Grieving? Here’s a playlist for you

It takes a while to heal. We never will completely…
-Takes A While, poem #72

Music has always been a go-to when my feelings are strong. There’s the workout mix. The pump-up list that is played religiously to kick off a night out with the girls. My ever-evolving road-trip mix. Background music for studying. Random favorites. Good ole 90s throwbacks. Etc. Etc.

So, when it comes to my grief – both initially after my dad’s death and in the 11 years since – music has been my closest ally and friend. There are the songs that help me to cry. And then, there are the ones that help to lift me up.

Below are some of my favorites that have gotten me through, and you can check out my always changing Spotify playlist here. Comment below with your grief go-to’s, and I’ll add them to the list as well!

In Loving Memory, Alter Bridge
And I know, you’re a part of me,

And it’s your song that sets me free –
I sing it while I feel I can’t hold on;
I sing tonight cause it comforts me.”

Love Lives On, Mallary Hope
“And even though I cry like crazy; even though it hurts so bad,

I’m thankful for the time God gave me even though we couldn’t make it last.
I’m learning how to live without you, even though I don’t want to.
And even with you gone, love lives on.”

Never Alone, Jim Brickman & Lady Antebellum
“Never alone, never alone,

I’ll be in every beat of your heart when you face the unknown. 
Wherever you fly, this isn’t goodbye,
My love will follow you, stay with you
Baby, you’re never alone.” 

When I Look to the Sky, Train
“When I look to the sky, something tells me you’re here with me,
And you make everything all right.

And when I feel like I’m lost, something tells me you’re here with me,
And I can always find my way when you are here.” 

End of October, Pat McGee Band
“I could hear you singing, “Don’t cry”

After all these years, there’s a song you can hear in the twilight
Keep a picture of me in your mind,
You’ve got so many reasons to smile.”

Dance With My Father, Luther Vandross
“If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him,

I’d play a song that would never, ever end.
How I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again.”

Holes in the Floor of Heaven, Steve Wariner
“There’s holes in the floor of heaven,
And her tears are pouring down,

That’s how you know she’s watching,
Wishing she could be here now”

To Where You Are, Josh Groban
“I wish upon tonight to see you smile,

If only for awhile to know you’re there,
A breath away’s not far
To where you are.”

Tears in Heaven, Eric Clapton
“I must be strong and carry on,

‘Cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven.”

Without You, Original Broadway Cast of RENT
“The tears dry without you.

Life goes on, but I’m gone,
‘Cause I die without you.”

Butterfly Kisses, Bob Carlisle
“There’s two things I know for sure:

She was sent here from heaven, and she’s daddy’s little girl.”

Address in the Stars, Caitlin & Will
 “I stumbled across your old picture today,
I could barely breathe.
The moment stopped me cold,
Grabbed me like a thief.”

You’re Still You, Josh Groban
“You walk past me, I can feel your pain. 

Time changes everything – one truth always stays the same:
You’re still you, after all, you’re still you.” 

Shine, Pat McGee Band
“Guess I’ll have to see you on the other side.
Now you walk among the famous ones,
You’re the angels’ sun, but now you’re gone.
And you chose to shine, even on the line.
Sorry, but you know that we’re far from fine.”

I’m Already There, Lonestar
“I’m already there – don’t make a sound.

I’m the beat in your heart; I’m the moonlight shining down.
I’m the whisper in the wind, and I’ll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share? Oh I’m already there.”

I Miss You, Miley Cyrus
“I miss you. I miss your smile.

And I still shed a tear every once in a while.
And even though it’s different now, you’re still here somehow.
My heart won’t let you go, and I need you to know: I miss you.”

Colors, Amos Lee
“When you’re gone, all the colors fade.”

How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?, Patty Loveless
“It’s OK to hurt, and it’s OK to cry.
Come, let me hold you, and I will try
How can I help you to say goodbye?”

Here You Me, Jimmy Eat World
“I never said thank you for that.

I thought I might get one more chance.
What would you think of me now, so lucky, so strong, so proud?”

Landslide, Fleetwood Mac
“Well, I’ve been afraid of changing,

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you.
But time makes you bolder,
Even children get older,
And I’m getting older too.”

Bring It On Home, Little Big Town
“I know your heart can get all tangled up inside,

But don’t you keep it to yourself.”

We All Need Saving, Jon McLaughlin
“When the cloud in the sky starts to pour,
And your life is just a storm you’re braving,

Well, don’t tell yourself you can’t lean on someone else,
‘Cause we all need saving, sometimes.”

Fix You, Coldplay
“And the tears come streaming down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace.”

It’s Going To Be Alright, Sara Groves
“I did not come here to offer you cliches.

I will not pretend to know of all your pain.
Just when you cannot, then I will hold out faith for you
It’s going to be alright.”

Lean on Me, Bill Withers
“Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow.

But if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow.”

Breathe, Ryan Star
“You’re gonna be fine, don’t hold it inside.

And if you hurt right now, then let it all come out.
Breathe, just breathe.”

Keep Your Head Up, Andy Grammer
“I know it’s hard, know it’s hard to remember sometimes,

But you gotta keep your head up.”

Hakuna Matata, The Lion King
“It means no worries for the rest of your days,

It’s our problem-free philosophy: Hakuna Matata.”

 Good Riddance, Green Day
“It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right,

I hope you had the time of your life.”



  1. Gonna listen to these. Friend of ours by elbow was one of my dad’s favourites and it’s a beautiful song. Also snow patrols ‘run’. Thank you for these recommendations.


  2. Exactly what I needed. We like the same stuff – so this helps a lot!

    I found this one today – hadn’t heard it in a long time.
    Vulnerability & Letting go.

    It was attached to a grief article a friend shared about -Being in the Moment everyday.
    & like everything Alanis – its a little Angry (pissed off) about her venerability,
    but ultimately acceptance and gratitude.

    Thank You (India)
    Alanis Morissette


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