Playlist: Hello, Good Mourning

People die.  Every single day someone that is loved, needed and irreplaceable is just snapped up from the world.  The world still spins, you go back to being socially normal and then you’re alone playing their favorite album on repeat all night.

This play list goes out to all my people out there holding down a day job, a family, a life while grieving someone they loved. You can’t lay in bed all day. You can’t hide from the world. Trust me, I’ve tried. Instead, I arranged these tracks to correspond with Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ 5 stages of Grief: Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression and Acceptance. So hopefully by the end of the playlist, you’ll feel a little better. Also, some of these songs just remind me of my friend, Christina.  A grief playlist isn’t just songs to make you cry. It’s about songs that release your sadness, remind you of the person you lost and encourage you to carry on.

Music helps. Music is dope.


The Hello, Good Mourning Playlist

Their Cell – Girl in a Coma
Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day
Am I The Only One – The Dixie Chicks
Whiskey Lullaby – Alison Krauss & Brad Paisley
Ben – Michael Jackson
Vanishing – Mariah Carey
Gangsta Lean – D.R.S.
Lost One – Jay – Z
Yr Mangled Heart – Gossip
The Ghost Of You – My Chemical Romance
I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy and the Family
White Blank Page – Mumford & Sons
The Boat Song – The Ryan Montbleau Band
Como La Flor (Live) – Selena
No One – Alicia Keys
What About Your Friends – TLC
Give Me Everything – Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo
Joyful, Joyful – Lauryn Hill & ensemble cast Sister Act 2


I’d love to hear your song picks.  It takes a world of music to ease the pain we feel from losing a loved one.  So get to sharing, I know I can use all the help I can get and I’m sure you can too.  Much love, ya’ll.  It’s gon’ be ok.

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Crystal up on Formspring and someone of the team will make it for you.

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Gabrielle Rivera is an awesomely queer Bronx bred, writer, spoken word artist and director. Her short stories and poems have been published in various anthologies such as the Lambda Award winning Portland Queer: Tales from the Rose City and The Best of Panic! En Vivo from the East Village. Her short film "Spanish Girls are Beautiful" follows a group of young Latina and Caucasian girls who like girls as they hook up, smoke up and try to figure sh*t out. She also freelances for while working in the film and television industry. Gabrielle is currently working on her first novel while bouncing around NYC performing spoken word and trying to stick it to the man.

gabby has written 102 articles for us.


  1. The one song that always helps, whether I’m missing a friend who’s gone, feeling pessimistic about the future, or just stressed or sad or lonely, is Paul McCartney’s Too Much Rain. That piano. That voice. Those words. Even if I’m crying while listening to it, it helps, especially on repeat.

  2. having to bury a loved person tomorrow all I can say is: <3. thanks.
    gabby, you're the sweetest thing.

  3. The Funeral – Band of Horses

    i’m not entirely sure what this song is about but it definitely gives me a lot of feelings.

      • definitely, but some just might make it sadder… but at least Conor shares your pain. And it’s sort of situation-specific, depending on what lens you’re viewing… er listening to… it through

        Reinvent the Wheel’s got a positive feeling to it though, sad but hopeful, sort of.
        Poison Oak’s just one of those songs that everyone can relate and… no shame: have a good cry to.

        They’re just a feelingsy band.

  4. Oh god, “whiskey lullaby” gets me every time. I would list my favorite sad/mourning songs but that’s pretty much half my itunes library so….

  5. just started crying at “I’ll Be Missing You”…that specific version was played at my senior prom for one of my best friends who passed away earlier in the year. cannot listen to it.

  6. Dearly Departed, by DeVotchKa
    Casimir Pulaski Day, by Sufjan Stevens
    Champagne Year, by St. Vincent

    helped me out a lot this last month.

  7. ‘stable song’ by death cab for cutie
    ‘re:stacks’ by bon iver
    ‘angel’ by sarah mclachlan

    i have a whole playlist called ‘big sad machine’.

    songs that make me feel better, though? ‘here comes the sun’ by the beatles, obvs.

      • I agree with every single track you listed! Bright Eyes is pretty much the king of weepy music.

        “They will recite their sadness like it’s some kind of contest. Well if it is, I think I am winning it.”

        • that was the first BE song I ever heard. It changed my 3rd grade life.

          “I carry death on my mind like a heavy crown”

      • I never really thought of easy/lucky/free as about death. I guess it is, although more like death’s role in life. I took lines like “Don’t be a criminal in this police state
        You’d better shop and eat and procreate” as Conor’s usual political statements, but now that you say it, it ALL FITS. Its totally about death, and maybe death’s role in life (or vise versa)?
        Plus the obvious “nothing e/l/f”
        Thanks for mentioning it.

  8. Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” is a fantastic choice. It’s especially heartbreaking when performed live.

    “Gloomy Sunday” is a classic for a reason (even the versions with the “happy ending” Billie Holiday’s producers forced her to tack on).

    “Sleeping With Ghosts” and “Running Up That Hill” by Placebo are good. So is “Song to Say Goodbye” if you’ve lost or are losing someone to drugs (and I have, which is actually why it’s so hard to listen to that song).

    “My Lovely Man” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is another good one.

    As I found out with my grandmother, there’s more than one way to lose someone. She’s got severe organic dementia and though she’s still living, the person I knew is long gone. “Narrow Hours” by The Fatal Flaw side swiped me when I first heard it and left my lip wibbling.

  9. I just had to go to the wake of someone I loved deeply, died needlessly, and was oh so young at only 25…. Needless to say, you could not have posted this at a better time. The one song that has gotten me the last few days is Adele “Someone like you” Mainly because the song reminded me of her when I first heard it, and made me cry… Now i may never be able to listen to it without sobbing… Thanks for the playlist, Maybe it can help me through another day…

  10. Thank you all for being into and loving this playlist. To be honest, I was nervous about posting it. Didn’t want anyone to think I was harping on such a gloomy topic. Again, I love Autostraddle (all of us) because we can feel comfortable sharing all the things, even the fucked up feelings.
    In this world sometimes it’s like they want you to think mourning ends at a burial plot and it so fucking doesn’t. Not one bit.
    Thank you all so much for letting me share this and fostering an outlet to deal with the super sads I’ve got.
    Much love and keep commenting and adding songs.
    Go bright eyes lol

  11. I listened to these three Grace Potter and the Nocturnals songs over and over for about a month. “Low Road” “The Water” and “Big White Gate”… She had heard the Water that morning in my car and was loving it. I think you did yoo actually in Chicago….

  12. I just lost a close friend the past couple of weeks. We’re all taking it really hard. Thank you for the playlist.

    it’s weird; every song reminds me of her now.

  13. when i look to the sky – Train
    Missing You – Jem
    Never Forget you – mariah carey
    The Voice within- xtina
    Little Wing – Hendrix
    Its so hard to say goodbye – Boyz II men
    Tha Crossroads – Bone Thugs
    I will nevr be the same – melissa etheridge
    i miss you – stevie nicks

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