Playlist of the Month: Soundtrack to my Tears

It’s been an (ironically) fun week for us, talking about crying and feels and emotions, and where and when and what makes us break down. On the final day of A Cry For Help Week, we’re sharing some of the songs that are trigger tracks, if you will. The songs that either will make us cry when we hear them or if we’re in dire need to let it out, we listen to these tunes to set off a flood of tears. I think everyone needs a go-to list of these kinds of songs, so hopefully this will help you if you don’t have one already! And if you do have these songs in your arsenal, feel free to share your own Soundtrack To Your Tears.

Listen to the entire playlist on Spotify!

Molly’s Picks

 Ben Harper – Walk Away

This is the rare breakup song that works if you are the dumper or the dumpee – either you have to walk away because you’re the one calling it quits, or because eventually you have to move on. Either way, now you’re crying while listening to Ben Harper.

Elliott Smith – Between The Bars

You can’t have a crying soundtrack without a little Elliott Smith.  Even happy-ish Smith songs can make me weepy (see, e.g, Say Yes). Between The Bars is like a song from the ugly part of your brain – minus, for me at least, the parts about problem drinking. But the mean narrator in your head has probably said a thing or two about “the things you could do, you won’t but you might” and “the people you’ve been before that you don’t want around anymore.”

Crosby Stills Nash and Young – Our House

This is my wild card pick. Ever since I was a baby who wept every time I heard Hush, Little Baby, unlikely songs have made me cry. My mom thought I hated that lullaby because everything broke, but I could have cared less about the baby from the song and her conspicuous consumption. The melody was just a real downer. For as long as I can remember, I’ve also found Our House to be a bummer. Part is the melody, and part of it is that I was a kid with a really vivid imagination and I’d always picture a young, happy couple from the 1970s hanging up their macrame and tapestries, and I’d know that by now those days are long gone.

Lisa Hannigan – Lille

If you couldn’t tell from Our House, one of the most tear-inducing feelings for me is thinking about how quickly young people become old people and how in the end it’s all just sort of … okay. It’s a happy-sad feeling, like looking at your grandparents’ wedding pictures.

Neutral Milk Hotel – Holland 1945

This song neatly summarizes my theme of “when people live then die then become part of the past, it’s beautiful yet sad.” I mean, it’s from Neutral Milk Hotel’s Anne Frank-themed album. Why do I do this to myself again?


Lua by Bright Eyes;  re: Stacks by Bon Iver; Casmir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens; Marshmallow Unicorn by Rachel Sermanni, … do you want me to keep going? Because I can keep going.

Traci’s Picks

The Last Five Years – The Next Ten Minutes

So, since we’re all friends here, I’m not ashamed to say that I lit’rally have a playlist on my iTunes called “Cry It Out”, featuring songs that I listen to when I want to cry. Pretty much the entire soundtrack to one of my favorite musicals, The Last Five Years, is on said playlist. If you’re not a theater nerd, The Last Five Years is a musical that was off-Broadway in 2002, and has since become a cult favorite. In fact it had an off-Broadway revival last year and next year, you will see me at the movie theater crying into a bucket of popcorn by myself because the movie adaptation, starring Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick, hits theaters. In short, The Last Five Years tells the story of Jamie and Cathy over the last five years (duh) of their relationship. Jamie tells the story of their love in chronological order (starting when the couple first meets), while Cathy tells it in reverse (starting when their marriage ends). There is one song in the show where their timelines intersect, which is their “wedding” song, and that is this one, titled The Next Ten Minutes. Since this is the only song where they’re on “the same page”, we get a rare glimpse of the romance between them, and it’s even more devastating knowing how it’s going to end.

Once the Musical – Leave

I’m telling you right now, there’s one more song from a musical after this, so scroll if you must. I started listening to the Once soundtrack when the Broadway show was gaining popularity and winning awards and all that, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I actually saw the production for the first time. I laughed, I cried, I went another time and lather rinse repeat. This soundtrack is also on my Cry It Out playlist, and Leave is just one of the great tunes off the soundtrack. It’s the first the Guy sings in the show, and sets up a tale of unrequited love that shatters your heart to bits.

Rent – I’ll Cover You (Reprise)

(Last musical song, I promise) I feel like Rent is such a cliche show to say is your favorite, but it pretty much is. It’s the show I’ve seen live the most (like more than 8 times?), and that’s partly because I first saw a touring production of it while in high school, and it comes with sentimental memories for me. Anyways, at the climax of the show, *spoiler alert* Angel dies, and Collins mourns the loss of another AIDS stricken friend gone too soon. Jesse L. Martin does such a good job at expressing the anguish, pain and suffering through every single note in this song, and the fact that it’s a reprise of a song he sings with Angel in the first act, digs that knife in even deeper.

