America’s Top 30 Love Songs and Breakup Songs From Coldplay to Miley Cyrus

Preply data study showing America’s top love songs, including a U.S. state map to show the top love song per state.

A blue infographic showing America's top love song, including a U.S. state map to show the top love song per state

Preply data study showing America’s top love song, including a U.S. state map to show the top love song per state.

Preply reveals the most popular love and breakup songs that soundtrack America’s love life including each U.S. state’s favorite romantic tunes.

AMERICA, February 13, 2024 / — Language and culture experts Preply conducted a study combining Spotify playlist data and national search data to determine which love songs and breakup songs Americans listen to the most, including regional breakdowns to show the ballads each U.S. state plays the most.

From love ballads to heartbreak anthems, these songs are the soundtrack to people’s love lives (or failed ones), as music helps in expressing emotion and convey the language of love. See the full list of 30 top love songs and 30 top heartbreak songs here.

America’s 10 Most Popular Love Songs

1. “Yellow”, Coldplay

2. “Perfect”, Ed Sheeran

3. “At Last”, Etta James

4. “Dreams”, Fleetwood Mac

5. “I Will Always Love You”, Whitney Houston

6. “Thinking out Loud”, Ed Sheeran

7. “Here Comes The Sun”, The Beatles

8. “Sweater Weather”, The Neighbourhood

9. “Kesariya”, Pritam

10. “Until I Found You”, Stephen Sanchez

Clearly, Americans love a ballad, as “Yellow” by Coldplay, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran and “At Last”, by Etta James top the love songs playlists of romantic American listeners.

It’s also interesting to see multiculturalism and instrumental music shine through, as the top 30 included popular Bollywood love songs including “Raabta” by Pritam and “Saibo” by Sachin-Jigar.

America’s 10 Most Popular Heartbreak Songs

1. “Flowers”, Miley Cyrus

2. “drivers license”, Olivia Rodrigo

3. “abcdefu”, GAYLE

4. “Changes”, XXXTENTACION

5. “deja vu“, Olivia Rodrigo

6. “Hold On”, Chord Overstreet

7. “Happier”, Ed Sheeran

8. “happier”, Olivia Rodrigo

9. “thank u, next”, Ariana Grande

10. “All I Want”, Kodaline

The list of top heartbreak songs shows that not all breakup songs are sad: From “Thank U, Next” to “IDGAF” Americans aren’t afraid to get a little sassy after a breakup, and also embrace self-love as a focus for healing heartbreak. Topping the list of heartbreak headliners is Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers”; the perfect tune for celebrating independence post-breakup.

Self-love is clearly the narrative for 2024 romance too, as Miley Cyrus was recently awarded the Grammy for Record of the Year for “Flowers” and completed a jaw-dropping performance of the song at the 66th Grammy Awards. The takeaway? Americans are here for an alternative love ballad, turning heartbreak into a confident personal love.

This is partially evident as new artists rule breakup music. The top 10 is dominated by relatively new artists, with only three of the top artists active in the music industry before 2010. For example, with four top 30 entries, Olivia Rodrigo knows how to bring heartbroken listeners together.

These popular love and heartbreak songs show that music speaks to the listener’s inner emotions and acts as a popular form of expression for Americans, as explained by Preply’s language expert.

Preply’s Head of Methodology Sylvia Johnson, says: “There is no doubt that music serves as a universal language conveying human emotions where linguistic and musical elements work in harmony. Love songs and breakup songs, in particular, provide a meaningful outlet for the expression and understanding of the complex emotions surrounding relationships regardless of culture and language. Our connection with such music, whether celebratory or cathartic, is indicative of our personal experiences with love and heartbreak.”

Using search trends data, Preply determined which songs are the most popular across each U.S. state to reveal how each region shows their emotions through music. Key findings include:

Californians enjoy all types of love songs: The Golden State is stuck in a six-way tie, unable to pick between “Kesariya”, “Until I Found You”, “Love On The Brain”, “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, “Saibo”, and the Mazzy Star classic, “Fade Into You”.

Northern love birds enjoy Prince: In Rhode Island, listeners can’t get enough of Prince’s “Kiss” sharing chemistry with the likes of Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Southerners have the most individual taste: Kentucky and Tennessee were the only states to pick “I Will Always Love You” and “Lovely Day” as their romantic anthems, respectively.

Midwesterners and Southerners love classics: Both regions listened to the Etta James classic “At Last” the most, showing traditional, classic love songs stand the test of time.

Most popular love songs by region:

Midwest: “At Last” by Etta James

Northeast: “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac

South: “At Last” by Etta James & “Kiss” by Prince

West: “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer

However, when it comes to heartbreak songs, these are the key findings for the most popular breakup songs by state:

The South seems to be the most heartbroken region: Six Southern states (Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee) picked more than one favorite breakup anthem.

Olivia Rodrigo is helping heartbreak in Michigan: Michigan was the only state to seek solace in Olivia Rodrigo’s 2021 release “Traitor”, an angsty letter to a lover who’s moved on.

Iowa showed some love to Julia Michaels: Born in Davenport, the “What A Time” singer is admired in the Midwest, even if she did break up with the state pretty early on, moving to California at age six.

Most popular breakup songs by region:

Midwest: “ABCDEFU” by GAYLE

Northeast: “Lovely” by Billie Eilish

South: “Be Alright” by Dean Lewis

West: “Happier” by Ed Sheeran

This study highlights the importance of expressing and validating emotions through the language of music while celebrating the different music tastes per U.S. state. From comforting love songs to post-breakup tunes, Americans aren’t afraid of creating personalized playlists in the name of love. Check out the playlists for America’s top love and heartbreak songs here to get inspired.

Laura Mallinson
Seeker Digital
[email protected]

Originally published at