We all know the feeling of missing someone close to us, whether that’s a partner, friend, or family member. It’s a horrible feeling.
So what are the best songs to listen to when you miss someone you love? That’s what this article is for. If your loved one is no longer with you, and has gone away temporarily (or worse, for good), but you still miss them like crazy, check out some of these excellent missing you songs.
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
Ain’t No Sunshine is one of the most famous songs about missing someone special, whether that’s a romantic relationship, family member, or friend. Withers sings “this house just ain’t no home” without her there.
I Will Remember You – Sarah McLachlan
In this gentle heartbreak song, McLachlan asks if her lost love will remember her as she does him. “I will remember you, will you remember me?” she asks
So Far Away – Dire Straits
Here’s a song about conducting a relationship over the phone (a ‘long distance love’). Knopfler said, “we are now a world of travelers and air travelers. Families are split up in different parts, all over the place.”
Recommended: Our curated list of Dire Straits’ best tracks.
Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
A song about detachment and how some of us deal with the world by withdrawing physically, mentally, or emotionally. The inspiration, like much of the album ‘Wish You Were Here’ (especially ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’), was Pink Floyd’s founding member Syd Barrett and his issues with mental health. “We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year”
Related: It’s no surprise this appears on our best acoustic guitar songs list.
Miss You – The Rolling Stones
‘Miss You’ brings together a funky bass line, horns, and drums for a nice danceable groove. “‘Miss You’ is an emotion, it’s not really about a girl. To me, the feeling of longing is what the song is.” Jagger said about the song. However, the song is widely considered to be about his failing relationship with his then-wife, Bianca.
I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself – The White Stripes
Relationships leave a lasting impression on you. When you lose a significant other, you lose a little piece of yourself. You sometimes stop enjoying the stuff you did before, and you don’t know what to do. The protagonist was “planning everything for two, doing everything with you” but “now that we’re through, I just don’t know what to do”.
I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans
I’ll Be Missing You is a tribute to rapper Notorious B.I.G. (who was shot to death in 1997). Big Poppa was a good friend of Puff Daddy (known as P. Diddy now) and they appeared together on the track ‘Mo Money, Mo Problems’, a superb song about money. The track samples The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”.
Recommended: We also feature this track on our songs about losing someone playlist.
Thinkin’ Bout You – Ariana Grande
‘Thinkin’ Bout You’ is a sweet song about missing that special someone. Speculation is rife about who the other person is. Was it her boyfriend at the time (Alvarez), or was it even the late, great Mac Miller? I hope so, he deserves to be remembered more. “I tried to make it through the night, but I can’t control my mind”
Miss You Like Crazy – Natalie Cole
Another classic song about missing someone after a breakup, and wanting to rekindle an old love. “Ever since you went away, every hour of every day, I miss you like crazy, I miss you like crazy.” It turns out she’s still in love with her ex. She convinces herself all she needs is “just one night, and we’ll have that magic feeling like we used to do”.
The Bed’s Too Big Without You – The Police
This song could simply be about an overly big bed, but I think that might be taking too literally! It’s an interesting take on a breakup song (one of the most immediate things after a breakup is an oversized bed!). Don’t miss the hilarious line, “made love to my pillow but it didn’t feel right”.
I Need My Girl – The National
Despite all the glitz and glamour, the constant touring of a professional musician can be really tough and make them miss home (check out Pink Floyd’s track Nobody Home for evidence of this, a great song about being homesick). Musicians also sometimes feel absent from family stuff, as they’re away so much of the time, hence the line ‘I know I was the 45% of then’ (a comment about not being totally there for his wife and kids). Singer Matt Berninger said of the song “It’s just a song about missing your wife, girlfriend, whoever.”
Reminds Me of You – Van Morrison
A heartfelt song by Van the Man here, in a predicament many of us can relate to. It’s about when someone breaks up with you, but you’re still in love. The protagonist knows the love affair is over, but his heart won’t let go “my head says no but my soul demands it”. He’s tormented by what went wrong, he really can’t see where it all went wrong “where I tripped and went wrong, I’ll just have to guess”.
Recommended: Our pick of Van the Man’s Greatest Hits.
