There are few things in life as difficult as repairing a broken heart. L.A.–based musician Emmy Wildwood understands that painful healing process all too well, specifically because the music industry has broken her down so many times. It damaged her emotionally to repeatedly hear from music producers, bandmates, and label executives that she’d have to lose weight and become more sexual in order to be successful in the industry. Now, as she embarks on an ’80s-inspired solo career, Wildwood is taking control of her image—and using this playlist to inspire other women to overcome heartbreak as well.
1. LP, “Lost on You”
You can lose parts of yourself when you enter a committed relationship. There’s a necessary breaking of old patterns, there can also be casualties, including your sense of self.
2. Toni Braxton, “Un-Break My Heart”
Taken literally, this song speaks to the desperation one feels after ending a relationship. It’s a cry to turn back the clock and start all over. There’s also a tinge of dreading the emotional labor that often comes with reconciliation.
3. Florence + The Machine, “Hunger”
I love this song because it addresses the constant current that runs through people who have anxiety. It describes the various coping mechanisms that broken people use to self-soothe and sews a thread through every human’s desire for instant pain relief.
4. Cardi B, “Be Careful”
Why are people surprised when heartbroken people retaliate against the person who hurt them? Isn’t payback a natural human instinct? Plus, cheating spouses can learn many lessons from getting a dose of their own medicine.
5. Linda Ronstadt, “Long Long Time”
Of all of [the] relationships that have ended, the one that hurt me the most has stayed with me the longest: an unrequited love. There’s still a part of me that’s broken from having a good man fall out of love with me first. I will probably be getting over it for the rest of my life.
6. Phoebe Bridgers, “Motion Sickness”
Have you ever fallen for a tornado of chaos? Me too. This is a song about loving someone who’s broken. This is the story of getting sucked into the thrill of an unpredictable person and the inevitable exhaustion and the impact it leaves on you long after it has ended.
7. Kesha, “Praying”
I wish I felt the way Kesha does in this song. Maybe because it offers a glimpse of redemption after years of being gaslit by men. This song is an anthem for all women, especially those in the music industry.