Korean Pop or Kpop was once an exotic genre when it was introduced to the world in 1992. However, because of the legendary figures that rose to fame like Bigbang, Psy, Girls Generation, Exo, and 2Ne1. Kpop started getting recognized and loved by different countries, especially in Asia.
With the diversity of talents, artistic concepts, slick choreographies, and high production values. Kpop soon became a global phenomenon, breaking the barrier in the Western Countries and dominating the digital charts.
With BTS and BlackPink as the South Korean groups, Kpop significantly influenced cultures and the essence of music as a uniting force from people of different races around the world.
Kpop is more than the energetic melodies and EDMs. It is also composed of songs that are soulful and written from the experiences and hardships of the idols when they were trainees. Here are some of the sad Kpop songs that you can listen especially when you are going through hard times.
Top 20 Sad Kpop Songs
1. Promise by Exo
This song was written in Exo’s darkest and most controversial days. Exo was known as the powerhouse of Kpop because of its excellent vocal skills, unique choreographies, and attractive visuals. So, when two of its Chinese members departed from the group.
Exo was in complete shambles, especially because the two members who left are some of the most popular in the group. Exo faced controversies and potential disbandment during these hard times.
“Promise” was written by its three members. Upon the release of this song, Exo was able to deliver how painful it was and what were the things that made them hold on. The song is full of emotions expressed through explosive vocals, well-versed raps, and a heartbreaking melody.
“Promise” is about how the remaining members of Exo assured their fans that they will continue to go on the stage and perform even if there is only one fan left. Exo showed their commitment to their passions through this song. This song is one of the best sad Kpop songs
2. Butterfly by BTS
BTS didn’t rise to fame because of their explosive and intricate dances or their visuals but because of their songs. Loving yourself is what BTS has been advocating in their songs. This talented group once came from an unknown company and was mocked despite doing their best.
Many doubted the group’s capabilities and would always say that BTS is just one step closer to disbanding and falling on the cold ground. BTS has been criticized for a long time because of the poor quality of its music videos. The reason why BTS continued despite their hardships is because of their fans who believe that they would make it one day.
In return, BTS has been writing songs about self-love and depression. “Butterfly” is about loving someone who is suicidal. It is about telling someone that you are beautiful and there are people that are scared to lose you. No matter how beautiful a butterfly is, it can never see itself.
You may not see it but you are wonderful in your own ways. If you feel alone, broken, or have low-self esteem. Butterfly will remind you that there are people that don’t want you to disappear and you should hold on to hope.
3. Eyes, Nose, Lips by Taeyang
If you have been a music lover for a long time, you’ve probably heard of this song once in your life. This song is an iconic part of the Kpop scene and has been loved by fans from the oldest to the newest generations. Taeyang of Bigbang has written this because of his longingness after breaking up with his girlfriend, Min Hyo Rin.
The eyes, nose, and lips are his favorite features of his lover, and the song will make you feel all the pain and regrets Taeyang has poured into it.
Expert Tip: This is a simple, piano ballad but the song was able to deliver its powerful message which would definitely get you to grab some tissues and find a connection to it. It is one of the most loved sad Kpop songs because it is raw and emotionally captivating.
4. Last Dance by Bigbang
Bigbang released this song before they started serving in the military. Bigbang is a legendary Kpop group mainly known for its rave and stylish songs. “Fantastic Baby” and “Bang, Bang, Bang”. Serving in the military means disappearing for two years so Bigbang released this song as a farewell to their fans, hoping to get that once last dance.
The song is a combination of a Korean ballad and slow RnB and was able to channel its melancholic and gloomy vibe.
Last Dance is the epitome of the group’s ten years of a musical career. The lyrics talk about how their friends start to leave one by one and how all the shiny things have lost their glow. It is a reminder of cherishing and taking care of the meaningful relationships you have in your life.
When you are young, you dream about what would happen, and when you’re old, you would think about how things could’ve been.
5. Untitled 2014 by G Dragon
One of Kpop’s most colorful and dominant artists is G-Dragon, the rapper, and leader of Big Bang. G-Dragon was often called the Mozart of Kpop for his genius compositions and timeless songs. The song is about mourning for a past lover and the melody is evocative and done in a simple piano ballad.
Through this song, G-Dragon has been able to show his soft side “Kwon Jiyong”. Untitled 2014 is embellished with complex and captivating lyrics that will show the earnest and most honest version of the Kpop Superstar. It embodies his artistry and the emotional wave of moving forward despite the regrets from a relationship.
6. Stay by BlackPink
Stay is the best ballad of Blackpink. It is one of their songs that is slow-paced and relies heavily on the vocals of the four members. Unlike their other famous tracks. Stay is an acoustic ballad and focuses more on the emotions delivered by the members.
Expert Tip: Jennie Kim has written the rap parts of this song when she was a trainee and was going through relentless training. Jisoo and Rose were able to showcase their vocal skills while Jennie and Lisa performed a soft and versatile rapping.
Stay is about wanting that special person to stay in your life on your dull and dark days. It can also be about trying to hold onto that love even though it would cause you more pain. Lastly, Stay is also about the friendship of Blackpink and how they stayed with one another since the beginning of their careers.
