21 Of The Best Songs About Emotions And Feelings

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Have you seen the animated movie Inside Out? It focuses on the main character’s five basic emotions: joy, sadness, anger, fear, and disgust. But emotions and feelings are beyond these.

Let’s face it. Our emotions can be weird and wild, sometimes leaving us feeling like we’re on an emotional roller coaster. Moreover, emotions are complex, so why don’t we let music explain them to us?

There are songs covering emotions in all sorts of genres. So if you’re looking for songs that relate to your ever-changing feelings and sentiments, look no further! Here are 21 of the best songs about emotions and feelings.

1. “Emotions” By Mariah Carey

It’s safe to say that being in love gives birth to many positive emotions. Mariah Carey‘s 1991 hit song, “Emotions,” definitely agrees with that.

Carey’s dynamic vocals carry the tune like no one else it’s impossible not to get swept away by her lyrical magic. In the song, her love interest makes her feel emotions that she’d never felt before. Because of his love, she feels “good,” “nice,” “alive” and “intoxicated.”

She shares with him a deep emotional connection, and it’s something we can all relate to. When we’re in love, we’re consumed with thoughts of that person. It’s so intense that we might sometimes ask ourselves if it’s real. But, as Carey sings in the song, “I like the way I feel inside.”

2. “That’s What Love Is For” By Amy Grant

Up next is one classic love song about unconditional love during tough times. “That’s What Love Is For” by Amy Grant is a reminder of the power of love even in flickering emotions.

With catchy and relatable lyrics, the song reminds the singer’s love interest of “what love is for.” That through the ups and downs of any relationship, one must go back to what brought them together.

Even the singer feels at times overwhelmed by emotions. But she sings words of encouragement to gather strength and keep trying. She knows that going through challenges together and holding on to their love will get them through anything.

3. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash

The industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails released “Hurt” in 1995. It was a hit for the band. Five years later, Johnny Cash released his cover of the song. It was so masterful it prompted its writer Trent Reznor to proclaim the song is no longer his.

With decades of life experience on his shoulders, Cash was able to weave his deepest emotions into the lyrics. He was also able to put up one of the most memorable performances ever recorded for a music video.

The song conveys the sorrow and hurt felt upon losing a loved one, with Cash’s harsh yet fragile vocals giving it an undeniable power. It paints that all too familiar picture of someone trying to come to terms with unbearable grief.

4. “Emotion” by The Bee Gees

When you think about songs with “emotion” in the title, this one by Bee Gees is probably what comes to mind. Their classic hit, “Emotion,” is an upbeat track that captures the pain of a freshly broken relationship.

In the lyrics, the singer recounts how painful it is now she and her lover are over. What makes the pain more intense is the thought that another woman has already replaced her in his life. Emotions take over her, leaving her “tied up in sorrow, lost in my soul.”

Despite how things end between them, she’s still in love with him. He still has a place in her heart that no one else can take.

5. “Stone Cold” By Demi Lovato

American pop star Demi Lovato released “Stone Cold” in 2015, from her album Confident. It is a bittersweet song that shows how one broken heart can still be brave in the face of pain.

This powerful, emotion-filled ballad explores the depths of pain after the singer and her lover separate ways. Through haunting lyrics that don’t mince words, the song captures her sorrow beyond sadness.

Perhaps the saddest line in the song is the one that says, “If happy is her, I’m happy for you.” You can almost hear her heart breaking as she sings this. Only a kind heart can let go of a person. But only a brave heart can be happy for a man whose happiness lies in another woman.

6. “Teardrop” By Massive Attack

Our next song is “Teardrop” by Massive Attack. It is a captivating and emotionally-charged tune that became an international hit shortly after its release.

If we look at the lyrics, we can tell this one is about loss and grief. It can be a loss from a relationship that ends. Or a loss after someone has passed away. But despite the loss of that person, the singer is still in love with him. But now he can’t hear her declarations because he’s not with her.

The thought of living on without him reduces her to tears. “You’re stumbling in the dark” is proof of how difficult it is to deal with his absence. But she’s happy all the same to have met him and have him become a part of her life, even for a little while.

7. “Boo’d Up” By Ella Mai

A song that mentions “feelings” is Ella Mai‘s “Boo’d Up.” This single was released in 2018 from her successful Ella Mai album.

