This one's for the scorned lovers, the newly heartbroken for the first time, the newly heartbroken for the last time, the pissed off, depressed, overeating, oversmoking, stuck-in-bed-all-day, wretching, dry-heaving, sobbing-uncontrollably-in-public-places people for whom we must empathize.
We've all been there, and if you've been there in New York, it's an especially miserable experience. Pretty much everyone I know, including myself, has one of these stories, or at the very least, a friend who they've had to pointlessly council for months on end about how much better off they are without their former better-half, and how the "right one" is going to come along, and how this too, shall pass. But you've been there, and you know what you wanted to tell your friends: the fuck it will. Today, love if being shoved in everyone's face, down everyone's throat, and you are unconditionally surrounded by it. Here's my idea for those having a particularly shitty day:
Indulge. Order in some food that's terrible, if you can even eat, you miserable fucker. If not, you should probably have a stiff drink or two. What, it's already four? Get to work. Never smoked before? Might as well take that up, too. Watch some sad movies on Hulu in bed, cry it out, listen to this episode of This American Life (it's the best one they've ever recorded, on heartbreak), and tomorrow, wake up, get the fuck over your shit, and find yourself a new person. Because you don't have a good excuse to be like this until 2010's Winter Holidays.
As for the rest of us who aren't dealing with the fear that we're going to be alone until the end of time because we're not in the seemingly endlessly sad abyss of a breakup, we should take today to let those people wallow—full on, full-force wallowing—over their miserableness. Because when you're there, you'll want someone to indulge you, you know? Do those people a favor and throw your most miserable in the comments.
Phil Collins - "Against All Odds"
Have you ever been totally mystified by how someone can leave you, can just dump your ass from the middle of nowhere? Well, they probably have a decent reason, so why would they want to watch you be so goddamn sad? Exactly.
For: The newly dumped.
The Magnetic Fields - "I Don't Want To Get Over You"
From their three-volume concept album 69 Love Songs, the most basic kind of catharsis for anybody going through a miserable breakup, being told by other people to "get healthy." In order to do that, they'd have to stop doing things like taking sleeping pills and drinking and crying and being sad, and if you're on a roll, you're on a roll?
For: Anybody who's never had trouble spelling the word "masochism," South Brooklyn's literary stronghold of sadz.
Leona Lewis - "Bleeding Love"
I'm not sure exactly where Leona Lewis is these days, but she, too, wrote a song about being in a masochistic relationship where she sticks around even though all her friends are like, "Girl. Girl. Giiiiirllllll. Pull your shit together, he's an asshole." And the truth is, he's an asshole, but she loves him, and nobody else will ever understand that. Love is a strange, subjective beast best articulated by the pop music manufactures behind Onerepublic's Timbaland-produced "Apologize." If you can relate to this song, you basically need therapy and a restraining order from him. For your own good. Even though it has a pretty great beat, don't try to dance to it. Miserable people shouldn't dance until they're ready to stop being miserable.
For: People who think they're being "lead on" when really they're just still clinging to hope they by no means should actually have. 8th Graders, 10th Graders, College Freshmen. Pitchfork Media critics who don't think their appreciation of Leona Lewis is "ironic."
Beck - "Guess I'm Doing Fine"
Basically all of Beck's Sea Change is one of the most miserable albums ever, and this is one of the happier songs on it. If you've just arrived at or are still in the phase where you realize you're patently heartbroken and have moved into the acceptance phase of you and your life and your unlovable heart just sucking at everything, this is probably where you're at: numb, unfeeling, and deaf to anyone else's happiness.
For: People who have stopped concerning their friends with how miserable they are.
Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"
The song really doesn't have everything to do with heartbreak, implicitly, per se, but it will make you weepy. And it seems to make for some great cultural moments, especially on TV (Season 1 finale montage, The OC; Season 3 finale montage, The West Wing, etc...). And it's just a song you should know. Also, Jeff Buckley died a miserable death, so this song has heartbreaking context, too.
For: People who think they've resigned themselves to love completely sucking, which it doesn't, but whatever, they're not going to be convinced either way.