Love Hurts? Love Rules? Here's 14 Songs to Get You Through Any Kind of Valentine's Day
By Emily Krauser
Dan MacMedan/Getty Images, Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Billboard, Steve Granitz/WireImage
In love? Cool. Single? Cool. Plotting revenge on your ex? Look, we're not here to judge you, but maybe put down that machete and stop creepin' on Instagram -- for your own well-being, of course.
No matter what your relationship status is this Valentine's Day, there's a song out there for you, and the last couple of years have brought some especially good bangers. Whether they're singing about true love, a recent split, or praying for a breakup so they can get with a crush, country crooners like Kacey Musgraves and Cam and pop's leading ladies like Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande have had their pulses so tuned into all things hearts and heartbreak, it's been impossible to take your headphones off.
So, honor St. Valentine by tuning in to these 14 tracks that cover nearly every lovestruck scenario you've ever experienced. (Full NSFW warning: Quite a few of these songs involve curse words, so proceed with caution when playing.)
1. "Boo'd Up by Ella Mai
Aah, young love! This was the British singer-songwriter's breakout hit, and it's pure #feelings. Mai is madly in love and lets the world know it by twirling around a carnival with her man. Our hearts are also going "ba-dum."
2. "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" by Ariana Grande
The pint-sized pop diva's new track is the millennial update to Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend," a banger that closes Grande's extremely solid EP, Thank U, Next. The majority of her entire fifth studio album is a send-up to empowerment and self-love, and in the music vid for "Break Up," she even (spoiler alert) ends up with a girlfriend who looks, well, exactly like her. It's hard to tell if this is about loving yourself, stealing someone else's beau or a Single White Female moment, so basically, you can truly interpret this song however you want to get yourself through Valentine's Day.
3. "Space Cowboy" by Kacey Musgraves
The Texas native won a GRAMMY for this record, and it's easy to see why. Musgraves has been well-regarded for her songwriting abilities, and her wordplay is at its peak in this longing slow track about accepting that it's time to let a significant other have their space. Literally. It's a contemplative breakup song that honors a fading relationship and knowing when it's time to get out for your own good.
4. "Diane" by Cam
Now that you can't get "Jolene" out of your head after watching Dolly Parton and her goddaughter, Miley Cyrus, slay their duet of the track at the 2019 GRAMMYs (definitely watch here), get the other gal's point of view in Cam's answer to the country idol's hit. Parton and Cyrus' vocals are out of this world, and Cam's no slouch either. The 34-year-old singer's harmonies are so good, in fact, you almost want to forgive Diane by the end of this tune.
5. "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" by Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus
Speaking of Cyrus, we know that technically this is a Ronson song, but Cyrus does all of the singing and she heavily promoted it over the holiday season. The tune is actually about all kinds of heartbreak, like feeling terrible about the state of affairs in the world, not just getting your heart ripped in two by a relationship. That being said, it's very much about getting hurt by a loved one, and it's the perfect tune to put on repeat. Go dance out all your tears, girl! Ironically, this was released just a month before Cyrus' surprise wedding to Liam Hemsworth, so, thankfully, there was no foreshadowing here, because we just heart those two.
6. "I Hate Love Songs" by Kelsea Ballerini
This country hit does one of those fun musical tricks where the lyrics try to trick you (not in a mean way, of course). Here are all the reasons she thinks love songs are dumb -- but this is definitely one of those! It's a parody of all those ridiculous rom-com moments and cheesy ballads, but it's also kind of perfect, and the chorus is a perfect send-up to all of those tropes we all can admit we secretly fall for.
7. "Losing" by H.E.R.
This sumptuous R&B tune is actually off one of H.E.R.'s first LPs (which still is only three years old), but seeing as she just earned gramophones for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance at the GRAMMYs earlier this week, we'll let it slide. One of her most-played songs on Spotify, "Losing" just asks that her beau finally figure out their relationship status. Like that doesn't happen a few times on Valentine's Day... Let this song help you work up the courage to do like H.E.R. and straight up ask, "What we doin'?"
8. "IDGAF" by Dua Lipa
The newly crowned Best New Artist gave us the rallying cry we all needed to cut off those exes who deserve to be just that -- freakin' exes. He's still calling you? He claims he misses you? Boy, bye.
9. "Without Me" by Halsey
G-Eazy, who? Though they hadn't publicly talked about their split when Halsey released this standalone track, she had fans convinced that she was spilling the tea on her ex when the words "Sorry Ashley I cheated" towered over her during her Saturday Night Live performance last week (Halsey's real name is Ashley Nicolette Frangipane). No matter what happened in real life, what this song does for the rest of us is help us cope with relationships that were either one-sided or full of more give than take.
10. "Baby" by Bishop Briggs
If you've been a fan of the alt-rock soloist, you know that most of her songs -- like, nearly every single song off her debut, Church of Scars -- her latest, bass-heavy single is all about how she can't get enough of her ride or die. The vid is a psychedelic cartoon trip, which goes along with both the lyrics and what most new relationships feel like anyway.
11. "Faded Love" by Tinashe feat. Future
Tinashe doesn't get enough love as far as we're concerned. In this sensual track, she's gone a bit more synth-heavy and mid-tempo than in the past, and it almost feels more like a duet with Future rather than just a feature with the rapper. Some people may not be fans of the topic, however, seeing as she's waxing poetic about having a one-night stand with a taken man, but, again we're just covering all the love bases here.
12. "Ring" by Cardi B feat. Kehlani
Vulnerable is not the first word one usually thinks of when they think of Cardi, but that's exactly what she is in this song off her debut studio album, Invasion of Privacy, that makes good use of some stunning vocals by Kehlani. Smartphone paranoia is a really fun part of dating in this technological age, no?
13. "Make Me Feel" by Janelle Monae
Yes, this is the song Monae performed at the GRAMMYs looking like the coolest she-bot ever. If you hadn't heard the tune before Sunday, its music vid features Tessa Thompson and it's an ode to bi-sexuality. Monae doesn't care who you love, and either do we.
14. "Ruin My Life" by Zara Larsson
This song is incredibly NSFW. As in, believe us when we say she drops the f-bomb throughout the single, and in the video, she's clad in mermaid-inspired lingerie and rolling around on a bed. So, please know we're thoroughly warning you. That being said, it's sexy AF. The pop song's title is literal, as Larsson sings about wanting someone who will ruin her life because their love is so hot. This is a bedroom jam if there ever was one.