In the game of love, it’s not uncommon to feel like someone is using you for their own selfish interest. Whether it’s a fleeting romance or a long-term commitment, being taken advantage of can leave anyone feeling empty and used. Fortunately, we have a plethora of songs that perfectly capture the emotions that come with being used.
From soulful ballads to upbeat pop hits, these songs touch on the heart-wrenching experience of feeling like nothing more than someone’s plaything. So sit back, turn up the volume, and let the music help heal your broken heart.
“You Oughta Know” – Alanis Morissette
“You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette is an emotionally charged song that captures the overwhelming feelings of betrayal and anger after being used by a former lover. With soulful vocals and unapologetic lyrics, Morissette delivers an impactful performance that is both raw and empowering.
The song is a powerful reminder that being used by someone you care about can leave a lasting impact on your emotions and sense of self-worth.
“Irreplaceable” – Beyoncé
“Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé is a song about a woman who discovers that her partner has been unfaithful and attempts to leave him. She tells him that he is easily replaceable and asserts her independence and self-worth, refusing to tolerate his mistreatment any longer.
The empowering message of the song has resonated with many listeners who have experienced similar situations, affirming the importance of standing up for oneself and not allowing others to take advantage or mistreat them.
“Somebody That I Used to Know” – Gotye ft. Kimbra
Gotye’s hit song “Somebody That I Used to Know”, featuring Kimbra, is a portrayal of being used by someone and then discarded like an old toy. The song’s lyrics are about a relationship that ended due to being used and pretending things were more than they were.
The music and melody are haunting and add to the song’s emotional heaviness. Its popularity in 2012 cemented the idea that people resonate with the pain of feeling used in a relationship.
“Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood
“Before He Cheats” is a rousing country-pop song by Carrie Underwood. It tells the story of a woman who discovers her partner’s infidelity and decides to take justice into her own hands by vandalizing his car. The song’s chorus is full of catchy, anthemic lyrics that capture the feeling of being done wrong and compelled to take action.
Despite its somewhat violent themes, “Before He Cheats” is a beloved empowerment anthem that has resonated with many who have felt used or betrayed in relationships.
“Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber
“Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber is a catchy pop song that reveals Bieber’s evolution as an artist. The song’s lyrics tell the story of a failed relationship where the narrator tells his ex to “love herself” since he’s moved on. Bieber’s young audience can easily relate to the song’s upbeat rhythm and memorable chorus.
Despite its generic sound, “Love Yourself” manages to convey a sense of universal hurt and betrayal that accompanies being used in a romantic relationship.
“I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
“I Will Survive” is a song by Gloria Gaynor about a woman who discovers her inner strength after being disrespected and used by a man who betrayed her. Its empowering lyrics and upbeat disco beats make it a classic anthem for anyone who has suffered from heartbreak or betrayal.
The song has remained popular for its message of resilience and the universal feeling of being used or mistreated.
“Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake
“Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake is a song about the aftermath of a betrayal and being used by an ex-lover. With a hauntingly catchy beat and emotive lyrics, it delves into feelings of hurt and betrayal, while ultimately landing on a sense of moving beyond the pain.
The song uses powerful imagery and poetic language to convey the emotions surrounding the experience of being used: “You told me you loved me, why did you leave me all alone?”
“You Don’t Know My Name” – Alicia Keys
“You Don’t Know My Name” by Alicia Keys is a classic empowering ballad about rising up from heartbreak and betrayal. The lyrics tell the story of a woman who has been used and left, but refuses to let it defeat her. She declares her independence and strength, vowing to carry on and thrive without the person who tried to bring her down.
This song’s upbeat tempo and infectious chorus make it the perfect anthem for anyone who has ever felt used and abused in a relationship.
“I Knew You Were Trouble” – Taylor Swift
One of the most notable songs addressing the theme of being exploited in a romantic relationship is a pop-country smash hit. The track uses a driving rhythm, catchy melody, and artful vocal performance to create a sense of frustrated vulnerability. The lyrics describe the pain of opening oneself up to love only to have it betray you, casting the protagonist as the victim of a manipulative partner’s deceit.
The song became an anthem for many who had suffered similar experiences, cementing its place as an enduring classic in the pop canon.
“Ex-Factor” – Lauryn Hill
“Ex-Factor” by Lauryn Hill is a soulful R&B song that delves into the emotions of a person who has been used and left to pick up the pieces of a broken relationship. The artist sings about being blinded by love and realizing that her partner was never truly invested in the relationship.
With lyrics that are both introspective and frank, Lauryn Hill captures the complexities of being used and the pain of having to move on.
“Since U Been Gone” – Kelly Clarkson
“Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson is a popular song that captures the raw emotions of being used. The song speaks to the moments when a relationship ends and the parties involved go their separate ways, highlighting the feeling of liberation that can come with leaving toxic relationships.
