Aux Cord: 15 Dark Christmas Songs About Broken Hearts, Tears & Real Feelings You Shouldn’t Ignore

Deck the halls with tears!

Welcome to AUX CORD, TRL’s weekly playlist feature celebrating the latest and greatest in music. Each week, someone in the TRL orbit will be providing you with a completely custom playlist. This week, TRL’s Editorial Manager of Social, Brian Anthony Hernandez picks 15 tracks about feeling bummed or heartbroken this holiday season. Because countless people feel all the feels during Christmastime, let’s experience these emotions together with this playlist below.

  • “Coldest Winter”- Pentatonix

    Pentatonix puts a pounding a cappella twist on Kanye West's “Coldest Winter,” which Kanye originally concocted as a goodbye to his former fiancée and his late mother. Standout lyrics: “If spring can take the snow away, can it melt away all of our mistakes? Memories made in the coldest winter. Goodbye, my friend, will I ever love again?”

  • “Just For Now”- Kelly Clarkson

    Kelly Clarkson passionately belts about a dysfunctional family’s unfavorable holiday antics. The all-too-real song, written by Imogen Heap, serves as a plea to relatives to calm down and love each other, if only just for now. Standout lyrics: “It's that time of year. Leave all our hopelessnesses aside, if just for a little while. Tears stop right here. I know we've all had a bumpy ride. I'm secretly on your side.”

  • “Christmas Lights”- Coldplay

    The silky voice of Coldplay’s Chris Martin melts into this sonically beautiful tune about coping with a breakup, with a few adult beverages in his system, amid the overwhelmingly ironic cheeriness of Christmas season. Standout lyrics: “Christmas night, another fight. Tears, we cried a flood. Got all kinds of poison in, poison in my blood.”

  • “Maybe Next Year”- Meiko

    Meiko paints a mysterious picture about sins that have admittedly landed her on Santa’s naughty list. Standout lyrics: “I don't think Santa's coming this year 'cause I've been a bad, a bad girl. I've made my bed, now I'm lying in it, without a care, a care in the world.”

  • “Hoping For Snow”- The Vamps

    The guys from The Vamps reminisce about ex-lovers as they return home and are met with a barrage of questions from friends about the ones that got away. Standout lyrics: “All our friends from way back when keep asking me just how you've been and how I've been and it's killing me. Last year you took a piece of my heart. This year, I guess it's fallen apart.”

  • “Snowman”- Sia

    Sia sings longingly to her unhappy “snowman” (a.k.a. her lover) about her never-ending love. Standout lyrics: “Don't cry, snowman, not in front of me. Who'll catch your tears if you can't catch me, darling. Don't cry snowman, don't leave me this way. A puddle of water can't hold me close, baby.”

  • “Last Christmas”- Stanaj

    Stanaj’s haunting take on Wham’s 1984 poppy breakup song brings the George Michael-penned classic to a new generation of listeners with his soulful voice. Standout lyrics: “I thought you were someone to rely on. Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on. A face on a lover with a fire in his heart. A man undercover, but you tore me apart.”

  • "Christmas Makes Me Cry"- Kacey Musgraves

    Kacey Musgraves taps into the oft-unspoken "melancholy heaviness" of time’s impact on Christmas, including parents growing older and loves ones passing away as the years go by. Standout lyrics: “I wonder if I'm the only one whose broken heart still has broken parts just wrapped in pretty paper. And it's always sad seeing mom and dad getting a little grayer.”

  • “When Christmas Comes Around”- Matt Terry

    X Factor UK winner Matt Terry mulls over the emotional toll of ruining a romantic relationship. Standout lyrics: “We were so in love ‘til I messed it up. But who will love me now when Christmas comes around? Family asking me why I let you go, telling me it’s a mistake. I'm telling them that I know.”

  • "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out"- Fall Out Boy

    You’ll be hard-pressed to find a holiday song as savage this Fall Out Boy missive. Frontman Patrick Stump goes all in to let an ex know how much he hates her. Standout lyrics: “The gifts you're receiving from me will be one awkward silence and two hopes you cry yourself to sleep staying up waiting by the phone. And all I want this year is for you to dedicate your last breath to me before you bury yourself alive.”

  • "Christmas Must Be Something More"- Taylor Swift

    Ten years ago in 2007, then-country princess Taylor Swift released this original song to make us ponder what Christmas would really mean without our excessively materialistic mindsets. Standout lyrics: “What if ribbons and bows didn't mean a thing? Would the song still survive without five golden rings? Would you still wanna kiss without mistletoe?”

  • “Christmas Without You”- OneRepublic

    OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder can’t imagine missing yet another holiday with his sweetheart. Standout lyrics: “I missed Thanksgiving, missed a birthday or two. Didn't make St. Valentines, but I was thinking of you. Only one thing in the world, I couldn't do, only one thing could kill me, Christmas without you.”

  • “Christmas Without You”- DNCE

    DNCE’s Joe Jonas is totally over Christmas unless his departed darling returns to bring joy to fill the void she left. Standout lyrics: “If you walked back into my life, I don't know what I would do. I don't want another Christmas without you. No I'm not gonna light candle. I don't wanna dress a tree. I don't wanna celebrate the day that you walked out on me.”

  • “A Snowflake Fell”- Glasvegas

    A snowflake, which feels like a kiss on the depressed male singer’s skin, is all it takes for his loneliness and emptiness to subside. Standout lyrics: "The breeze from the graveyard keeps murmuring death. Too much time harbors thoughts in heads. Now I'm compelled to care about my future going nowhere."

  • “River”-Sam Smith

    In this holiday remake, Sam Smith wishes he could run away from the emotions he's feeling after his behavior caused his boyfriend to leave him. Standout lyrics: "I'm so hard to handle. I'm selfish and I'm sad. Now I've gone and lost the best baby that I ever had. I wish I had a river I could skate away on."