18 Of The Best Country Songs About Heartbreak

(Top Left) Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images/ (Top Right) Miranda Lambert / YouTube / (Bottom Left) Paras Griffin / Getty Images / (Bottom Right) C Flanigan / WireImage / Getty Images

Country Songs Have Always Appealed To The Brokenhearted

Some of the best country songs ever made are songs about heartbreak. Artists sing about the pain of lost love, and listeners connect to every emotion they share.


Listing some of the greatest country songs about heartbreak
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

There are so many great country songs about heartbreak. We could never rank them all, but we have featured 18 of the all-time best in this list, including a mix of modern tracks and classic hits.

For context, the type of heartbreak we’re covering in this list is the heartbreak associated with the end of a romantic relationship, not the heartbreak associated with grief. Though admittedly, songs about loss can also be about breakups.

See Our List Of 18 Of The Greatest Country Songs About Heartbreak Below

“The Dance” – Garth Brooks

Tony Arata wrote “The Dance,” which Garth Brooks released in 1990. The song can be interpreted in two ways, and that is intentional.

On one hand, “The Dance” describes the end of a romantic relationship. On the other hand, it tells the story of someone who dies chasing their greatest passion in life…their personal “dance.”

As the lyrics go, “Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain. But I’d have had to miss the dance.”

“What Hurts The Most” – Rascal Flatts

Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson co-wrote “What Hurts the Most.” Several artists recorded the track before Rascal Flatts released their now-famous version in 2006.

“What Hurts the Most” channels the overwhelming feelings of sadness associated with the end of a relationship. Some of the most emotional lyrics include, “What hurts the most, was being so close. And having so much to say. And watching you walk away.”

“Die From A Broken Heart” – Maddie & Tae

Maddie & Tae’s Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye co-wrote “Die from a Broken Heart” with Deric Ruttan and Jonathan Singleton. They released the song in 2019.

In “Die from a Broken Heart,” Maddie & Tae seek their mothers’ advice and comfort after going through a breakup. They question if they’ll ever be able to recover from their heartache.

As they sing, “Am I gonna be alright? I wanna kick myself for falling so hard. Mamma, can you die from a broken heart?

“Tin Man” – Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert co-wrote her emotional song “Tin Man” with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall. She released the track in 2017.

In “Tin Man,” Lambert references the famous Wizard of Oz character who desperately wanted a heart. But, she tells the Tin Man he’s lucky he doesn’t have a heart…because that means he’s never known heartbreak.

As she sings, “If you ever felt one breaking, you’d never want a heart.”

“Heartbreak Honky Tonk” – Justin Holmes

The newest song featured on this list is by rising country star Justin Holmes. “Heartbreak Honky Tonk” was just released on all platforms on April 12, 2024.

“Heartbreak Honky Tonk” is influenced by the sound of 90s country hits. The song has Holmes describing how the crushing pain of a recent heartbreak leads him to seek solace at the local bar.

As he sings, “They play sad songs all night long, at this heartbreak honky tonk.”

“Always On My Mind” – Various Artists

Wayne Carson, Mark James, and Johnny Christopher co-wrote “Always on My Mind.” Brenda Lee was the first artist who recorded the song. But Gwen McCrae released her version first, in 1972. Lee’s rendition followed a few months later.

Since then, many other artists have covered “Always on My Mind.” Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson recorded two of the most notable versions.

“Always on My Mind” has the narrator expressing regret about how they treated the person they loved. As the song nears its end, the narrator begs their lover for one last chance, saying how they are “always on [their] mind.”

“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” – Hank Williams


Hank Williams described heartache in the most raw and real way when he wrote “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” He released the mournful track in 1949.

The song has a heartbroken Williams describing how hopeless he feels. As he sings at one point, “And as I wonder where you are, I’m so lonesome, I could cry.

“He Stopped Loving Her Today” – George Jones

Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman co-wrote what many consider to be the greatest country song of all time, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” George Jones released the song in 1980.

In “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” Jones vows to never stop caring for the woman he loves, even after their relationship ends. He says he’ll love her until the day he dies.

She tells him “You’ll forget in time,” but he never does. As the song continues, we learn he never stopped loving her, until the day he died, just as he promised.

As the song goes, “And soon they’ll carry him away. He stopped loving her today.”

