Playlist: Discovering Your Ex Is A Shitty Person

You’ve already done the breaking up part, but now you’re realizing your ex is a shitty person. It’s okay, we all have (at least) one. I prescribe this playlist as an antidote to most shitty ex situations. Whether you’re just coming to terms with your wasted time, celebrating your single status, or just really fucking pissed, no worries. I’ve got you covered.


Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects
Shut Up And Let Me Go – The Ting Tings
God Must Have Spent A Little Less Time – Toxic Audio
Take Me Or Leave Me – Rent, Original Broadway Cast
Don’t Drink Poison – Le Tigre
Gold Guns Girls – Metric
Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – Beyoncé
Letter Read – Rachael Yamagata
Burning Bridges – Chris Pureka
Hate (I Really Don’t Like You) – Plain White T’s
Fuck You – Vitamin String Quartet
Dickhead – Kate Nash
Funhouse – P!nk
So Long – Ingrid Michaelson
Tired Of It – The Waffle Stompers
Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
I Don’t Know – Lisa Hannigan

Discovering Your Ex Is A Shitty Person from Autostraddle on 8tracks.

Add your favorite shitty ex related tracks in the comments below!

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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. this has been discussed in several comment threads lately, but i neeeeeed to say this. i need to talk about this incredible phenomenon, that being the IMPECCABLE TIMING autostraddle has about the publication of its posts. and this is not some horoscope reading-too-much-into-coincidences shit, you guys. (it totally is). it’s freaky though, for reals.

    anyway, i am going to be blasting this for the rest of the day and totally not having any feels (liesssss). many thanks!

    • I have to second terracottatoes. Me and ex’ve been broken up for four months and I’ve been doing the “let’s be friends we’re both good people it just wasn’t right” dance for 3.99 of them. And then THE WEEK she blows all that out of the water and I hit Rage Speed 11 about what a fucking shitty person she actually is/was to me, bam, AS playlist.

      Please never use your powers for evil.

  2. Ali – be honest. Did you make this playlist because you somehow knew I’ve been Googling combinations of “Shake it Out breakup playlist hate her stupid ex” repeatedly for the last week?

    That’s impossible for you to have known, you say?

    I don’t believe it.

    Timing. Thanks.

    • I’m now honestly curious – how many people have googled that during the past week and of that number, how many are on this website right now?

  3. What You Are – Audioslave
    Good Will Hunting By Myself – Ludo
    Don’t Ask Me – OK Go
    Your Guts (I Hate ‘Em) – Reel Big Fish

    Uhh, not that I made a playlist for this exact reason last summer, or anything. :)

  4. The “folkie” in me feels compelled to mention the Joan Baez/Indigo Girls cover of “Don’t Think Twice”..just love that line “…Goodbye is too good a word, babe…” Like yeah..There was nothing “good” about you or this!

    • Oooh that cover is amaaaaazing. That song in heavy rotation got me through some bad times.

      • ♫ “I’m not saying you treated me unkind..Could have done better, but I don’t mind..You just sort of wasted my precious time..But don’t think twice, it’s alright” ♫

  5. Best best best “I fucking hate my ex” song is “No Children” by the Mountain Goats.

  6. only the extremely emotionally vulnerable are allowed to listen to “fire burns” without judgement.

    • YES! ‘Limp’ is also a great angry tune.

      Also Skunk Anansie’s “Glorious Pop Song” – the chorus lyrics are “You’re still a fucker”, and it’s got some great sing/clap-along bits, too!

  7. Ali, I LITERALLY just got off the phone with my best friend, where I was telling him I’ve realized my ex is a horrible person. GET OUT OF MY BRAIN.

  8. Like I said on Facebook when I saw this post: Is my ex-girlfriend a shitty person? No. Is she a grade A, legendary thundercunt? Absolutely.

    • ^THIS times a million! I was just about to post this. Such a triumphant, rocking, “I don’t need you anyway and I’m stronger/better without you” song AND video.

  9. ‘done wrong’ by Ani DiFranco
    ‘going down’ by Ani DiFranco
    …hell, most of ‘Dilate’, really. ‘superhero’, ‘dilate’, ‘napoleon’, though that last one could arguably just be about a friend.

    But my most intense song of Ani’s, ‘marrow’, would be my ‘ex is a shitty person but Im not that far behind sometimes’ song.

    • oh dear lord ani.

      “and you are so lame
      you always dissapoint me
      it’s kind of like our running joke
      but it’s really not funny”

      this will never not remind me of that one specific human. jesus.

