The 25 Best Divorce Songs: The Divorced Girl Smiling Playlist

best divorce songs

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

Someone I know who is getting divorced asked me if I had a good playlist for her. She said she wanted a list of the best divorce songs to listen to while taking a walk or working around the house, or just while sitting on her patio with a glass of wine. Songs that would motivate her, help her feel inspired, and of course songs that would calm her and give her hope.


So, I decided to create the Divorced Girl Smiling playlist: a list of 25 of the best divorce songs. I hope they make you feel good, give you hope, motivate you, and make you smile!


The Divorced Girl Smiling Playlist: 25 of the best divorce songs and why I chose them:



1. I’m Still Standing, Elton John: Chosen for Resilience


When I think of this song, I always think of the video of all the dancers on the beach wearing the classic 1980’s leggings and half shirts , but when I saw the movie, Rocketman, they alluded to Elton writing this song while in rehab (although I’m not sure if that’s true.) Still, you can feel the resilience listening to this song and it’s contagious! Favorite words: If you think this fool could never win, look at me I’m coming back again. I got a taste for love and a simple way.”


Hirsch Serman, Financial Divorce Coaching


2. You Oughta Know, Alanis Morisette: Chosen for Anger


Anger in divorce is a healthy emotion, one that you must feel so that you can start to heal and move on. If you feel like being angry, this is a great song! The funny thing is, I saw a documentary about Alanis, and she said this song was not about an ex-boyfriend of hers. She just wrote it for others who have these feelings. Favorite words are obvious!: “Are you thinking of me when you f* her.”


3. The Greatest Love of All, Whitney Houston: Chosen for Self-love


Favorite words: “Learning to love yourself, is the greatest love of all.” Is there any additional explanation needed as to why I included this song in the playlist? Trivia: This song is originally by George Benson, and it’s great, but there is no voice like Whitney’s.


4. Make It Happen, Mariah Carey: Chosen for Motivation and Faith


Make it happen. I love this phrase. You are so much stronger than you think. You just need a push (and maybe a divorce coach to help you). Favorite words: “I held onto my faith, I struggled and I prayed and now I finally found my way.”


5. You’re My Best Friend, Queen: Chosen for: Your real friends


When getting divorced, you lose friends and it’s hurtful. But the ones who stay, who are there for you and who help you through it mean the world. Favorite words: “In rain or shine you’ve stood by me girl. I’m happy again. You’re my best friend.”

6. I Feel the Earth Move, Carole King: Chosen for: Your next boyfriend

He might not be your next husband, but you will meet someone and he will make you feel like the earth is moving under your feet! This one’s for him. You might be asking, “Can he get here already??” By the way if you haven’t seen the musical “Beautiful,” I would highly recommend it. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen! Favorite words: “Oh darlin, when you’re near me and you tenderly call my name, I know that my emotions are something I just can’t tame I just got to have you baby.”

7. For Once in My Life, Stevie Wonder: Chosen for: the future love of your life who you haven’t met yet


For the first few months of a divorce, it’s hard to imagine trusting someone and falling in love again, but it will happen (if you want it.) This song is the promise of him and how you feel with him. Favorite words: “For once I can tough what my heart used to dream of long before I knew someone warm like you would make my dream come true.”

Colleen Breems, Divorce Attorney, Beermann, LLP


8. Ridin’ Solo, Jason Derulo: Chosen for Independence


You might have to go to a party or even wedding alone and that’s really scary and uncomfortable for people. This song will give you the confidence you need! Favorite words: “No one to answer to, no one is going to argue, no. And since I got that hold off me, I’m living life now that I’m free.”


9. 9 to 5, Dolly Parton: Chosen for: going back to work


Going back to work was one of the scariest things I’ve ever faced. I had no confidence in my professional abilities. Wow, was I wrong!  This song is great, and so is the movie, by the way, which is about a woman whose husband left her and she has to go back to work. Favorite words: “They let you dream just to watch you shatter, you’re just a step on the boss man’s ladder, but you’ve got dreams he’ll never take away.”


10. Forget You, Cee Lo Green: Chosen for: your chance to say (or sing): “F* You!”


Have you ever just wanted to say “F* you” to your ex? Listen to this song and pretend! Favorite words: (Cee Lo crying) “I’m like why? Why? Why baby? I love you. I still love you.”


11. We are family, Sister Sledge: Chosen for: your Beloved Family


There’s nothing like family—especially during your divorce. Some might drive you nuts, some might judge you, but the ones who are there for you will mean the world. Favorite words: “Just let me state for the record, we’re giving love in a family dose.”


Amanda Campbell, Financial Advisor and Managing Director, Wealthspire

12. Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing, Stevie Wonder: Chosen for: stress management


A few years ago, when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and waiting for my impending surgery a few weeks later, I would listen to this song all the time. Something about it made me feel so comfortable and carefree, like everything was going to be OK. And it was! Favorite words: “Everybody’s got a thing, but some don’t know how to handle it.”


13. Fantasy, Earth Wind & Fire: Chosen for: aiming big

You can do anything you want. Freedom, even if you didn’t want it provides that gift. Take advantage! Favorite words: “As you glide in your stride, with the wind as you fly away, give a smile from your lips and say I am free, yes I’m free, now I’m on my way.”