Carrie Underwood – So Small

I mentioned earlier in the week that Carrie Underwood will make me cry no matter what. I think it started when she won American Idol and could barely get through the final song because of her tears of joy. From that moment, anytime I hear her live, it’s guaranteed I will at least tear up. I mean I even found myself crying when she sang her new song at the CMA Awards on Wednesday (to which I reminded myself to write about it for this post). So Small is just one of the tear-inducing tracks, and in the video above, she sings it with our fave the PS22 Chorus. With a kid chorus behind her, the song takes on a whole new level, and I think it’s exactly what Carrie wanted.

The Civil Wars – Poison & Wine

This makes me sad before even listening to it because I mean, RIP The Civil Wars. Joy and John Paul’s haunting harmonies were their signature sound, and it’s prominent in one of their most popular songs, Poison & Wine. Their music was unlike any other act today, and I’m not sure if I’m crying because of the song itself or knowing that we’ll never hear new music from them again.

Adele – I Can’t Make You Love Me / Make You Feel My Love

Of course Adele is on this list. Her music is a sure fire way to let it all go. When SNL does a sketch about how your music makes everyone cry, you know it’s true. And while it’s like Sophie’s Choice picking one Adele song that makes me cry, I decided to go with a song that basically makes me cry anytime I hear it, which is I Can’t Make You Love Me originally by Bonnie Raitt. So combine that track with Adele and you have emotion central.


Ugh so many songs, it was really hard to narrow down, but here are two that came real close to making the top 6!

Demi Lovato’s cover of Ed Sheeran’s Give Me Love: Like all songs Demi sings, she puts so much power in it, but you can tell she’s signing this from personal experience, and I get the chills every time I listen to it.

Brett Dennen’s version of Hard Times (Come Again No More): This song came to my attention via Parenthood, so obviously it makes me cry.

I Think I Owe Pink An Apology

When Pink first came on the pop music scene in 2000 with her debut single, There You Go, it was in the middle of the TRL era, where it seemed like anyone who made the top 10 countdown could easily have a number one hit then go away the very next day (Sisqo, where are you?). Of course Pink went on to record hit songs like Most Girls (yesss that jam), and Lady Marmalade, which won her her first Grammy. Then there was the ‘I love Carey Hart’ then ‘I hate Carey Hart’ and finally ‘I love Carey Hart forever and we have a kid together’ phases of her life that brought her even more hits. Honestly, she hasn’t made a wrong turn anywhere musically over the past nearly 15 years. With over 40 million albums and 65 million singles sold worldwide, she’s a bonafide pop star.

As an admittedly shameless pop music fan, I appreciate Pink. I like her music. I know all the words to her songs that I subconsciously picked up along the way. I’ve sat in awe of her live performances. I mean to this day I still think this one of her hit Try from the 2012 American Music Awards is one of the best ever. She’s an amazing performer, an unparalleled singer, yet I’ve never owned any of her albums or singles or purposely seen in her concert. But why? Everything about her on paper makes her the perfect pop star, yet I’d rather pay to see Beyonce or the Backstreet Boys or even Britney Spears before her.

And I think I’ve finally figured it out. She’s normal. She’s a regular human being or just extraordinary talent and can churn out hits like no one’s business. With Bey, it’s like she’s some kind of immortal goddess that is unreal. BSB will always and forever be my number one teen idols. Britney is – well, we all lived through the Brit Brit disaster of 2007, so we know there’s that. But Pink is like the girl who lived down the street from you when you were growing up (Alecia, you called her back then), and you’re just happy for her success.

With Pink’s latest project, a duo called You+Me with Dallas Green from City and Colour, she turns to a folk side of her, a calmer, less flashy side that maybe most of us (definitely me) hadn’t seen before. And I can’t believe it took me this long to realize it, but she’s a true artist. In the back of my mind, Pink has always been that brightly colored hair girl from the TRL days who is just a “pop star” that makes number one songs. I always knew she had a phenomenal voice, but I guess I never thought that if she used it in a different genre, it could change my perception of her completely.

You+Me’s album, rose ave., came out last week and is the perfect record if you’re driving down the highway for a road trip or want to listen to something relaxing while you bake pumpkin pie and sit by the crackling fire. The best thing I can compare it to is The Civil Wars, and that is obviously a welcomed addition to the music world since those two decided to officially call it quits.

Apparently the two of them have been friends for a while, and Alecia had been hounding Dallas to do a record with her, and he finally acquiesced. The result is a perfect blend of their voices – it’s like they had meant to be singing together all along. Both Alecia and Dallas bring that passion and longing in their tone to each track, making you feel like you’re a part of whatever heartbreaking or romantic situation or feeling of belonging they’re describing. Any good harmony can bring me to tears and if we’re being real, I’ve shed a few while listening to their incredible harmonies on this album.

