Friday Playlist: Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story

For when your heart is aching but not breaking.

Here are 17 songs for getting over heartbreak when you have no reason to be super angry or bitter, or for when you’re done being angry and bitter and want to be able to appreciate whatever fond memories may remain. They’re for looking back on love and feeling OK—not like Beyoncé–Robyn–Taylor Swift “I don’t need you” defiant, but not quite full of regret either. They start a little more melancholy and end almost triumphant, with a new understanding that what happened happened the only way it possibly could have.


Illustration by Minna.


  • Manda October 4th, 2013 11:43 PM

    Thank you for this! I’ve been finding lately that most of the playlists here sound too similar to one another. I love playlists with a lot more well-known groups than are usually found here.

  • decemberflower October 5th, 2013 12:32 AM


    • Lucy October 5th, 2013 3:35 AM

      Love that song!!
      Still a beautiful playlist!

    • hoflan October 6th, 2013 10:23 AM

      THAT’S SUCH A PERFECT SONG!!!!!! the last DAMMIT HANNAH part literally rips my soul in two

  • Pearl October 5th, 2013 3:34 AM

    Love this playlist! Thank you, Tavi!

  • jenaimarley October 5th, 2013 4:09 AM

    Unrelated question:

    If I submitted a photo set a while back that would fit perfectly with an upcoming theme (family), is it possible you guys could use it for that month? Like if a submission fits with a theme but isn’t used, will it ever be?

    • Danielle October 7th, 2013 2:08 AM

      Please resubmit it! Thank you so much.

  • mariasnow October 5th, 2013 5:05 AM

    You can’t have more than two Fleetwood Mac on a playlist? Oh when will 8trax end this musical tyrrany?! *hillbilly voice* I thought this was ‘merica!

    I’d like to take a moment and throw the song: “I Want a Pair of Cowboy Boots” by Jens Lekman because it would reside happily with these other break-up songs and is one of the few break-up songs I’ve ever heard that included the horrible phenomenon where you’ve had a decent day and you didn’t think much about let’s say, the horrible breakup you had six months ago but then when you go to sleep, the person is in your dream and you wake up saying, “thanks a LOT subconscious! i could have been feeding cartoon seals cartoon fish in a lisa frank arctic landscape but nooooooo” and jens has such a beautiful voice. i heard this song for the first time live and in person and the line about forgiveness brought tears to my little eyes.

  • elliecp October 5th, 2013 9:05 AM

    Such a beautiful concept…I love the idea of memories and looking back fondly at old times instead of being sad is the best way to get through I think <3

  • Jamie Leigh October 5th, 2013 9:19 AM

    This is beautiful. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

  • liebe October 5th, 2013 9:59 AM

    this is awesome. and fitting for my current situation… thank you!

  • dandelions October 5th, 2013 4:21 PM

    This melt my mind.

  • Anya N. October 5th, 2013 6:48 PM

    this is wonderful! i thought “all too well” by taylor swift would have fit perfectly as well.

  • selboats October 5th, 2013 7:11 PM

    *currently singing along to Werewolf*

  • fromanotherearth October 6th, 2013 12:38 PM

    I was hoping this wouldn’t contain Taylor Swift, but alas- another playlist I will never listen to.

    • mariasnow October 7th, 2013 8:42 AM

      dismissing a playlist of eighteen because of two? you do yourself a disservice. even if you hate taylor swift with the fury of a thousand suns, there are sixteen other songs deserving chances. give them a shot.

    • luxwillow October 7th, 2013 11:18 AM

      All you have to do is skip the track, it’s really not a big deal.

  • Ella W October 6th, 2013 2:00 PM

    I love that Gerhard Richter photo – I did a charcoal version of it for my GCSE art… I miss doing art so much…

  • tellyawhat October 6th, 2013 6:33 PM

    honey bus!! xoxo

  • ellestolemyname October 7th, 2013 11:06 AM

    it is true that there is a Fleetwood Mac for every emotion. In this case, there’s three.

  • karla October 7th, 2013 11:10 AM

    Tavi, do you visit Norway often? :)

  • lexjuly November 18th, 2013 10:43 PM

    Perfect post-dumping-your-boyfriend playlist. Sad but not really.

  • FionaPear November 25th, 2013 2:28 PM

    WEREWOLF? How did you know??