14. All I wanna Do, Sheryl Crow: Chosen for Fun


People going through a divorce oftentimes forget how fun life can be. Don’t feel like just because you are getting divorced that you aren’t allowed to enjoy life and laugh and have a good time every now and then. Favorite words: “All I wanna do is have a little fun before I die says the man next to me, out of nowhere.” By the way, I saw Sheryl Crow in concert last summer and she was amazing.


New book from Dr. Mort Orman


15. We Are the World, U.S.A for Africa: Chosen for: giving back


If I had to bet, I’ve probably listened to this song 5000 times. I cannot think of a more inspiring, hopeful song of unity, giving and love. Favorite words: “We are the world, We are the children, We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving.There’s a choice we’re making. We’re saving our own lives. It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me.”

16. If I can Dream, Elvis Presley: Chosen for: hope


This is another one I could listen to over and over again. The words are just beautiful, the message so inspiring. Then there’s Elvis’s voice. That alone will put you in a good mood. Favorite words: “But as long as a man has the strength to dream he can redeem his soul and fly.”


17. Walk Away, Kelly Clarkson: Chosen for: strength


Listening to this song will give you self-confidence and independence. Remember that you shouldn’t have to beg someone for their love and if they need to walk away, you are strong enough to handle it. Favorite words: “I’m looking for attention, Not another question-Should you stay or should you go? Well, if you don’t have the answer why you still standin’ here?Hey, hey, hey, heyJust walk away.”


18. Shake It Off, Taylor Swift, Chosen for: your ex husband


You didn’t think this list would exclude something for the Swifties, did you? Favorite words: “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, I shake it off, I shake it off.” I remember explaining this concept to my then 7th grade daughter about being bullied. The same goes for your soon to be ex!


19. Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson: Chosen for: change


Most people don’t like change. Change is uncomfortable, scary and stressful. But believe it or not, change can end up being the best thing that every happened to you, especially if you work on changing yourself for the better. I’ve always loved this song and its message. Favorite words: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways.And no message could’ve been any clearer. If you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make a change.”


My Intuitive Health - Heal your Mind, Body, and Soul, in the Kitchen


20. Thank You, Dido: Chosen for: gratitude


When I was pregnant with my now 22 year old son, this song was on the radio all the time. I loved it so much that I used to sing it to him and rub my belly. This is a true story: About a year ago, he says to me, “Mom, have you ever heard this song? I feel like I know it.” Then he played it for me. I truly believe he remembered it from being in utero! Favorite words: “And I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life. Oh, just to be with you is having the best day of my life”


21. Brave, Sara Bareilles: Chosen: because you’re brave

In divorce, it’s easy to lose self-confidence and of course, fear is so prevalent during divorce. But you are so much stronger than you think, and you are brave. Favorite words: “Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do when they settle ‘neath your skin. Kept on the inside and no sunlight sometimes a shadow wins. But I wonder what would happen if you Say what you wanna say And let the words fall out. Honestly I wanna see you be brave.”


22. Conga, Miami Sound Machine: Chosen: because you need to dance!


I was about 19 when this song came out and I’ve been a Gloria Estafan fan ever since! I actually met her at a party a couple years ago! She was so nice! What I want to say is that when you are feeling down or sad or hopeless, put this song on and dance. It will rejuvenate you. I promise. Favorite words: “Come on, shake your body baby, do the conga I know you can’t control yourself any longer.”


23. Labels or Love (theme to Sex And The City): Chosen for: the fact that purses and shoes really do help.


This might make you think I am really materialistic, but I’m not. But every now and again, buying a new pair of shoes or a new handbag really lifts my spirits. Also, Sex and the City is one of my all-time favorite shows (and I loved the movies, too). The series had a huge impact on my writing. So, when you hear the song, it might bring back those four wonderful girls: Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha, and put a smile on your face. Favorite words: “Buy your bag and get over it.” Also: “Prada just has never broke my heart before.”


Our Family Wizard

24. I’m Coming Out, Diana Ross: Chosen for Reinvention


Did you know that you can reinvent yourself at any age? Even if you are 50 or 60 or 70. I see it in divorced women ALL the time. They are living their dreams, doing what they love, and they are successful! Please believe me. You can do it, too. I remember singing this song in my bedroom when I was a freshman in high school. Favorite words: “The time has come for me to break out of this shell. I have to shout that I am coming out.”


25. Vienna, Billy Joel: Chosen for: rest and Relaxation


If someone asked me what my favorite song of ANY song, this might be it. The music and the lyrics are so beautiful and relaxing. Divorce is tiring. You’re tired. Listen to this song and you will feel so calm. By the way, when my daughter went to sleep away camp for the first time, she put this on her playlist and listened to it every night to fall asleep. Favorite words: “Too bad, but it’s the life you lead you’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need. Though you can see when you’re wrong you know you can’t always see when you’re right (you’re right).”

Like this article? Check out, “8 Great Things Divorce Does for a Woman”

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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at:

    One Response to “The 25 Best Divorce Songs: The Divorced Girl Smiling Playlist”

    1. Ruth Hund

      I would add Dolly Parton’s, “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.” This has helped me through so much and is currently helping my friend deal with her husband’s death.


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