“Every Little Thing” – Carly Pearce

Carly Pearce captures the highs and lows of heartbreak in her debut single, “Every Little Thing.” Pearce co-wrote the track with busbee and Emily Shackelton.

Pearce sings about being “haunted by the memories” of both the good and bad times in a past relationship. As the lyrics go, “Every little thing, I remember every little thing. The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting. Every little thing.”

“I Fall To Pieces” – Patsy Cline

Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard co-wrote “I Fall to Pieces.” Patsy Cline recorded the song and released it in 1961.

In “I Fall to Pieces,” Cline sings about how she falls apart every time she sees the man she once loved. She finds it hard to carry on as “just friends,” knowing how much history they share.

As she sings, “And I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but I haven’t yet. You walk by and I fall to pieces.”

“Mama’s Broken Heart” – Miranda Lambert

“Mama’s Broken Heart” isn’t as sad as the other songs in this list. Instead, Miranda Lambert’s hit single from 2011 takes a somewhat humorous approach in describing how someone handles heartache.

Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves co-wrote “Mama’s Broken Heart.” In the song, Lambert shares how her mama wants her to “hide [her] crazy and start actin’ like a lady” when she falls apart after a breakup. But as Lambert declares, “This ain’t my mama’s broken heart.”

“If I Didn’t Love You” – Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood

Tully Kennedy, John Morgan, Kurt Allison, and Bernardis Hughes co-wrote “If I Didn’t Love You.” Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood released the song as a duet in 2021.

“If I Didn’t Love You” has the two singers proclaiming how they’d be doing just fine after the end of a relationship…if they no longer loved one another. As they sing, “If I didn’t love you I’d be good by now, I’d be better than barely getting by somehow.”

“Stay” – Sugarland

Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles was the sole songwriter behind their heart-wrenching 2007 single, “Stay.”

“Stay” is told from a unique perspective. The song’s narrator is someone’s mistress. She starts off begging her lover to stay with her and not go back to his wife. As she sings, “I’m so tired of being lonely. Don’t I give you what you need?”

But by the song’s end, the mistress flips the script. Instead of begging the man to stay with her, she tells him to stay home with his wife. Despite her heartache, she knows she “doesn’t have to live this way” any longer…so she chooses not to.

“When I Call Your Name” – Vince Gill

Vince Gill co-wrote “When I Call Your Name” with Tim DuBois. He released the song in 1990.

“When I Call Your Name” has Gill singing about coming home to discover a “goodbye” note from the woman he loves. As the lyrics go, “Your love has ended but mine still remains. But nobody answers when I call your name.”

“Wish I Didn’t Know Now” – Toby Keith

Toby Keith wrote “Wish I Didn’t Know Now” on his own. He released the fiery track in 1994.

In “Wish I Didn’t Know Now,” Keith expresses his devastation after learning the woman he loves hasn’t been faithful. But he actually gets angry at himself for discovering her infidelity.

In the midst of his heartbreak, he finds himself saying, “I wish somehow I didn’t know now, what I didn’t know then.”

“Every Light In The House” – Trace Adkins

Kent Robbins wrote “Every Light in the House.” Trace Adkins released the song in 1996 as his second single from his debut album.

In “Every Light in the House,” a heartbroken Adkins sings about how he’ll always leave the lights on at home, just in case his former lover ever wants to return. The lyrics go, “Just in case you ever do get tired of being gone, every light in the house is on.”

“I Will Always Love You” – Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton didn’t write “I Will Always Love You” about the end of a romantic relationship. She wrote the song as a way to say “farewell” to her mentor and longtime collaborator Porter Wagoner when she ventured off to start her solo career.

But “I Will Always Love You” perfectly captures the pain of saying “goodbye” to someone you care about. As Parton sings, “I wish you joy, and happiness. But above all of this, I wish you love.

“Whiskey Lullaby” – Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss

“Whiskey Lullaby” has a reputation as one of country music’s saddest songs, and for good reason. When Bill Anderson and Jon Randall wrote the track, they told a tear-jerking tale about lost love, regrets, and death.

Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss lent their voices to the devastating song and delivered it beautifully. They share the tale of a young couple who falls apart, leading the man to “put that bottle to his head, and [pull] the trigger.

The woman blames herself for his death. She also tries to drink the pain away and succumbs to the same fate. By the song’s end, the couple is finally reunited…buried together underneath a willow tree.

Talk about heartbreak…