This playlist for narcissistic abuse recovery contains songs from every genre spanning five decades and will help keep you strong during no-contact.

 Last updated: August 23, 2020 | Originally Published: August 21, 2020 by Kristen Milstead 12Home » Narcissistic Abuse Resources » Songs About Narcissism: Your Abuse Recovery Playlist

Songs About Narcissism: Your Abuse Recovery Playlist

This resource contains a playlist of recovery songs to empower and validate you as you heal from any type of abuse, but particularly from the manipulation of narcissistic abuse. 

This is a list created by survivors for survivors — I’ve added many songs over the years as readers have written to me and asked me to add them.  They go all the way back to the 1970s and cover all decades in between up to the music of today.  The genres span pop, country, hip-hop, electronic, and hard rock.  Below each song title, I’ve added a few of the lyrics.

I encourage you to try out each song on the list to see what might resonate with you, even if some don’t tend to come from your favorite genres (unless of course a song is triggering or holds difficult memories for you).

There are two ways to listen. 

  1. Click on the title of an individual song on this page to listen to them one at a time in any order.
  2. Click on the link at the bottom of the page to listen to or save the entire playlist.    

NOTE:  This is a NSFW playlist!  There are some explicit lyrics in some of these songs and some of the videos are also not for general audiences. If you find any of the lyrics offensive or they do not fit your situation, please skip them. I’ve noted with a * the songs with explicit lyrics.

Also, if the genders of the singer or the pronouns in the song don’t apply to your situation, it is always worthwhile simply to do a thought exercise and substitute where appropriate.

Recovery Songs for Abuse


Praying by Kesha 

“Well, you almost had me fooled/Told me that I was nothing without you
Oh, but after everything you’ve done/I can thank you for how strong I have become

‘Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell/I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell/I’ll just say this is “I wish you farewell”I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’/I hope your soul is changin’, changin’
I hope you find your peace/Falling on your kneesPrayin’” 

*Be Careful by Cardi B

“Man, I thought you would’ve learned your lesson/ ‘Bout likin’ pictures, not returnin’ texts
I guess it’s fine, man, I get the message/You still stutter after certain questions
You keep in contact with certain exes

Do you, though, trust me, ***** it’s cool, though/Said that you was workin’, but you’re out here chasin’ culo And putas, chillin’ poolside, livin’ two lives/I could’ve did what you did to me to you a few times”   Why It Takes Five Stages to Leave

Best Thing I Never Had by Beyonce

“There was a time I thought that you did everything right
No lies, no wrong/Boy I, must’ve been outta my mind
So when I think of the time that I almost loved you 
You showed your ass and I saw the real youThank God you blew it/I thank God I dodged a bullet
I’m so over you/So baby good lookin’ outI wanted you bad/I’m so through with that
‘Cause honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had
And I’m gon’ always be the best thing you never had” 

Hush Hush by Pussycat Dolls

“I never needed you to be strong/I never needed you for pointing out my wrongs
I never needed pain, I never needed strain/My love for you was strong enough, you should have knownI never needed you for judgments/I never needed you to question what I spent
I never asked for help, I take care of myself/I don’t know why you think you gotta hold on me” 

Same Old Love by Selena Gomez

“Take away your things and go/You can’t take back what you said, I know
I’ve heard it all before, at least a million times/I’m not one to forget, you knowI don’t believe, I don’t believe it/You left in peace, left me in pieces
Too hard to breathe, I’m on my knees/Right now

 I’m so sick of that same old love, that shit, it tears me upI’m so sick of that same old love, my body’s had enough” 

Fighter by Christina Aguilera

“Never saw it coming, all of your backstabbing/Just so you could cash in on a good thing before I’d realize your game
I heard you’re goin’ round playin’, the victim now/But don’t even begin feeling I’m the one to blame

‘Cause you dug your own graveAfter all of the fights and the lies cause you’re wanting to haunt me/But that won’t work anymore, no more,
It’s over
‘Cause if it wasn’t for all of your torture/I wouldn’t know how to be this way now and never back down
So I want to say thank you Cause it‘Cause it makes me that much stronger/Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser/So thanks for making me a fighter” 

I’m Still Standing by Elton John

“Once I never could hope to win/You starting down the road leaving me again
The threats you made were meant to cut me down/And if our love was just a circus you’d be a clown by nowYou know I’m still standing better than I ever did/Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time/Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind” 

Take a Bow by Rihanna

“You look so dumb right now/Standin’ outside my house
Tryin’ to apologize/You’re so ugly when you cry
Please
Just cut it out

Mediavine

Don’t tell me you’re sorry ’cause you’re not/Baby when I know you’re only sorry you got caughtBut you put on quite a show/Really had me goin’
But now it’s time to go” 

