This resource contains a playlist of over 40 songs to empower and validate your narcissistic abuse recovery. The songs go all the way back to the 70s and cover all decades in between up to the music of today. The genres span pop, country, hip-hop, electronic, and hard rock. If you’re a music fan, you’ll probably recognize many of these songs. There may be a few surprises in here that you’ve never heard. I’ve started to receive songs suggestions from readers that I’m adding to the playlist so it’s growing.
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). You might find a new favorite go-to when you’re feeling especially sad, vulnerable, or nostalgic about the relationship. I did! There are two ways to listen. You can review each song individually on this page to find ones that you like. Or, at the bottom of the page, I’ve included a link to the playlist if you’d like to listen to it straight through. Under some of the songs, I’ve included a short description of the reason that I included it in the 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.
1. Praying by Kesha
This is one of my favorites on the list. It’s an empowering and genuine song that I think strikes the perfect balance between alluding to how much serious damage was done while also stating that it didn’t break her or make her bitter.
*2. Be Careful by Cardi B
Cardi B does not mince words, and there are some explicit lyrics in this song that might feel familiar to many people who have been in a relationship with a narcissist. They get right into the specifics and talk about how her man is “living two lives” and she “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” and how “It’s gonna hurt me to hate you but lovin’ you’s worse.” But one of the best parts of this narcissist relationship anthem is its empowering chorus, where she warns him to “be careful” because he’s losing something valuable with his careless actions.
3. Best Thing I Never Had by Beyonce
4. Hush Hush by Pussycat Dolls
This song is a powerful good-bye to a very controlling and emotionally abusive partner.
5. Same Old Love by Selena Gomez
This song provides validation for the narcissistic abuse cycle and how sick it makes you feel physically and emotionally.
6. Fighter by Christina Aguilera
Another “you can’t break me” song, describing how she didn’t know how strong she was until she had to pull through such a deceptive and painful relationship. I especially like these lyrics: “You probably think that I hold resentment for you/But, oh no, you’re wrong/’Cause if it wasn’t for all that you tried to do, I wouldn’t know/Just how capable I am to pull through/So I want to say thank you.” I like to think of this as cutting off narcissistic supply by not giving any emotional reaction to the narcissist for what he or she did and instead choosing to focus on myself.
7. I’m Still Standing by Elton John
A classic that most of us have probably heard, it’s surprising how much the lyrics fit relationships with narcissists with an empowering twist: “There’s a cold lonely light that shines from you/You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use/And did you think this fool could never win/Well look at me, I’m coming back again.”
8. Take a Bow by Rihanna
*9. I Don’t F*ck With You by Big Sean
This is a pretty explicit song, but if you need to beef up your “I dodged a bullet” attitude, I really can’t think of a better song.
10. You’ll See by Madonna
*11. F*cking Perfect by P!nk
12. Call Me When You’re Sober by Evanescence
13. Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
14. I Don’t Care Anymore by Phil Collins
15. Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
16. Titanium by Sia and David Guetta
17. Survivor by Destiny’s Child
18. Warrior by Demi Lavato
19. Cold-Hearted by Paula Abdul
20. Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift
I like the part in the middle of this song where she says in that cold voice, “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Cause she’s dead.” That innocent person the narcissist used to take advantage of and exploit is gone, right? This song is a reminder.
21. Brand New Me by Alicia Keys
22. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift
23. You’re So Vain by Carly Simon
*24. Sorry by Beyonce
25. Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake
26. Bad Blood by Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar
27. Narcissus by Alanis Morissette
28. Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
29. Liar by Henry Rollins
Listen to this song and watch the video every time you get the urge to reach out to the narcissist during no-contact. If you’re going through the emotional roller coaster and having a phase where you’re wondering if it was as bad as you thought it was, watch this video. You may never have heard this song, but few songs will describe the psychopath’s approach to relationships better than this one.
30. Mean by Taylor Swift
31. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
32. The Power of Goodbye by Madonna
33. I’m Movin On by Rascal Flatts
34. Rolling in the Deep by Adele
35. Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye
36. Leave (Get Out) by JoJo
*37. F*uck You by CeeLo Green
Yep. Just what it sounds like. Another attitude song. Did the narcissist find new supply? The thing is, all of these emotions are manufactured in you–anger, jealousy, confusion, fear, guilt, shame. But songs like this are an outlet for that. Don’t reach out to him, or to her. Leave them be. Better her or him than you, right? Or maybe you feel sorry for the other person. There’s nothing you can do about it. You have to separate yourself from it–that’s the healthy response.
*38. You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette
*39. Needed Me by Rihanna
This song is pretty intense, but what I like about it being part of this playlist that it provides a reminder that the narcissist needs us way more than we need them. They manufacture desires and emotions in us that were never there, but they need narcissistic supply and feed off our emotions to feel alive then twist the narrative to make us feel like we can’t live without them. Remember that! They chose you. [Explicit lyrics and video]
40. I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
41. Love Yourself by Justin Bieber
42. Just a Creep by Dum Dum Girls
A little-known song that takes a backward look at the behavior, all the double-dealing, double-standards, and other ugly things they did, and puts it in a whole new light.
43. Bed of Lies by Nicki Minaj and Skylar Grey
43. Fire Burns by Nicki Minaj
If you’d like to play the entire playlist nonstop, here’s the link. The newest songs added will play first:
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Playlist (YouTube) Fairy Tale Shadows Channel
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. Although everyone’s experience is different and it’s not possible to predict what memories someone will attach to a particular song, 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!