Songs About Grief: 30 Sad Songs About Death & Loss

The loss of a loved one is always a hard thing to navigate. We often ask ourselves questions like: Why him/her? How am I going to manage without them? And what now? In times of grief and sadness, many people find comfort in listening to music.

Music can help us navigate our emotions, reflect on our relationships, and find peace. Now. you might be asking yourself, there are billions of songs out there, what are the best songs for someone who is grieving? Thankfully, there are many types of songs to listen to when grieving such as happy, sad. uplifting, angry, and calming.

The key is to listen and to let yourself feel those emotions. Although not all songs will speak to you. when you hear the right song or songs for you. you will find it easier to navigate those grief emotions. It is safe to say that most if not all genres of music have songs to listen to when grieving.

To get you started, I have listed 30 of my choice songs for grieving. Please note, this list is in no particular order and covers many different types of songs for grieving.

songs for grieving

“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

Of course, this is the iconic song from Titanic. But. as a song for someone who is grieving, this song speaks to the power of love and how no matter how long your loved one has been gone, they will always be there in your heart.

It speaks to the connection that we can maintain with our departed loved ones through our dreams and in our hearts. This song is a good choice for someone who has recently experienced a loss, as it brings hope and understanding that their life and love live on in our hearts.

“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton

In this song, Eric Clapton sings of the possibilities should he visit his dearly departed loved one in heaven and the realities that he will have to wait. For someone, who dreams of that connection with their loved one in heaven, this song asks those questions but also supports the understanding that it is not time for answers to these questions.

This song is calming and a good choice when selecting songs for grieving This song brings peace to the listener.

“(In the Arms of an) Angel”

by Sarah McLachlan ~ Sarah McLachlan sings this song with the voice of an angel, about being supported by angels. This song is one that speaks to many people about always being cared for and supported by angels no matter what we are going through.

This song brings the listener on a journey of grieving to understanding. This song provides the listener comfort in hope that the person they lost is being cared for by the angels.

“Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran

The loss of a parent is an especially hard journey for anyone to navigate. In this song. Ed Sheeran sings about the experience of having to go through the personal effects of his grandmother.

Reliving the love and experiences with the loved one and celebrating their homecoming to heaven. This song is could be very comforting for someone who has recently lost a parent (or someone that they have to handle the personal effects of).

For the listener to be able to listen to his journey of facing the empty home and having to clean up the final days of someone’s life, allows them to feel connected to someone going through something similar.

“Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan

This song is sung from the perspective of the person dying. With the feeling that the end is near. Bob Dylan sings of addressing a loved one (mama in particular) for that one last time, letting them know to take his things because his time is up.

Although, this may not speak to everyone experiencing grief, for those Bob Dylan fans or someone who experienced their loved one knowing their time is near, this song brings a bit of understanding that sometimes our loved ones know their time is near.

“Fire and Rain” by James Taylor

The journey that this song takes the listener on is hearing the initial news that a loved one has been lost and the impact of the understanding you will never see them again.

In the song, you will hear him asking Jesus for support to make it through this grief. This is a good song for that person stuck on the thought that they will never see their loved one again.

“See you again” by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth

With the loss of a loved one. we often struggle with the fact that we won’t be able to talk to them anymore. This is a song that addresses the impact of grief from losing a loved one. The consideration of being able to “see you again”, helps to ease the pain and brings the listener comfort.

The mesh of melodic singing with a bit of rap brings life to this song. This song allows the listener to remember the journey together but also the hope that there will be a day when they get to see their loved one again.

“One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men

This collaboration between Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. brings the listener on the journey of the regrets that one may have when losing their loved one combined with the understanding that they are watching over us and that one day they will be together with them again.

This song is passionate and emotional, taking the listener through the pain and hope felt by losing a loved one.

“One more day” by Diamond Rio

This song sings to the possibility of “one more day”. After losing a loved one. we all wish for that one more day. knowing that it’ll never be enough. For a country music fan. this is one of those songs that could really touch close to their hopes of one more day. This song takes the listener on a journey of comfort and hope.

“Remember Me” by Miguel (from Disney/Pixar Coco)

A song from the Disney/Pixar movie ‘Coco”, although this song is initially sung from a father to a child as he must travel for work, it also speaks well to the remembrance of a departed loved one.

