Valentine’s Day heartbreak: Most popular breakup songs revealed

Newly single? A recent study has revealed the most popular breakup songs of the last five years. 

The study, conducted by Learn Divorce Law, analyzed nearly 100 songs that can be defined as "breakup songs" from 2018 to 2023 and summed the Spotify streams and YouTube views to discover which ones were the most popular. 

"Break up songs have been one of the pillars of popular music for the longest time, and we could confidently say that some of the most popular songs of the last decade are about broken hearts," a spokesperson for the company shared in a statement. 

From Olivia Rodrigo to Ariana Grande to Billie Eilish, here is a list of the top 10 heartbreak anthems. 

"Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi is top breakup song

The BRIT Awards 2023 - Show

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) : Lewis Capaldi performs live on stage during The BRIT Awards 2023 at The O2 Arena on February 11, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

"Someone You Loved" — a 2019 hit by Lewis Capaldi — topped the breakup charts, and according to the study, the song had over 3.2 billion plays between Spotify and YouTube. 

"This list highlights the most popular of the last five years, and most of these are also among the most popular songs of the year they were released in, "Someone You Loved" being a perfect example of this," the spokesperson continued.

The song peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart and became Capaldi’s first number one single, spending seven consecutive weeks atop the chart and was the best-selling single of 2019 in the UK, according to Learn Divorce Law. The song had more than 2.6 billion streams on Spotify alone, the highest on the list, and nearly 589 million YouTube views. 

"SAD!" by XXXTentacion revealed as runner-up breakup song 


XXXTentacion performs during the Rolling Loud Festival in downtown Miami on May 6, 2017. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Released in 2018, "SAD!" by late American rapper XXXTentacion took the study’s runner-up spot. His song and album "?" were the last ones before the singer’s death in June of the same year. 

The song has the third highest Spotify streams at 1.9 billion and the second highest YouTube views at 1.2 billion for a total of more than 3.17 billion plays.

Honorable heartbreak mentions, females reign

"Happier" by Marshmello and Bastille came in third place on the list, totaling 2.85 billion plays. The song was released in 2018 and reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Female singers and girl groups dominated the remaining spots. "Don’t Start Now" by Dua Lipa took the fourth spot, and in 2020 was one of the most popular songs of the year. 

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The top five closed with "Kill This Love" by Korean girl group Blackpink, who had the fewest Spotify streams in the top ten, but had the highest count of YouTube views, surpassing 1.7 billion, for a total of over 2.4 billion plays. 

Ariana Grande was the only female to have two songs make the top 10 list: "Thank u, next," and "No tears left to cry." 

Top 10 most popular songs of the last 5 years

  1. Someone You Loved, Lewis Capaldi
  2. SAD!, XXXTentacion
  3. Happier, Marshmello and Bastille
  4. Don’t Start Now, Dua Lipa
  5. Kill This Love, Blackpink
  6. Without Me, Halsey
  7. Thank U, Next, Ariana Grande
  8. When the Party’s Over, Billie Eilish
  9. No Tears Left To Cry, Ariana Grande
  10. Good 4 U, Olivia Rodrigo