist