There’s nothing quite like the feeling of becoming engulfed by an emotional song. For some reason, certain songs just resonate with me so deeply that I can’t stop thinking about every line, singing it in my head until I can finally listen again on repeat.
This happens often. As someone who finds comfort in music, and as a writer myself, I often search for songs with the most haunting and powerful words. Hearing a musician sing of their darkest thoughts and most raw feelings is like crying on their shoulder for an hour as they assure you that you’re not alone — you never are.
I created a list of my favorite lyrics from songs in the pop-punk genre that are sure to give you all the feels:
1. “Damn it’s hard to find sustenance when all I had was love for this, and now you don’t / Now I just abuse substances to drown out your accomplishments, however few” – The Story So Far (Navy Blue)
Hungover, unreciprocated love makes for a long and distressing journey. It’s never easy to move past someone who you built memories with, someone who once looked at you like you were the sun but now rather shields their eyes or focuses on the moon. TSSF paints this pain with anecdotes and pure sorrow. The honesty behind these lyrics, revealing weaknesses and downfalls due to heartache, is pure and captivating.
2. “I write songs about you all the time / I bet I don’t run through your mind” – Real Friends (I’ve Given Up on You)
Another go-to breakup song, this piece and these particular lyrics alone describe the process of letting go and trying to move on from a person who just doesn’t care anymore. It can be an isolating time, but RF offers comfort by assuring you that you are not alone — even rock stars get dumped sometimes.
3. “I spent this year as a ghost and I’m not sure what I’m looking for / I’m a voice on a phone that you rarely answer anymore” – The Wonder Years (Came Out Swinging)
Confusion. Solitude. Exhaustion. This song, these lyrics, touch on nearly every possible negative emotion or state of existence you can experience. Despite your age or relationship status, there will be moments in your life when you question what you really want, who you really are, if you’re really happy — TWY addresses this doubt in a way in which anyone can relate.
4. “I’ve been much better but at least I’m healing / You know I haven’t slept since you left but for me that’s progress” – Knuckle Puck (Untitled)
After losing someone you love, it often feels like you need all of the time and energy in the world to get back on your feet. Love can break you; the side effects of heartbreak often begin as acute and progress into dull yet chronic pain. Knuckle Puck acknowledges the daunting aftermath; any type of progress counts, even if it’s just lying in bed at night and merely existing.
5. “And if you were with me tonight, I’d sing to you just one more time / A song for a heart so big, God wouldn’t let it live” – Jimmy Eat World (Hear You Me)
This one’s a tear-jerker for sure. Whenever I listen to this song and read these specific lyrics, I automatically want to hold my loved ones close and reach out to old friends to tell them how much I care about them. You never know what can happen in life; and as JEW points out, there are many things you’ll wish you did/could do with the person who passed away — but it’ll be too late by then. Thank them, love them, and tell them everything you want them to know while you can.
6. “I’ll bet he gets the nerve to walk the floor and ask my girl to dance, and she’ll say yes / Because these words were never easier for me to say or her to second guess / But I guess that I can live without you but without you I’ll be miserable at best” – Mayday Parade (Miserable at Best)
Wow. Okay, these lyrics kill me every time. Nothing hurts like watching the person you love, love someone else. It truly is a miserable feeling, one that consumes your attention and hinders your happiness.
7. “I see them everyday / We get along so why can’t they? / If this is what he wants, and it’s what she wants, then why is there so much pain?” – Blink 182 (Stay Together for the Kids)
Divorce sucks. Not just for the people ending their marriage, but for everyone involved — especially if they have children. Watching your parents, your main example of what love should look like, fight every day and fall out of love is probably one of the toughest things to do. Just because splitting up may be best for them, as Blink points out, it doesn’t mean there’s no pain.
8. “Like my father’s come to pass / Seven years has gone so fast / Wake me up when September ends” – Green Day (Wake Me Up When September Ends)
Another severely emotional one for me. I can’t even imagine losing my dad, my best friend; so these lyrics cut deep. Even after seven years of his father gone, GD singer Billie Joe Armstrong expresses the amount of distress it causes with each passing day. His father actually passed from cancer, making it an even more depressing song, knowing it’s something he really experienced. He wants to sleep through the entire month of September, the same month his dad died, and forget it ever happened — but he can’t.
9. “I was falling for a girl who would ask me to come over just for a day, when her parents were away / Now all I can do is lay in my room, fall asleep, dream of you / Then wake up and do nothing about it” – Neck Deep Ft. Laura Whiteside (A Part of Me)
It’s shitty — being invested in someone who just doesn’t feel the same way. There’s nothing you can do to alter the situation, as much as you want to. ND channels this desperation, the obsessive thinking, the desire, the pure love, and the lack of ability to change that person’s mind.
10. “And if this is what it takes just to lie in my mistakes / And live with what I did to you and all the hell I put you through / I always catch the clock, it’s 11:11, and now you want to talk / It’s not hard to dream / You’ll always be my Konstantine” – Something Corporate (Konstantine)
This is such a beautiful love song — and it’s nearly ten minutes long. I love every second of it, but these lyrics are my absolute favorite. They’re filled with so much regret and respect for the girl that I can actually feel Andrew McMahon’s grief over his “Konstantine,” the one person he will always love but can never actually have again.
If these lyrics don’t break your heart, you likely don’t have one…
(Photo from Pexels)