The lyrics discover the singer going through feelings with newfound love. She goes through feelings of anxiety as perhaps everything is new to her. Then she falls “head over heels in love” with him.

We can all relate to it when she sings, “This is such a crazy feeling.” She observes how her mind and heart tell her different things. At some point, she doesn’t want to get too attached to him. But other times, she feels like she already is.

8. “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” By Neil Young

Singer-songwriter Neil Young released “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” more than five decades ago. But it still captures the universal but personal message about the pitfalls of love.

Through his pained yet hopeful vocals, Young conveys the idea that while love can create and mend, it can also break us down. Love is the only thing that can break your heart in such a painful way.

The beauty lies within the acceptance of knowing that no matter how much we wish our hearts remain unscathed, pain is an inevitable part of life and love.

9. “Landslide” By Fleetwood Mac

In not-so-rare instances, songs are autobiographical. That’s the case in “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. It is an emotional and timeless song about the life experiences of Stevie Nicks, the band’s lead singer.

The song mirrors her reflections on her tumultuous journey. She admits that it’s been hard, and she’s “afraid of changin’.” But she observes that growing through such experiences can be beneficial in many ways.

Her words convey a bittersweet surrender as she contemplates various life choices and how they play out. This piece will connect with any who have experienced hardships and those who still strive to find hope through it all.

10. “Sweet Emotion” By Aerosmith

The legendary Aerosmith released “Sweet Emotion” from their Toys in the Attic album. This song with “emotion” in the lyrics, describes self-discovery with a wild energy that is still contagious today.

This anthem of liberation beckons us to confront our hidden feelings and follow them all the way. It encourages us to break free of the shackles of convention, often at odds with our suppressed feelings.

It’s a perfect soundtrack for rebellion against oppressive forces boiling under the surface. It tells you that you’ve got to do your own thing and not let others bring you down.

11. “Nothing Compares 2 U” By Sinéad O’Connor

The 1990 hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor is a passionate, heartbreaking song. Its haunting lyrics provide an emotional depth that speaks to the pain of lost love. The heavy presence of strings helps add even more emotion to this already impactful song.

The song was originally written and beautifully performed by Prince. But O’Connor’s voice pouring emotions into the chorus made it a memorable song from the early ’90s.

O’Connor revealed that she was thinking of her late mother when she cried toward the end of the song’s music video. The sting of heartache and emptiness is something we can all relate to when thinking of someone special who is no longer a part of our lives.

12. “Green Light” By Lorde

When you listen to Lorde‘s “Green Light,” you’ll easily conclude what it’s about. The song talks about the end of a relationship, heartbreak, and moving on.

It’s easy to relate to the song because we know how it feels to be brokenhearted. Sometimes the pain is unbearable. To make matters worse, we still remember that person despite breaking up. We see them everywhere we go, and the things around us remind us of them. This makes moving on more difficult.

The singer definitely goes through that. She sings, “…I’ll come get my things, but I can’t let go.” She’s waiting for the “green light” so she can move on.

13. “Fix You” By Coldplay

If you’re at a loss for words, let “Fix You” by Coldplay be your go-to song. The track lives up to its title, delivering all the emotional support needed in times of trouble.

“Fix You” provides comfort for someone important to the singer. From the lyrics, this person has gone through a loss. The words go, “And the tears come streaming down your face when you lose something you can’t replace.”

Now it’s not clear whether it’s a lover or someone dear to her, a relationship, or something very important. But listeners can definitely relate based on their own personal struggles. In the end, she gets the consolation that someone is there to help her.

14. “Marvin’s Room” By Drake

The song “Marvin’s Room” by Drake is an emotional rollercoaster. It discusses the struggles of dealing with an old flame, broken promises, and missed opportunities. His relatable lyrics tap into our underlying emotions, and his passionate delivery lets us feel the rawness of his experiences.

Touching a nerve from start to finish, this is a song that mentions a slew of shared emotions. The song goes through anger, hurt, regret, confusion, desperation, and the hope for things to change for the better.

At its core, the song signals that it’s okay to look back and learn from our mistakes no matter how much it hurts.