As with the day of the dead (what the story is about), our departed loved ones remain alive in our memories. For someone grieving a loved one. this song speaks to the knowledge that you will always feel their love if we always remember them.

“I follow you into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie

The connection we have to our closest loved ones is a connection we never want to let go of. This song sings to the ability to keep that connection beyond this world.

This song could be comforting to someone on their deathbed with a promise that they won’t be alone in the journey. Although this song may be considered a little dark, the romance of not wanting to live without their loved one may connect with certain listeners.

“Gone Away” by The Offspring

This song is a powerful one about the grief someone is going through losing their loved one. Illuminating the distance between them, the pain they go through, and the helplessness felt by the person who is left here among the living. For someone who needs to yell out their grief, this could be an ideal selection.

Expert Tip: For a grieving listener, this song would be a good choice to play loud and alone. Its magnitude can help someone feel the emotions they are likely trying to shy away from.

“One hell of an Amen” by Brantley Gilbert

This song is a tribute to a fallen soldier, someone fighting cancer, or essentially about someone taken too early in life. It is a powerful country song with a positive message about saying goodbye, the best way they can.

For the listener, this song speaks to the heartache that comes when death is unexpected. The power of this song is felt by the honor to those that have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms, to honor the battle someone endures with cancer and reinforces that the best we can do is to honor their lives.

“Gone too soon” by Daughtry

Miscarriages are one of the hardest losses a parent can experience, asking all the questions unknown of a dearest loved one they felt they knew, even though they never met. Daughtry brought this amazing song to honor the love, connection, and emotions that come with the loss of an unborn child.

This song may be a great selection for someone struggling with the loss of a baby. The song illuminates the truths of this loss. Some listeners may find comfort in the lyrics and understand that people going through the same struggle have the same questions and thoughts they do.

“Funeral” by Lukas Graham

With a bit of a lighter approach. Lukas Graham sings about his own funeral and expectations. In this song, he sings of the expectation that people should enjoy a drink and ‘party for me’.

This is one of those songs that has a place when celebrating the life of a loved one. Although this song is not for everyone, it does bring the listener consideration of what they would want for their funeral and may help with understanding what their loved one would’ve wanted.

“Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss

This is a sad song about a man who has given up after having his heartbroken and then the girl who broke his heart, blames herself and gives up as well.

Whereas this song may not be right for everyone grieving, this song is performed in such a way that you can feel the pain and sorrow that both felt. A well-sung country song by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss.

“Time to say goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman

This version of the song is sung in Italian with some parts in English. This is an emotional, powerful, and very beautiful song that sings about the emptiness felt from the loss of a loved one but with the understanding that the time has come to say goodbye.

This song is known to bring those stifled emotions to the surface if you let it. “You’ll be in my heart” by Phil Collins ~ This song was written for Disney’s ‘Tarzan”. It tells a story of the comfort we can give someone who has lost their loved ones, and that we can love them just as much as they need.

This is an uplifting song that could be able to bring comfort to someone feeling very alone after a loss.

“Wind beneath my Wings” by Bette Midler

This song is known from the movie ‘Beaches” but is also a popular choice of song to be played during a service to honor a life lost. The song sings of messages to tell someone you have lost about their impact on your life and how their ongoing support will help you soar higher than you ever thought you could.

This uplifting song is a great way to honor a departed loved one that has had a significant impact on your life and how you make decisions. This song can easily take the listener on an emotional journey and has a tendency to help get those emotions flowing.

“The greatest man I never knew” by Reba McEntire

This is a song about the relationship between a busy father and daughter. It sings of how her father worked hard, worked, late, was quiet, and the impact of how they lived their lives had on their relationship.

This is a sad song but also illuminates the understanding that the greatness of a loved one is still there, even if they had a hard time showing it. This song would be a good selection for someone grieving a loved one that maybe they didn’t have the greatest relationship with, but the loss is felt more than they expected.

“I’ll be missing you” by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans

This is an uplifting song about missing someone taken too soon but knowing that they will always be there for you. This song was originally created to honor Notorious B.I.G. and has since become a song that many people turn to when remembering their loved ones. The song takes the listener on a journey of remembrance, hope, and comfort.

“Heaven” by Beyonce

This song is a sad song about a loved one taken too soon. In this song. Beyonce sings with the pain of loss and remembering a loved one that Heaven just couldn’t wait for. The emotion of this song can truly be felt.

