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Susan Campos Headshot

Singing Through the Pain

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There should be a survival kit for people just splitting up, one made especially for divorce. It should arrive immediately and should be overstuffed with dating books, romantic comedies, alcohol, every season of Sex and The City and, most importantly, a playlist. There's no one who loves a Sex and The City marathon with girlfriends more than me, but sometimes you need to press mute on Sarah Jessica Parker and pump up the Beyonce.
Certain songs unleash and process those strong emotions that you just gotta get out. I remember watching the actress Juliette Lewis perform the song, "I Will Survive," on a
late night talk show years ago after going through a break up. It was hysterical---and very helpful.

The popular website Metro Lyrics asked people what songs get them through
a breakup or a divorce. It seems the following tunes can be rather cathartic during a divorce:

1. "Happy,"Leona Lewis. With lyrics like, "So what if it hurts me, so what if I break down?" in her fantastically plaintive voice, Happy is a song that's perfect for the
beginning of a divorce when all your emotions are still raw. Leona urges you past the lethargy and self-doubt, encouraging the newly single gal to
"find [her] own place, hear [her] own sound". This X-factor breakout star (from the British television series) is the X-factor you need in your quest to stay positive about the future and stay... happy.

2. "Irreplaceable," Beyonce. The singer seems to have female empowerment songs covered. "Put A Ring On It" became a battle cry for single women and Irreplaceable was her answer for getting rid of your man. This is good when you're getting your groove back. You'll feel good with these lyrics:"To the left, To the left. Everything you own in the box to the left." She also has a strong message for the man who says you'll never find another like him: "Don't you ever for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable."

3. "When You're Gone, Avril Lavigne - Only (and I mean only) listen to
this song if you're in the mood or see a possibility of a reconciliation. Avril really begs on this one, not the best "dignity now" song, if you know what I mean. "When you're gone the pieces of my heart are missing you. When you're gone the face I came to know is missing too and when you're gone the words I need to hear to always get me through the day and make it OK." (Kelly Clarkson's Miss Independent might be the right antidote should you go this Avril route and learn later that reconciliation is a no go.)

4. "25 To Life," Eminem. If you've been suppressing your anger this is
your song! 25 To Life sums it up and breaks it down - break ups are depressing, let him count the ways! If you're in a really bitter stage then maybe you can find comfort in these angry lyrics: " I would have stayed, but I've already wasted over half my life I would have laid down and died for you, I no longer cry for you." (On second thought, for the fragile out there, maybe try a chick flick instead.

5. "Survivor," Destiny's Child. Before Beyonce was a solo act she was part of Destiny's Child and empowering women through her music. This song is definitely a pre-Jay Z one, let's hope, or the singer of "99 problems but a bleep ain't one" would definitely be changing his tune title if Beyonce blasted this one his way. The first 12 words set the tone: "Now that you are out of my life, I'm so much better..." It just gets better: "You thought I'd be broke without you, but I'm richer. You thought I be sad without you, I laugh harder. You thought I wouldn't grow without you, now I'm wiser." Definitely perfect after a War of the Roses-type battle!

So these songs may be good for getting out all the anger, tears and frustration...but you don't want to stay bitter and down on love. When you're done with those break-up anthems and ready to turn over a new leaf, put on, now stay with me here: "We've Only Just Begun," by Karen Carpenter. What? I know I'm going soft on you here. But really, aren't you and your new life, your new self just beginning again? It might just renew your faith in love, and man. Sure, the Carpenters can be polarizing, but try giving them, and your new life, a spin. And if you don't end up thanking me for it, you can always put me and my idea in a box to the left, right? Beyonce could help you out.