*I Don’t F*ck With You by Big Sean

“I heard you got a new man, I see you takin’ a pic/Then you post it up, thinkin’ that it’s makin’ me sick
I see you calling, I be makin’ it quick/I’mma answer that shit like “I don’t f*ck with you
Bitch, I got no feelings to go/I swear I had it up to here, I got no ceilings to go”

You’ll See by Madonna

“You think that I can’t live without your love/You’ll see
You think I can’t go on another day

You think I have nothing/Without you by my side
You’ll see/Somehow, some wayYou think that I can never laugh again/You’ll see
You think that you destroyed my faith in loveYou think after all you’ve done/I’ll never find my way back home
You’ll see/Somehow, someday”

*F*cking Perfect by P!nk

“Made a wrong turn, once or twice/Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that’s alright/Welcome to my silly life

Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood/Miss “No way, it’s all good”, it didn’t slow me down
Mistaken, always second guessing, underestimated/Look, I’m still around”

Mediavine

Call Me When You’re Sober by Evanescence

“Couldn’t take the blame, sick with shame/Must be exhausting to lose your own game, selfishly hated
No wonder you’re jaded/You can’t play the victim this time
And you’re too late

Don’t cry to me, if you loved me/You would be here with meYou want me, come find me/Make up your mindYou never call me when you’re sober/You only want it ’cause it’s over, it’s over” 

Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson

“How can I put it? You put me on/I even fell for that stupid love song
Yeah, yeah/Since you been gone

How come I’d never hear you say/”I just wanna be with you”?
Guess you never felt that way

But since you been gone/I can breathe for the first time
I’m so movin’ on, yeah, yeah/Thanks to you
Now I get, I get what I want
Since you been gone”

I Don’t Care Anymore by Phil Collins

“Well you can tell everyone I’m a down disgrace/Drag my name all over the place
I don’t care anymore

You can tell everybody ’bout the state I’m in/You won’t catch me crying ’cause I just can’t win
I don’t care anymore, I don’t care anymore

I don’t care what you say/I don’t play the same games you play”

Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri

“I hear you’re asking all around/If I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong/To ever fall back in your arms

I learned to live, half alive/And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are?/Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts/And tearing love apart

You’re gonna catch a cold/From the ice inside your soul
Don’t come back for me/Who do you think you are?”

Titanium by Sia and David Guetta

“Cut me down/But it’s you who has further to fall
Ghost town, haunted loveRaise your voice, sticks and stones may break my bones
I’m talking loud not saying much I’m bulletproof nothing to lose/Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim/Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won’t fall
I am titanium” 

Survivor by Destiny’s Child

“Now that you’re outta my life, I’m so much better
You thought that I’d be weak without ya, but I’m stronger
You thought that I’d be broke without ya, but I’m richer
You thought that I’d be sad without ya, I love harder

You thought I wouldn’t grow without ya, now I’m wiser!
You thought that I’d be helpless without ya but I’m smarter
You thought that I’d be stressed without ya, but I’m chillin’
You thought I wouldn’t sell without ya, sold nine million”

Warrior by Demi Lavato

“There’s a part of me I can’t get back/A little girl grew up too fast
All it took was once, I’ll never be the same
Now I’m taking back my life today/Nothing left that you can say
‘Cause you were never gonna take the blame anyway

Now I’m a warrior/I’ve got thicker skin
I’m a warrior/I’m stronger than I’ve ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in
I’m a warrior/And you can never hurt me again”

Cold-Hearted by Paula Abdul

“It was only late last night he was out there sneakin’
Then he called you up to check that you were waiting by the phone
All the world’s a candy store/He’s been trick or treatin’
When it comes to true love girl with him there’s no one home”

Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift

“I don’t like your little games/Don’t like your tilted stage
The role you made me play/Of the fool, no, I don’t like you

I don’t like your perfect crime/How you laugh when you lie
You said the gun was mine/Isn’t cool, no, I don’t like you

But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time/Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time
I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined/I check it once, then I check it twice”

Mediavine

Brand New Me by Alicia Keys

“It’s been a while, I’m not who I was before/You look surprised, your words don’t burn me anymore
Been meaning to tell you, but I guess it’s clear to see/Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
Can’t be bad, I found a brand new kind of free”

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift

“I’m really gonna miss you picking fights/And me, falling for it screaming that I’m right
And you, would hide away and find your peace of mind/With some indie record that’s much cooler than mine

You called me up again tonight/But this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you

We are never ever, ever getting back together”

You’re So Vain by Carly Simon

“Oh, you had me several years ago/When I was still quite naive
When you said that we made such a pretty pair/And that you would never leave

But you gave away the things you loved/And one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee

And you’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you”

*Sorry by Beyonce

“Sorry, I ain’t sorry/No no, hell nahNow you want to say you’re sorry/Now you want to call me crying
Now you gotta see me wilding/Now I’m the one that’s lying

Mediavine

And I don’t feel bad about it/It’s exactly what you get
Stop interrupting my grinding/I ain’t thinking ’bout you” 

Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake

“You don’t have to say, what you did/I already know, I found out from him
Now there’s just no chance/With you and me
There’ll never be/Don’t it make you sad about it?