7. Let me out by Jonghyun
Shinee’s member Jonghyun shocked the Kpop scene when he committed suicide. His death caused major grievances among the artists in the industry. One of his most loved songs is Let me out. The lyrics are all about a suicidal person asking for help. It is about reconciling with yourself and hoping that one day, a hand will pull you out of the darkness.
It is about longing to be acknowledged by people and being exhausted after trying again and again. The song reflected what Jonghyun was feeling and how he was haunted by insecurities. With his deep voice and excellent skills. Jonghyun was able to deliver a guttural power ballad that will give you intense emotions throughout the whole track.
8. Through the Nights by IU
Through the Nights is one of lU’s critically acclaimed songs as this soft-folk ballad was able to successfully deliver that sad and comforting emotion that will definitely soften your heart upon hearing it. This song reflected her impressive writing skills as it is about a woman who wrote a heartfelt letter for her lover during that one peaceful summer night.
Mainly played the acoustic guitar, Through the Nights is about a genuine confession to a loved one and wishing that people would remember the song after she passes away.
9. Fine by Taeyeon
Girls Generation’s main vocalist, Kim Taeyeon was known for her delicate songwriting skills. Fine is a classical soft ballad depicting the loneliness and inner struggle of a person after going through a break-up.
The simplicity of the song accentuates her warm and comforting voice and allows it to shine by letting you feel the emotion she is pouring into the song.
Fine talks about how hard it is to move on because unresolved feelings still linger inside your heart. It will give you a realistic feeling about being a mess after a break and you’ll certainly relate to this one.
10. One of these Nights by Red Velvet
One of these Nights is one of Red Velvet’s sad songs. It is an RnB song that captures the sorrow of departing with your loved one and the sense of loss. This simple ballad is perfectly complemented by Red Velvet’s surreal vocals that will give that poignant ambiance throughout the whole song.
It is also about the hope of meeting someone again as it expresses the longingness for a reunion. One of these Nights is one of the sad Kpop songs that is based on a folktale.
11. If you by BigBang
This is another sad song released by BigBang during their early days. This song got a lot of covers from other Kpop idols and was recognized because of the soul of the song.
Complimented by the diversity of the members’ vocals. If You is about expressing the pain of a break up with a person that cherished you. It is about missing someone and regretting the times you took them for granted and made mistakes that drove them away.
12. To my Youth by Bol4
The song addresses the feeling of being lost and in pain during the time of our youth. It is a song written to give comfort to the youth who are consistently growing and improving themselves to fulfill their dreams. When Bol4 recorded the song, they reminisced about the hardships and tough times they went through as trainees.
Sometimes you just need someone to acknowledge that you are in pain and that one day, all of your struggles will make sense.
13. Breathe by Lee Hi
Sometimes in our lives, we feel suffocated by all that is happening around us. Lee Hi wrote this song breathe to remind us to take time to breathe and push away the constant pressure in our lives.
Expert Tip: This Pop Ballad song encourages us to believe in ourselves and doesn’t let our dreams fade because the world is pushing us down. Breathe tells the story of what lingers in the outspoken and what connects us to humanity.
14. House of Cards by BTS
Another significant song was written by BTS pertaining to an on-and-off relationship. This is about an unstable relationship and the constant pain it gives to us.
No matter what card they draw, they seem to go back into the same cycle of hurting one another but are unable to get over their feelings. The song talks about their final moment and how they would close the relationship.
15. GoodBye by 2Ne1
This legendary Kpop girl group gave its final track that broke the hearts of millions of fans. The song will wash you with the sentimental emotions each member dedicated to their fans. Goodbye is a bittersweet farewell not only for the fans but also for the group as the members left the company one by one.
16. Memories by Super Junior
This song gives importance to the memories we gathered through every moment of our lives and how they are impossible to erase in our hearts. With Super Junior’s warm vocals, they were able to convey the pain of searching for a loved one in vain.
17. Downpour by I.O.I
As the last single of the temporary group I.O.I the song talks about their achievements, hardships, and efforts in a melancholic way. The song addresses the troubles and difficulties of restless emotions that’s why they are saying goodbye. Those moments are just “passing downpour” and nothing more but a reminder of how we should keep going.
18. Dear Family by SMTown
Different groups like Exo, Red Velvet, Girl’s generation, and Super Junior came from one company, SM Entertainment. Dear Family is about giving importance to the people who have been there for you and supports you in chasing your dreams.
This ballad is sung by the main vocalists from the household names of Kpop and was brought to life because of their heart-touching delivery. If you want to feel at home, this song will welcome you and remind you why we should live our lives to the fullest.
19. Baby Don’t Cry by Exo
Another ballad song that is executed perfectly by the soothing voice and entrancing rap of Exo. With its remarkable piano intro. Baby don’t cry is about reassuring someone that they will stay through the night to make them feel safe and not alone. The night shall pass and you don’t have to cry because someone will protect you from hurting yourself.
20. Everybody Has by Chungha
With Chungha’s angelic voice, this ballad song will resonate with your heart. It conveys the lack of love in the world and everybody has felt that day when you feel tired from everything. This song is something you should listen to when you had a bad day.
Sadness is an emotion we cannot avoid. Everyone, even the strongest people have experienced it, so whenever you are feeling down or tired, music is a way to help you connect to your inner self.
These Top 20 sad Kpop songs would definitely soothe the pain you are feeling and their deep and meaningful lyrics can heal the unspoken pain you are trying to overcome.