13 Songs About Grief & Loss of a Loved One


At the end of the post, I’ll share some classic songs about grief & loss of a loved one, but first I’d like to explain why music can play an important role in helping you through grieving. 

Handling the loss of someone or something you love is one of the most challenging aspects of life.

If you are on the lonely and lost journey through grief, music can be a tool for coping with loss.  It can help you to process your feelings while also making you feel more connected to others, to nature, and to the larger world.   


There are *MANY* reasons music may be helpful to you while you are grieving.  I’ll limit myself to fourevidenced-based reasons songs about grief/loss of a loved one are beneficial to you while you are grieving.  

1. Music connects our minds to our bodies.

We are socialized and praised to think logically.  Rarely are we praised for thinking emotionally.  Music connects our minds to our bodies. 


When we are in our bodies, it’s nearly impossible to avoid our feelings.  


While it may seem beneficial (and logical) to push away our difficult feelings, it doesn’t work. 


Feelings are like a ball in water:  You can push your feelings down, but they will pop right back up to the surface.


Using music can be a safe way to get in touch with your emotions.  


Application:  Sing in the shower!  Dance when no one is watching!  Karaoke in the car!  Air guitar to Aerosmith!  It doesn’t matter what you do- the purpose is to express yourself while relieving emotional stress.  


If you are reading this and thinking, “No freakin’ way!  I will not engage in such foolishness,” fear not, my dear reader, I will offer you another suggestion (though singing and dancing is not foolishness!)


Write!  Draw!  Color! Photograph! 


Do something that is creative and connects your logical mind to your body.  

2. Certain kinds of music can calm your mind and body.

When you are in the throes of suffering, is it going to give you that zen and peaceful feeling?  Of course not!  


Grief can be absolutely overwhelming and all-encompassing.  But it music may let in a moment of calmness, spaciousness, or curiosity.  


Application: Pick music that meets where you are at in the moment.  Emotionally, if you are angry, pick a fast song.  If you are sad, match it with a slow ballad.  You want the music to validate how you feel.


Once you’ve listened for awhile, turn to some music that is more soothing and peaceful.  

3. Music helps you to remember that you are still alive.


When you are overcome with grief, you can lose your senses. 


Food tastes bland, touch doesn’t soothe, and scent is dulled.  


Music has the power to make you feel something again.  It can and will remind you that you are alive. 


Application:  Pick a song that you’ve always loved.  Take some time to consider why this song speaks to who you.  Think about times when that song has enlivened you and energized you. Now, listen to the song and notice what emotions come up.

4. Music can provide you with some sense of order and control

When you feel overwhelmed with grief, you will also (likely) feel out of control. 

In that disorienting space, music can provide you with some sense of order and control.


When picking out a song, you get to select the song, you get to end it or you get to replay it or turn up the volume, etc.  


Additionally, When you are in the middle of grief, it feels disorienting.  Music is straightforward!  It has a beginning, middle, and end and contains a complete story.  


Application:  Chose a song that speaks to your present condition.  Give yourself permission to sing, cry, yell, dance, or whatever comes to you in the moment.

If you can’t think of any songs about grief/loss of a loved one, here are some ideas:

Sad songs about the grief/loss of a loved one:

“Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton 

A song that reminds you it’s okay to be with your difficult emotions and feel your feelings. 


“I’ll Be Missing You” by Diddy, Faith Evans, 112

A song that acknowledges that life can change in an instant.  


“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

A song that reminds us that love never dies.  


“Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day

A song that acknowledges that grief sucks.  


“Fire and Rain” by James Taylor 

A song written about the death of a dear friend.    

Upbeat Songs About Grief/Loss of a Loved One

“Only The Good Die Young” by Billy Joel 

A song that reminds us to seize the day.


“Beloved” by Mumford & Sons 

A love ballad.  

Calming Songs About Grief/Loss of a Loved One

“I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie 

A sweet song to represent a special bond between a friend or lover. 


“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler 

A love song to the deceased.


“Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw 

A song that reminds us that we are still alive.   


“Let It Be” by The Beatles 

A song all about accepting reality for reality.  


“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan

A song about confronting fear of death/dying. 


“American Pie” by Don McLean 

A song that reminds us that even after great musicians die, their music never does.  

If you are struggling with grief and loss, please consider using music as a tool to help you through!    

Have questions? I'm here to help!

Free free to contact me directly if you have questions or to schedule a brief call to see if I might be able to support you as you journey forward.


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