With this new You+Me era Pink is entering, I feel like I owe her an apology. I’m sorry I never appreciated her for her true talents. I saw her flying up above all those celebs doing aerial stuff at the Grammys but I guess I only saw it for a big production number. I’m only seeing now how you’re using those same talents and putting them in a different vessel and it’s completely putting you under a different light. Pink deserves more than we currently give her and maybe we can start here. Just You+Me.

Stream You+Me’s rose ave. on Spotify (and thank me later)

Playlist of the Month: April Showers

You’re familiar with the old saying, “April Showers bring May Flowers,” so we figured why not give you some appropriate songs to listen to while the rain comes down and you’re stuck inside wishing you were somewhere it was sunny. Check out some of our fave tunes to listen to while waiting for the sun to come out.

Want to listen to all these tunes on one playlist? Check it out on Spotify!

Traci’s picks:

Leave by Steve Kazee (Once: A New Musical)

If you’re not familiar with Once, please please please check it out. Based on the movie of the same name and the songs of The Swell Season, this show is a hit on Broadway, and even won the Tony for the Best Musical. With all this praise, you would think I’ve seen it a million times, but I haven’t seen it at all. Good news is that I’m finally getting to see this magical show when it comes to LA!!! In 2014. Womp Womp. Anyways, NPR was streaming the entire album when the show first opened, and it just so happened that when I listened to it for the first time, it was raining. Ever since then, I can’t imagine listening to anything other than this soundtrack while it pours down outside.

The Shape of Us by Ian Britt

I was introduced to this song from an episode of Parenthood, and per usual, it was the thing that pushed me right over the edge to bawl like a child.

Blue Ocean Floor by Justin Timberlake

This song from JT’s new album is quite different than anything else he’s ever released, and I am loving it. I find that I have to be in a certain type of mood to listen to this, preferably at night or – while it’s raining.

Skinny Love by Birdy

Well kids, this girl is 16 years old and better than you, so we can all stop trying. Her cover of Bon Iver is haunting and comforting at the same time. Like a nice warm bowl of tomato soup.

All My Days by Alexi Murdoch

This was the main track from the Away We Go movie soundtrack, and it was just perfect for the tone of the movie. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph travelled all across the U.S. to find a place to settle down before the birth of the impending birth of their kid, and this song hits just the right notes of the journey to find a home and knowing everything was going to work out.

Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars

Apparently my theme for rainy day songs means depressing songs too. Which is fine by me, because these are all great jams. And as for this one, listening to any Civil Wars song when it’s raining out is acceptable.

Molly’s picks:

Trapeze Swinger by Iron and Wine

Weather that makes you feel happy-sad calls for a song that makes you feel the same. This is one of my favorite songs, but by the end it’s a tossup as to whether I’m smiling or crying.

Kathy’s Song by Simon and Garfunkel

Poor Paul Simon is so broken-hearted and sweet – “I know that I am like the rain/ there but for the grace of you go I” – that I’ll love him if this Kathy girl never comes back.

Aguas de Marco by Elis Regina and Tom Jobim

This is one of those songs that you know, but you don’t know that you know it. After a listen it will probably sound familiar. Technically this is about MARCH showers, but that’s the rainy month in Brazil. Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, the song sounds like rain falling. And if you do understand the lyrics, then you’ll probably feel simultaneously uplifted and bummed out. Rain does that.

Sunshine by JJ Heller

JJ Heller is technically a Christian artist, but don’t let that hold you off (to paraphrase a quote misattributed to Gandhi, I like your Christ but I do not like your Contemporary Christian Music). She writes about everything, and there’s nothing religious in this song, or a lot of her others. The laid-back sound of this song reminds me of a rainy day, but the good kind: cozy and happy.

Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson

If it’s going to rain, you may as well stay in and be joyful and charming about it.

The Best Of: Kelly Clarkson Cover Songs

KC did this awesome thing on her recent Stronger tour where she asked fans to send in their requests for songs they would like to see her cover during every single stop on the tour. The result was fantastic, as she murdered pretty much every song she performed. Entertainment Weekly compiled a list of  all of them, but here are my favorites if you want the abridged version.

*PS: Note to ALL YouTube uploaders: It is absolutely annoying when you talk during the video and the viewer can hear every single word out of your damn mouth. Shut it.

I Know You Won’t – Originally by Carrie Underwood

Fix You – Originally by Coldplay

Gravity – Originally by Sara Bareilles

Crazy For You – Originally by Madonna

Poison and Wine w/ Duets contestant Jason Farol – Originally by The Civil Wars