      • Have we been dating the same person?
        I just broke up with my gf less than 7 days ago.. Actually, I emailed to tell her yet Again that she was still treating me like a bloody option and only wanting me when she’s distraught or needs to be bailed out of jail or from some bender or… And then when the weekend comes along or when I need her, she ain’t there. An you know what that bitch did? Nothing! Haven’t hard a word from her. Mind you, this is 3 days after she declared her undying love for me and how she doesn’t want to lose me and how she wants to treat me much much better than she has been… Thing is, knowing all this doesn’t make the tears and the pain go away

  10. “I didn’t know what hate felt like, not the hate that comes after love. It’s huge and desperate and it longs to be proved wrong. And every day it’s proved right it grows a little more monstrous. If the love was passion, the hate will be obsession. A need to see the once-loved weak and cowed beneath pity. Disgust is close and dignity is far away. The hate is not only for the once loved, it’s for yourself too; how could you ever have loved this?”

    If you like this playlist you should probably read The Passion by Jeanette Winterson while you are listening to it.

  11. Rootless Tree – Damien Rice

    When you get to yell “Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you and all we been through.”

  12. For the country folks out there: “Damn Liar” Cheley Wright(the explicit version of course!)

  13. First off, gotta say I love the playlist. It’s hard for me to relate – my girlfriend’s ex is a shitty person. I’ve seen what it can do. That said, I’m afraid I was the shitty person in my last relationship. If I were my ex, I would be listening to

    “Breakfast After Ten” by Blue October

    You got to make her know how it feels to miss you
    Let her know you’re swapping spit
    You’re not the one with all the problems
    You’re not the one with all the problems
    She’s the one that’s full of shit

  14. Seventy times seven by Brand New?

    “Have another drink and drive yourself home
    I hope there’s ice on all the roads
    And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt
    and again when your head goes through the windshield”

    hahaha. my goodness. has such emo angst ever been written?

    Also. Everthing ever recorded by Taking Back Sunday, in particular “you’re so last summer?”

    • Who does emo/angsty breakups better than Taking Back Sunday? No one. Ever.
      Also, Seventy times seven was the only cure for my tiny broken baby dyke heart.

  15. When I was going through a bad break up and right before I drew the courage to leave that decade long exercise in co-dependency, I listened to a lot of Michelle Featherstone. It’s my Mistake and Over You are really good.

    Also, Think of Me by the Eyeliners is awesome. Or Slit your own Throat by the Used if you’re still super angry.

  16. How did you know? It’s like you met my Ex Girlfriend. Now I’m a little sad for you too…..

  17. I’m personally of a fan of Bullet proof – La Roux.
    It also encourages me thinking of cute girls instead of batshitcrazyex’s.

  18. sigh – funny how the “hate” ebbs and flows; it can fade away and be manageable and then something will trigger it to come back with a vengeance.

    am jealous sometimes of those girls who have such great “friendships” w/ their ex’s.

    Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know – New Song but has been good for me recently

    • Somehow despite “Somebody That I Used to Know” being played on a loop on every radio station in the world for the last 2 months, I didn’t actually listen to the words until last week.

      But you didn’t have to cut me off
      Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing

      Is somehow exactly how I feel. Fml.

  19. made one of these for a friend recently
    Survivor (destiny’s child)
    You Oughta Know (alanis)
    F**k it I don’t want you back (Eamon)
    Irreplaceable (Beyonce)
    also cold hearted. yes the paula abdul song. that happened.

  20. ooooh, this is awesome.

    another good post-breakup chris pureka song: “cynical”.

  21. my friend and i spent the last hour of our 13 hours road trip yesterday singing along to “burning bridges” on repeat. what i’m trying to say is i love that song.

  22. Darwin Deez: Bad Day

    Joshua Radin: You Got Growin’ Up To Do

    Gotye: Somebody That I Used To Know (Feat. Kimbra)

    Michael McDonald: I Keep Forgetting

    John Mayer: Slow Dancing In a Burning Room

    Safetysuit: Stay

  23. Rain On Your Parade – Duffy

    “I’m gonna rain on your parade, no I won’t take it again.”

  24. “Unlovable” by Darren Hayes; the sheer anger in it stunned me the first time I heard it. I used the line “do I remind you of a part of you that you don’t like” in an art project (originally a kiss-off to an ex who I’m still ambivalent over) by painting it on a rainbow flag and it’s getting great traction at queer rallies.

  25. I hope it’s not to late to say that this is perfect. And I don’t think that’s the lager talking.

  26. “Here’s to Your Fuck” by the Gits

    “Too Bad on Your Birthday” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, which is especially good for when something bad happens to the ex, whether your post-breakup life is going well or not. Pure, distilled schadenfreude.

    And “Vindictive” by the Slits or “My Give a Damn’s Busted” by Jo Dee Messina, for when your ex tries to get you back and you’re not buying it.

  27. It feels like such a cliche to suggest it, but I always like Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know – specifically for Kimbra’s bit. Damn if it didn’t feel relevant at the time.

  28. Since You’re Gone by The Pretty Reckless
    You Suck At Love by Simple Plan
    No Love by Simple Plan (they have so many great break-up/my ex sucks songs but this particular one helped me through a boatload of emotional/verbal/mental abuse)

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