Lay Me Down – Sam Smith
In Sam Smith’s ‘Lay Me Down’, the protagonist believes he can rewind the clock and go back to the time when things were good. At a gig at the O2 Academy in Brixton, he explained the inspiration behind the song (the unrequited love he suffered when he fell for a guy who turned out to be straight).
Thinkin’ Bout You – Frank Ocean
Released as the lead single from Frank Ocean’s debut studio album Channel Orange, “Thinkin Bout You” is a vulnerable song about a relationship just out of his reach. With Ocean’s trademark falsetto, atmospheric production, and mellow, minimalist vibe, it’s a classy song. “I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout you, you know, know, know, I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout you, do you think about me still?”
Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
This sad song needs no introduction. The legend that is Eric Clapton has suffered the one thing any parent dreads with all their heart, the passing of a child. His four-year-old son Conor fell out of a 53rd floor window in New York City. A hugely tragic event, it’s a testament to the great songwriter that he was able to move on, and write this incredible song. “Would you know my name, if I saw you in heaven?”
Missing You – Diana Ross
Written with Lionel Richie, the song is about losing her former Motown colleague and friend Marvin Gaye (who was tragically shot and killed by his own father in 1984). It was later covered by Whitney Houston, and sampled on Master P’s ‘Gangstas Need Love’.
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
Featured in the movie The Bodyguard, this song was made famous by Houston but was actually written by Dolly Parton in 1974 (Parton did well from the success of the Houston version, banking $6 million. As for the lyrics, it’s a song about letting go of someone you love, and an acceptance that – despite things being over – she’ll always love him. “Bittersweet memories, that is all I’m taking with me, so, goodbye”.
Related: see our playlist of songs with love in the title.
So Far Away – Carole King
Famous for songs such as ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ (one of the best songs about friendship), Carole King took her pen to writing a song about missing someone here. So Far Away is about missing someone special, but also a commentary about the frantic pace of things “doesn’t anybody stay in one place any more?” She needs a hug, but time separates them “holding you again could only do me good, oh how I wish I could but you’re so far away”. It was a favorite of Amy Winehouse and was played at her funeral in 2011.
Come Back, Be Here – Taylor Swift
Another of those sad songs, but this time it’s about not wanting to miss someone (because you know you’re in too deep). “I told myself, don’t get attached” she says. But “when the feeling sinks in, I don’t wanna miss you like this.”
Drivers License – Olivia Rodrigo
Here’s a pop song about a heartbroken teenager watching her ex move on. They say that “Drivers License” is to Gen Z what Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” was to the Millennials generation.
I Miss You – Blink 182
There are a few interpretations for this one. Is the protagonist coming to terms with the death of his partner, or is it just a bad breakup? Either way, he’s missing them badly. “Where are you? And I’m so sorry. I cannot sleep I cannot dream tonight”
Ghost – Justin Bieber
If you can’t be near the actual person, whether it’s death that’s torn you apart, a tricky long-distance relationship, or separation, then maybe the ghost of that person will do (namely, their memory). “That if I can’t be close to you, I’ll settle for the ghost of you”
Miss You – Ed Sheeran
Here, pop sensation Sheeran recalls his former lover saying the words “I Miss You” to him, and the memory of that is killing him now that they’re over. “I dont know when I lost my mind, maybe it was every time, you said, you said, that I miss you, that I miss you.”
Someone Like You – Adele
“Someone Like You” depicts a woman unexpectedly rocking up at her married ex’s doorstep (“I hate to turn up out of the blue, uninvited”), hoping to rekindle their love, only to find out that he’s moved on with his life. Putting on a brave face, she says, “never mind, I’ll find someone like you.”
Wish You Were Here – Avril Lavigne
Space for another song called Wish You Were Here? Yes, why not! Lavigne explained that this song is about, “Missing somebody for a day, for a week, for a month. Somebody you’ve had a falling out with, there’s so many different circumstances in life that we all go through when we do truly miss somebody.”
Home – Michael Bublé
Bublé shared his angst about being on the road and missing home. This long distance relationship is really taking its toll.
“Another airplane. Another sunny place. I’m lucky I know. But I wanna go home”
Some more songs about missing someone:
- “Somewhere Out There” by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram
- Picture Of Me (Without You) – George Jones
- Miss You Much – Janet Jackson
- Far Away – Nickelback
- Always – Bon Jovi