You told me you love me/Why did you leave me all alone
Now you tell me you need me/When you call me on the phone
Girl, I refuse/You must have me confused with some other guy
The bridges were burned/Now it’s your turn, to cry

Cry me a river”

Bad Blood by Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar

“‘Baby, now we’ve got bad blood/You know it used to be mad love
So take a look what you’ve done/’Cause, baby, now we’ve got bad blood

Now we’ve got problems/And I don’t think we can solve ’em
You made a really deep cut/And, baby, now we’ve got bad blood

Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes/You say sorry just for show
If you live like that, you live with ghosts/If you love like that, blood runs cold”

Narcissus by Alanis Morissette

“Dear momma’s boy
I know you’ve had your butt licked by your mother/I know you’ve enjoyed all that attention from her
And every woman graced with your presence after

Mediavine

Dear narcissus boy
I know you’ve never really apologized for anything/I know you’ve never really taken responsibility
I know you’ve never really listened to a woman”

Set Fire to the Rain by Adele

“But there’s a side to you/That I never knew, never knew
All the things you’d say/They were never true, never true
And the games you play/You would always win, always win”

Liar by Henry Rollins

“you meet me/and your whole world changes
because everything I say is everything you’ve ever wanted to hear
so you drop all your defenses and you drop all your fears and you trust me completely

I’m perfect in every way cause I make you feel so strong and so powerful inside
you feel so lucky 
but your ego obscures reality and you never bother to wonder why things are going so well

you want to know why?
cause I’m a liar, yeah I’m a liar
I’ll tear your mind out/I’ll burn your soul/I’ll turn you into me/I’ll turn you into me
cause I’m a liar, a liar, a liar, a liar

I’ll hide behind a smile and understanding eyes and I’ll tell you things that you already know
so you can say, I really identify with you, so much
and all the time that you’re needing me
is just the time that I’m bleeding you”

Mean by Taylor Swift

“You, with your switching sides/And your wildfire lies and your humiliation
You have pointed out my flaws again/As if I don’t already see them
I walk with my head down/Try to block you out ’cause I never impress you
I just want to feel okay again

Mediavine

I bet you got pushed around/Somebody made you cold but the cycle ends right now
‘Cause you can’t lead me down that road/And you don’t know what you don’t know”

I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor

“At first I was afraid, I was petrified/Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong/And I learned how to get along

And so you’re back/From outer space
I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key

If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me
Go on now, go, walk out the door
Just turn around now/’Cause you’re not welcome anymore”

The Power of Goodbye by Madonna

“Your heart is not open so I must go/The spell has been broken, I loved you so
Freedom comes when you learn to let go/Creation comes when you learn to say no

You were my lesson I had to learn/I was your fortress you had to burn
Pain is a warning that something’s wrong/I pray to God that it won’t be long”

I’m Movin On by Rascal Flatts

“I’ve dealt with my ghosts and faced all my demons/Finally content with a past I regret
I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I’m at peace with myself
I’ve been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I’m movin’ on”

Mediavine

Rolling in the Deep by Adele

“The scars of your love remind me of us (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

The scars of your love they leave me breathless, I can’t help feeling
We could have had it all (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)

Rolling in the deep (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hand (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)”

Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye

“Now and then I think of when we were together/Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me/But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember”

Leave (Get Out) by JoJo

“Tell me why you’re looking so confused/When I’m the one who didn’t know the truth
How could you ever be so cold/To go behind my back and call my friend

Boy you must have gone and bumped your head/Because you left her number on your phone
So now after all is said and done/Maybe I’m the one to blame
But to think that you could be the one/Well it didn’t work out that way

Get out, right now/It’s the end of you and me
It’s too late and I can’t wait/For you to be gone cause I know about her
And I wonder how I bought all the lies
You said that you would treat me right/But you was just a waste of time”

Mediavine

*F*uck You by CeeLo Green

“I see you driving ’round town/With the girl I love and I’m like,
F*ck you!
I guess the change in my pocket/Wasn’t enough I’m like,
F*ck you and f*ck her too!”

*You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette

“You seem very well, things look peaceful/I’m not quite as well, I thought you should know
Did you forget about me, Mr. Duplicity?/I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner
It was a slap in the face/How quickly I was replaced
And are you thinking of me when you f*ck her?

