Sounds x
in article about gen z breakup songs, a person singing into a phone
Illustration by Laura Browning, University of Colorado, Denver

Breakup? What breakup?

“Before He Cheats” is a break-up classic that never grows old, but what are some Gen Z specific breakup songs that you can play on repeat? Some of these songs include “Good 4 You,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Driver’s License,” “Happier than Ever,” “I Hate You I Love You,” and “Traitor,” which are all breakup bangers to blast when your heart is broken.

1. “Good 4 You

Artist: Olivia Rodrigo

Album: Sour

Release Year: 2021 

Olivia Rodrigo has quickly become the Gen Z breakup song go-to, and it seems like every song she puts out becomes the next best bop to belt out. “Good 4 You” is no different. This song lets you scream-sing your heart out while releasing all your negative emotions about your jerk of an ex.

2. “10 Things I Hate About You

Artist: Leah Kate

Album: Adictos al Pop

Release Year: 2022

Everything you could hate about your ex in one song sounds like the perfect breakup banger to scream out right? This covers those guys who are selfish, jaded and even “the dumbest guy [you] dated.” It applies to those who are toxic, untrustworthy and those who “still got mommy issues.” This aggressive pop countdown of reasons why you hate your ex just reminds you why you are better off without them, so definitely give this a listen when those sad thoughts are creeping in.

3. “Driver’s License

Artist: Olivia Rodrigo

Album: Sour

Release Year: 2021

Olivia Rodrigo is back again with another breakup bop, although this song is a bit more of an emotional one rather than the more angry “Good 4 You.” If you are in your feels and just need to drive around, sing and cry, this song will help you get there. 

4. “Happier Than Ever

Artist: Billie Eilish

Album: Happier Than Ever

Release Year: 2021

“Happier Than Ever” combines sadness and anger into one song as it changes your mood with the power of its music. The song starts off as a breakup ballad evoking sadness in the listener and then gradually shifts to a more angry and upbeat section later in the song. This one song alone can go through several of the emotions you feel during a breakup in only five minutes, which makes it so appealing to Gen Z.

5. “I Hate You, I Love You

Artist: Gnash

Album: A Força do Querer Vol. 1

Release Year: 2016

Although you always want to forget your ex or associate them with anger, there are also times where you miss that person and just want them back; that is where this song comes in. With lyrics like, “And now all this time is passing by. But I still can’t seem to tell you why. It hurts me every time I see you. Realize how much I need you,” you can admit that you miss them without having to do so in your own words. So, it’s real but not too real.

6. “Traitor

Artist: Olivia Rodrigo

Album: Sour

Release Year: 2021

Of course, we must end the list with the go-to girl herself, Olivia Rodrigo, and arguably her most emotionally captivating song, “Traitor.” This song is perfect for when your ex gets into a new relationship, especially if it was one that you saw coming. Lyrics like “You betrayed me. / And I know that you’ll never feel sorry. For the way I hurt,” are the kind of lyrics that will strike anyone who has ever been broken up with and immediately take them back to that place, which is why it is an extremely popular breakup song among the Gen Z crowd.

So, if you want to scream, cry, reminisce or just look back on your past breakups while driving in the car, these are the best breakup blasts that Gen Z would recommend for you.

Writer Profile

Emily Sweeney

Quinnipiac University
Journalism

Emily is a 3+1 Journalism Student at Quinnipiac University with minors in sports studies, theater studies, and media studies. She is chairwoman of the Quinnipiac Bobcat Sports Network and president of the Quinnipiac Association for Women in Sports Media.

Leave a Reply