This would be a good song for any Beyonce fan but also someone working through their emotions of losing a loved one too soon.

“Jealous of the Angels” by Donna Taggert

This song tells a story about someone who has suddenly lost a loved one but puts their trust in God’s decision. Donna Taggert sings of the hope that this is all a dream, the understanding that it is not, and the acceptance that love will live on so long as we hold on tight.

This song focuses on letting go of why and accepting that there is a reason for this loss. It is a calming song that focuses on the trust in God for the reason.

“In loving memory” by Alter Bridge

This song tells a story about thanks, sorrow, and understanding. The power that is received from knowing someone we have lost is living on through your love and memories is illuminated by this uplifting song. The emotion felt in this song is something that will allow many listeners to relate to the turmoil we go through when grieving a loved one.

“Hurt” by Christina Aguilera

This is an emotional song that explores the many questions that someone asks themselves when they experience a sudden loss of a loved one. The thread of sadness to this song is relatable for many people and the regrets they may feel when they have suddenly lost someone without having the chance to make things right.

This song takes the listener on a journey of self­reflection. sorrow, and wishes that we may have following the death of a loved one.

“If heaven was needing a hero” by Jo Dee Messina

This is a calming song about the loss of a loved one too soon. Jo Dee Messina sings of the regrets, memories, and faith that someone’s time ends when it is supposed to.

The song sings to honor all that they were and although she sings of the struggles of understanding, she believes that heaven was needing a hero. The calmness and message of this song could bring comfort to the listener.

“Hear me you” by Jimmy Eat World

This is a calming song about the question of what our departed loved one might think of us now. After losing someone, who has impacted our lives significantly, we may consider what they would think of us now.

This song also includes the hope that angels have welcomed the departed. This song is sung in a way that brings peace and calmness to the listener.

“Scars in Heaven” by Casting Crowns

This song is a calming and reassuring song that allows the listener to go on a journey of hope and comfort that the departed loved one is now at peace. This song refers to the only scars belonging to the one that holds your now (Jesus). It brings the listener peace to consider that their loved one is now without pain, wounds, and now healed because they are in heaven.

“From where you are” by Lifehouse

This is a song about missing someone, although not specifically about the death of a loved one. Often, the death of a loved one feels like the loss of a relationship.

This song could bring a grieving listener the comfort of knowing that they are not alone in missing their loved one. It is a calming song that continually reinforces the message of missing someone, missing the years since, and wishing they were here.

“Visiting Hours” by Ed Sheeran

This is a new song by Ed Sheeran and another hit. This song is all about the wish that we could visit someone in heaven. In this song, he sings about wanting to share the journey of kids growing up and all the changes since the loved one has passed.

As with many of us. we wish we could ask for that advice we always used to get and to be able to update our lost loved ones on our lives. To the listener, this song is comforting and beautifully put together.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is an individual journey and finding any way to help you navigate the emotions and turmoil you may be feeling is a positive in my book. Although music is often thought to help us celebrate and bring joy the use of music to help with grief is just as powerful.

Music allows us to take an emotional journey. Many of the songs listed, and so many more, ask the questions we are all asking when we are grieving the loss of a loved one. They also provide possible answers to those questions, bringing comfort to the listener.

These songs take us on a journey of pain, understanding, comfort, and all our minds to process the emotions. A song may remind you of your lost loved one. or it may speak directly to the thoughts that you have, in any way that a song reaches you. it is helping you process.

The songs listed above are only a small collection, there are hundreds of songs for grieving in every genre. If you don’t know where to start listen to the songs on this list and build off of the songs that speak to you the most. There is no right or wrong answer to what are the best songs for grieving there is only the feeling that the songs give you as the listener.

If the song speaks to you, allows you to feel the emotions you’ve been hiding from, or helps you find peace with what has happened, then it did exactly what it was designed to do.

Lastly, should you be close to someone who has lost a loved one, do not hesitate to share this list or specific sonas that spoke to vou or remind vou of their lost loved one. the power of music will help

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About Jayden Buckley

Hi, my name is Jayden and I am author/editor for PlayTheTunes. I remember the first time I hopped on the drums, I was hooked. Music has played an enormous part of my life, and I'm honored I get to share my experiences with you!