15. “I Will Always Love You” By Whitney Houston

The 1992 film The Bodyguard propelled Whitney Houston‘s “I Will Always Love You” into becoming one of the best-selling singles worldwide.

It serves as an emotion-filled ballad about still loving someone after breaking up. With lyrics such as “If I should stay, I would only be in your way,” she discusses her heartache even though she fears what will happen if they let each other go.

Despite ending the relationship, she still wishes the best for him. She tells him, “I’m wishing you joy and happiness.” As for her, she will still love him and take her memories of him with her.

16. “Walking On Sunshine” By Katrina And The Waves

It doesn’t take a genius to know what “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves is all about. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most feel-good songs ever.

When you listen to the lyrics, it feels like we’re accompanying the singer as she finds out that her love interest loves her, too. It fills her with excitement and anticipation for the day he finally comes around.

Quite simply, this is about someone feeling euphoric about being loved. She “feels alive,” and it makes her feel good and light, as if she’s “walking on sunshine.”

17. “Happy” By Pharrell Williams

We have another feel-good, upbeat song that celebrates the emotion of happiness. Pharrell Williams‘ “Happy” is a message about finding pleasure in life’s everyday moments.

The accompanying music video illustrates a cheerful atmosphere. We can see Williams encouraging people to join the impromptu dance party in the streets. He reminds us that it’s essential to pause and embrace the feeling of being happy.

His sunny message encourages listeners to prioritize going beyond just functioning day-to-day. We have to live outside of our comfort zones and appreciate life more.

18. “Try” By Pink

Our next song is a powerful track about taking risks in love despite the consequences. In Pink‘s “Try,” the singer tells herself to live with the consequence of her choices and move on.

In the song, we discover that the singer and her lover have broken up. She laments, “Ever worry that it might be ruined, And does it make you wanna cry?” But it doesn’t stop her from wondering what would have been if she’d given it another try.

The chorus emphasizes her message that desire is like a flame. Someone will get burned, but it doesn’t mean we should stop trying. After all, in a relationship, two people must make an effort to make it work.

19. “Fight Song” By Rachel Platten

What we have next is an anthem of empowerment and hope. Rachel Platten‘s “Fight Song” conveys resilience and strength amidst life’s struggles. It proves that anything can be overcome with a bit of faith.

The song acknowledges that sometimes, it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. But there is beauty in the struggle, hidden victories, and lessons waiting to be learned. In the lyrics, every word of the chorus oozes feelings of courage and hope that infect listeners who go through the same challenges.

These themes motivate us to keep going regardless of the circumstances. It’s an inspiring reminder that we are capable of incredible feats despite what might feel like overwhelming odds.

20. “I’ve Got A Feeling” By Black Eyed Peas

If you’re familiar with “I’ve Got A Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, then you know it’s an upbeat and danceable jam. It’s a reminder that even in the bleakest of times, we can still find solace in our ability to feel good!

The song is about allowing yourself to enjoy and have fun. It says that if you’re stressed, you can “let it go” and lose all control. “Fill my cup” means to re-energize and unwind to be able to face another day.

The singer is saying not to suppress your feelings and don’t shy away from whichever emotion you feel. So let go, relish those special moments and have fun. More importantly, be happy!

21. “Good Feeling” By Flo Rida

Wrapping up our list is Flo Rida‘s “Good Feeling.” This single is from his Absolute Hits 2011 album.

At its core, Flo Rida’s song tells us that we have good days and bad days. There are days when we feel low, but there are days when everything is great. We’re pretty sure everyone can relate to this song, depending on your experiences. Perhaps you’ve got a promotion at work or a high score on an exam.

It’s all about celebrating the moment and appreciating life. The singer concludes by encouraging us to “gotta love the life that we livin’.”

Summing Up Our List Of Emotions And Feelings Songs

Our list above is only a fraction of songs out there that tackle all kinds of emotions and feelings.

But what these show us is that there is something to accompany us depending on how we feel at the moment. If you’re happy, then there’s Pharrell Williams’ song. If you’re sad, Coldplay might be able to soothe you.

And if you find that your listening appetite isn’t satiated, explore other genres. You never know where you might stumble upon something extraordinary.

All in all, we hope this list has inspired you to turn up your favorite songs and go on an exploration of your inner world. Happy listening!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.