With energetic verses and an explosive chorus, this song has been an iconic anthem for anyone who has ever felt exploited or mistreated by another person.
“Say My Name” – Destiny’s Child
“Say My Name” is a tantalizing R&B number by Destiny’s Child with a catchy chorus that speaks to the feeling of being used and unimportant in a relationship. The song aims to convey the frustration and insecurity of a woman realizing her partner is likely cheating and wants to keep their relationship a secret.
With its sultry melodies and honest lyrics, “Say My Name” is a timeless hit that continues to resonate with audiences today.
“Torn” – Natalie Imbruglia
One of the most revered tunes about being used is a melancholic track by Natalie Imbruglia, titled “Torn”. In it, Imbruglia conveys the emotions of someone who feels their lover has played them like a game, and the subsequent hard-to-shake misery that follows.
The catchy melody and lamenting lyrics will make anyone who has been through a difficult break-up feel seen. Imbruglia’s emotive and powerful vocals bring the pain and catharsis of love lost to life in a way that is both sincere and relatable.
“Not Gon’ Cry” – Mary J. Blige
“Not Gon’ Cry” by Mary J. Blige is a classic R&B anthem that details the journey of a woman who is done shedding tears over a man who didn’t treat her right. Packed full of emotive lyrics and vocals, the song illustrates an empowering message of moving on from those who use and abuse us.
Blige’s unparalleled talent and vocal delivery gave a voice to many women who have also faced heartbreak and betrayal in their own lives.
“Stronger” – Kelly Clarkson
“Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson is a song about realizing self-worth after being used and betrayed in a relationship. The song’s dynamic melody and empowering lyrics express a sense of liberation, overcoming past struggles, and embracing a newfound strength.
With a decisive attitude and an unwavering sense of determination, Clarkson’s vocals reverberate a message of independence and resilience in the face of being used.”
“Foolish” – Ashanti
“Foolish” by Ashanti is a stylish R&B song featuring a catchy chorus and a mesmerizing beat. It conveys the emotions of a young woman, trying to come to terms with the fact that she has been used by an ex-boyfriend who took her for granted.
With lyrics like “I’m feeling stupid, loving you a little more each day” and “I’m finally realizing that you were never mine”, the song captures the essence of heartbreak and betrayal in a powerful way. Ashanti’s soulful voice and the infectious melody make this song a must-listen for anyone who has ever felt used.
“Don’t Speak” – No Doubt
“Not Speak” from No Doubt is a classic song about being used that explodes with the dual anger and sadness of being betrayed by a lover. With a catchy melody and soaring vocals, Gwen Stefani sings of a relationship that has gone sour due to lies and emotional distance.
The song captures the feeling of being used and left behind, as well as the frustration that comes with not being able to communicate effectively with a significant other. Its raw energy is sure to resonate with anyone who has experienced heartbreak and betrayal.
“You Give Love a Bad Name” – Bon Jovi
This Bon Jovi classic tells the story of a heartbroken lover who feels used and let down by a partner who gave love a bad name. The song highlights the disappointment and frustration that comes with being used and the lingering sense of betrayal that remains after a relationship has ended.
With soaring guitar riffs and a powerful chorus, “You Give Love a Bad Name” captures the raw emotion of being dangled on a string and left hanging, making it a fitting addition to any playlist about feeling used.
“I Don’t Need a Man” – The Pussycat Dolls
“I Don’t Need a Man” by The Pussycat Dolls talks about a woman who refuses to be used by a man. The lyrics empower women and encourage them to be independent and reject the notion that they need a man in their life to feel complete.
The song features impressive vocals, catchy beats, and an infectious chorus, making it a certified girl power anthem that resonates with young women across the globe.
“Bust Your Windows” – Jazmine Sullivan
“Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan portrays an angsty account of a lover who feels betrayed and used. The lyrics describe various ways the singer plans to exact revenge on her ex, including breaking their car windows.
With a fiery yet sultry voice, Jazmine’s delivery of the song is both cathartic and empowering. The song’s catchy beat and relatable lyrics make it an enjoyable listen for those seeking to vent their frustrations about being used.
“Blank Space” – Taylor Swift
“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift describes a woman who is self-aware of her “man-eating” reputation and warns her potential lover of the inevitable. The chorus of the song repeats the phrase “boys only want love if it’s torture”, which can be interpreted as a reflection of the speaker’s experiences with past relationships.
The lyrics have a playful and ironic tone, which can be seen as a coping mechanism for the jadedness and pain caused by past experiences of being used.
“I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston
“I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston is a classic ballad about heartbreak and unrequited love. Though at first glance it may not seem like a song about being used, Houston’s powerful vocals convey the pain of holding onto someone who doesn’t feel the same way. The lyrics of the chorus, “And I…will always love you” speak to the desperation and futility of loving someone who has moved on. With its soulful delivery and emotional weight, this song is a memorable addition to any playlist about the pain of being used.