Valentine’s Day lands on Feb. 14 every year, whether you’re in a relationship or not. Sometimes the timing of this holiday just makes things worse for those experiencing a broken heart from a recent breakup.
Never fear, The Oracle has compiled a list of the best anti-love songs to work out that post-relationship angst. Some songs are angrier than others, but all are influenced by a rift between lovers.
“You Oughta Know” – Alanis Morissette
The quintessential anti-love song, this 1995 hit, written by Morissette and producer Dave Ballard, is an alternative power ballad about a woman who’s been left for another. Morissette’s unique vocal style is accompanied by thrashing from Dave Navarro and Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
The sound is angry, but what really makes this song anti-love gold are the lyrics: “And every time I scratch my nails down someone else’s back, I hope you feel it.” The song was reportedly written about “Full House” star Dave Coulier, whom Morissette dated when she was younger. She denies such reports and refuses to reveal who the song was truly written about.
“Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” – Blu Cantrell
The title brings to mind the Tupac song “Hit ‘Em Up” about a different kind of falling out between him and Biggie Smalls. Blu Cantrell’s similarly named song also deals with a breakup but with fewer violent death threats.
Instead, Cantrell focuses on her cheating man’s wallet: “Hey ladies, when your man wanna get buckwild, just go back and Hit ‘Em Up Style. Put your hands on his cash and spend it to the last dime for all the hard times.”
“Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake
The first of many collaborations with Timbaland, “Cry Me a River” was the single off Timberlake’s debut solo album “Justified,” which was released just after the singer’s breakup with Britney Spears. Like Morissette, Timberlake has never admitted if the song is about anyone specifically.
One of the most memorable things about this song is the music video. In it, Timberlake breaks into his ex-lover’s house, dances around her furniture like a scene from “The Matrix” and proceeds to film himself making love to another woman.
“Smile” – Lily Allen
Believe it or not, there was a British pop star who wrote a hit anti-love song before Adele. The single from her 2006 album “Alright, Still,” “Smile” tells of how Allen basks in the misery of her ex-boyfriend’s loneliness: “At first when I see you cry, it makes me smile.”
Allen admitted the song was about a personal experience with a breakup that resulted in a drug overdose and hospitalization for depression, according to MTV.
“Gives You Hell” – All American Rejects
Many with hopes of fame and fortune dream of shoving it in the face of those who didn’t believe in them. The All American Rejects turned this dream into a No. 1 song with their 2008 single “Gives You Hell.”
The chorus of the songs chants, “When you see my face, hope it gives you hell, hope it gives you hell,” as the lyrics brag about how much better the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle is compared to just another boring life. The best line: “And truth be told I miss you, and truth be told I’m lying.”