10 Best Breakup Albums Of All Time

Sweet Sounds of Heartache.

Rumours Fleetwood Mac
Warner Bros.

There's no real guidebook on where to go after a break up. With all the emotions still being pretty raw, it's never easy to carry around that kind of baggage with you throughout your daily activities, all while wondering what could have been. Though most people end up just dealing with it, the best minds managed to channel that into their art as well.

During most of the productions for these albums, the artists in question were clearly going through some extracurriculars in their daily lives, which led to them putting their grief into song. While some are definitely more revealing than others, these are the opportunities to catch these artists at their most raw and uninhibited, as they try to work out how to move on past their former relationships in real time.

Granted, sometimes that doesn't make for the best listening experiences, with most of these being pretty awkward or even unpleasant to listen to if not in the right context. Then again, it's not like they're holding anything back, leaving the listener to decide as to what to think of them going forward. These aren't exclusive to romantically inspired either, with the dissolution of a family, friend, or musical partners being a good lynchpin for these songs as well. It's not exactly emo...but you may want to keep the tissues handy for these records.

10. 21 - Adele

Most breakup albums tend to take either one of two directions in their songwriting. Either you have songs apologizing about how you screwed up, or you try to make the bounce back album and claim that you never needed that guy/girl in the first place. There's not many that can toe the line though, and Adele's 21 managed to package every conceivable breakup song into one record.

Across just 11 tracks, this entire album tells the story of one of Adele's first major breakups of her adulthood, which takes different forms depending on where you are in the record. While not necessarily a concept album, each of these tracks paint a pretty coherent picture of where she is in the separation process, from the anger that comes from Rolling in the Deep to the pure pain of Set Fire to the Rain.

Above all else, this is one of the few breakup albums that actually manages to find maturity at the end of everything, with Someone Like You showing her becoming stronger as a person and willing to leave this man in the past for someone different along the line. For all the sappy love ballads that populate other breakup albums, this is Adele staring the future in the face, determined to move forward regardless of who's walking along side her.


I'm just a junkie for all things media. Whether it's music, movies, TV, or just other reviews, I absolutely adore this stuff. But music was my first love, and I love having the opportunity to share it with you good people. Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/timcoffman97