In a tale as old as time, high school sweethearts all over the country decide to brave the storm of a long distance relationship and stay together while they are at separate colleges. Many of these people— although not all of them— will currently be rebounding from this year’s annual “Turkey Drop,” a term coined to represent the breakup of high school couples when they are home for their first college Thanksgiving break. Whether you didn’t see it coming, you met someone new, or it just wasn’t working out for you, if you’re celebrating this year’s Turkey Drop, cheers. This one is for you.
1. “Song for the Dumped” — Ben Folds Five
With a raucous of disbelief, anger, and profanities, Ben Folds Five has done the seemingly impossible by creating a feel-good breakup song infused with real emotion. It’s hard to be sad when this catchy song is on full blast.
2. “Grow Up” — Paramore
Coursing with the same upbeat energy as the previous song, this snappy chorus is outgoing and the drums and bass carry the rhythm throughout its duration. The takeaway from this track is clear: as we grow and change, we have to let go of people and places that are holding us back.
3. “Harvard” — Diet Cig
This song can only be listened to at a dangerously high decibel level. It is rebellious and angsty in both instrumental and lyrical spirit. Alex Luciano’s deep, edgy voice is striking against the classic punk guitar riffs as she yells, “You know I was better.” This is essentially the musical version of a middle finger.
4. “So What” — P!nk
Only a tone less angsty than “Harvard,” this 2008 hit will make any newly single person feel like a rockstar. Each verse is lively and entertaining, telling the story of P!nk’s newfound freedom, followed by an empowering chorus—all making for a moving-on anthem.
5. “All My Friends Say” — Luke Bryan
This track is a transition from the previous songs that lean more towards the rock genre to a breezier pop song with hints of country. Bryan sings about the inevitable nights when you might want to party just a little extra hard to forget about an ex.
6. “You Don’t Own Me” — Grace & G-Eazy
Mellow like the morning after whatever Luke Bryan is going through in “All My Friends Say,” G-Eazy’s modern rendition of a Lesley Gore’s 1963 oldie is an easygoing track, undeniably enhanced by Grace’s smooth voice that drips with freedom and recklessness. “I’m young and I love to be young / I’m free and I love to be free.”
7. “wish u the best” — blackbear & Stalking Gia
On the same note, “wish u the best” is a series of poetic lyrics woven into a soft melody with deep, resounding bass notes. Whether it’s the core line —“I’d wish you the best / But you already had it”— or a wistful remembrance of wanting to get married and have kids, the song is ridden catchy yet slightly dark lines.
8. “Gives You Hell” — The All-American Rejects
Just to surge some energy back into this— can you really have a breakup playlist without this classic?
9. “Free Bird” — Lynyrd Skynyrd
After the initial rollercoaster of emotions is done, the calm can set in and soulful music suddenly means so much more. “Free Bird” is a timeless hit because of its beautiful melody and passionate words. Ronnie Zant’s sweet voice floats through the air— “I’m as free as a bird now / And this bird you cannot change.”
10. “Already Gone” — The Eagles
This final song is relaxing yet has a vivacious spirit. It is the kind of song that needs to be played on a car ride while driving on a highway with the windows rolled all the way down. But, don’t look back in the rearview mirror, because you’re already gone.