‘Cause the love that you gave that we made/Wasn’t able to make it enough for you
To be open wide, no
And every time you speak her name/Does she know how you told me
You’d hold me until you died/’Til you died, but you’re still alive”

*Needed Me by Rihanna

“You needed me/To feel a little more, and give a little less
Know you hate to confess/But baby ooh, you needed me”

I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

“Well I won’t back down/No I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin me down
Gonna stand my ground/And I won’t back down”https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Mediavine

Love Yourself by Justin Bieber

“If you like the way you look that much/Oh baby, you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I’m still holdin’ on to somethin’/You should go and love yourself

When you told me that you hated my friends/The only problem was with you and not them
And every time you told me my opinion was wrong/And tried to make me forget where I came from”

Just a Creep by Dum Dum Girls

“You come creepin’/Actin’ like a fiend
But I’ve been warned/Your deceit knows no end

But you act so sweet/And you don’t cut deep
You’re just a little creep

It upset me/To learn you act this way
Poor thing it must be hard/To be yourself each day”

Bed of Lies by Nicki Minaj and Skylar Grey

“Do you ever think of me when you lie?/Lie down in your bed, your bed of lies
And I knew better than to look in your eyes/They only pretend you would be mine
And oh how you made me believe/You had me caught in every web that you weaved
But do you ever think of me when you lie?/Lie down in your bed, your bed of lies”

 *Fire Burns by Nicki Minaj

“You shoulda left, the other day/You let me beg, for you to stay
This is a sickening joke that you play with my emotions/And so I pray you burn in hell and you never find the ocean

Mediavine

I hope your fire, fire burns baby/I hope your fire, fire burns baby
I hope you lay down in your sleep and you choke on every lie you told
And when you’re reaching out for me you’ll see you reap everything you sow”

You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore by Demi Lovato

“I see the future without you/The hell was I doing in the past?
Now that I’ve learned all about you/A love just like ours wouldn’t last

I won’t fall for your games/So don’t hate me when I say

That you don’t do it for me anymore”

Don’t Kill My Vibe by Sigrid

“You think you’re so important to me, don’t you?
But I wanted you to know that you don’t belong here
You think you’re so important to me, don’t you?
Don’t kill my vibe

You love to tear me down, you pick me apart
Then build me up like I depend on you
But I throw myself from heights that used to scare me
Guess you’re surprised I’m the puzzle you can’t figure out”

The Breakup Song by Francesca Battistelli

“I’ve gone through the motions/I’ve been back and forth
I know that you’re thinking you’ve heard this before
I don’t know how to say it/So I’m just gonna say it

Fear, you don’t own me/There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you/Telling me what I’m not
Like you know me well guess what?

I know who I am/I know I’m strong
And I am free/Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here

Take a minute, let it settle in
You probably never saw it coming
Something’s gotta give so I give up you”

Don’t Call Me Up by Mabel

“I’m over you and I don’t need your lies no more/Cause the truth is, without you, boy, I’m stronger
And I know it’s sad that I changed, have a cold heart/But it was your game that left scars
Ooh, I’m over you

Don’t call me up/I’m going out tonight
Feeling good now you’re outta my life/Don’t wanna talk about us
Gotta leave it behind/One drink and you’re outta my mind
Now, now take it up/Baby, I’m on a high
You’re alone, going out of your mind/But I’m here up in the club
And I don’t wanna talk/So don’t call me up”

Gratitude by VNV Nation

“Thank you for all the doubts, and for all the questioning
For all the loneliness and for all the suffering.
For all the emptiness, and the scars it left inside.
It inspired in me, an impetus to fight.

Mediavine

To all who stood with me, when we stood as one.
Thank you for guiding me, for bringing me home.
And if it seems that I’m obliged to say these words
I write this in gratitude, the least that you deserve.”

Now That You’re Gone by Sheryl Crow

“‘Cause now that you’re gone/I can breathe
Now that you’re gone/I am free
Free to make a mess of everything/’Cause nothing belongs to me
Now that you’re gone/I can breathe”

It Don’t Hurt by Sheryl Crow

“It don’t hurt like it did/I can sing my song again
It don’t hurt like it did/I can sing my song again.

I scraped the paper off the wall/I put down carpet in the hall
I left no trace of you at all/And I can sing my song again”

If you’d like to hear or save the entire playlist, here’s the link:  

Songs About Narcissism: A Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Playlist (YouTube), Fairy Tale Shadows Channel

Please note that everyone’s experience is different and it’s not possible to predict what memories someone will attach to a particular song.

If you have ideas about other songs that should be on this list, leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll review the song.

I’d rather not add songs that describe only what it’s like to be in the heights of love with them or the throes of despair unless it’s also accompanied by an empowering message.

Also, let’s avoid any obvious songs that might send anyone back into the arms of a narcissist or spiraling into depression. They make good choices for showing others what narcissistic abuse is like, but not for recovering from the relationship.  Thank you!

Thank you to all of you who have sent E-mail about adding songs to the playlist!  

You may also enjoy…

Films About Narcissists

The Best Resources for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Free Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Toolkit!

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