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Best Sad R&B Songs

When You're Up for Feeling Down ...


R&B may be lovers' music, but other than the Blues, there's also no better type of music to listen to when you're feeling down. So if you're good with feeling bad, if you're up to feeling down, if you get high on feeling low, then try some of these songs by Ne-Yo, Toni Braxton, Al Green, Roberta Flack and others, which all explore heartache, pain, suffering, grief and various other emotions relating to sadness. So if you're going through a tough time, take some comfort in the fact that plenty of great singers have been there before and have felt your pain.

"Torn," LeToya

Ever been in a relationship where you go back and forth on whether to hang in there for the long haul or just give up and break out? Well, that's what this song by ex-Destiny's Child member LeToya Luckett is about.

Buy/download the song

"Love T.K.O.," Teddy Pendergrass

"Love T.K.O." is about how sometimes love beats you down when you try to battle it. Other singers, including Regina Belle and Hall & Oates, have also recorded versions of this song, but Teddy's version is head and shoulders above the crowd.

Buy/download the song

"Can't Let Go," Anthony Hamilton

This song is sad in two ways: one, it's sad that in the song, Anthony has lost the woman that he obviously loves so much. But it's also sad in the way that it epitomizes how some people can't or won't allow themselves to get over the grief and move on.

Buy/download the song

"Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)," Marvin Gaye

Way before 2Pac and a host of imitators ever talked about life in the mean streets, the late, great Marvin Gaye sang about ghetto life and how the deck is stacked against poor folks. "Makes me wanna holler, the way they do my life."

Buy/download the song

"Killing Me Softly With His Song," Roberta Flack

Lauryn Hill's vocals on the Fugees version are perhaps better, but nothing beats the original musically.

Buy/download the song

"How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?," Al Green

The title says it all. Painful though the song is, it's also arguably the most shining moment in Reverend Al's long, glorious career. The Bee Gees may have done the song first, but Al did it best.

Buy/download the song

"Do You," Ne-Yo

I mean, who hasn't wondered at least once if their ex still thinks about them sometimes? Ne-Yo's knack for great songwriting came through again on this song, which is the second single from his Because of You album. If you get a chance, check out the remix with Mary J. Blige. Not quite as great, but still very good.

Buy/download the song

"Kiss & Say Goodbye," The Manhattans

Breaking up is hard to do. Enough said.

Buy/download the song

"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," Boyz II Men

This song's a favorite at proms, graduation ceremonies and even funerals, all across the U.S., and for good reason. Letting go of the past and moving on can be tough. Just ask Anthony Hamilton.

Buy/download the song

"911," Wyclef Jean & Mary J. Blige

"Someone please call 911, Tell them I just been shot down, And the bullet's in my heart, And it's piercing through my soul, Feel my body gettin' cold." Bad love can definitely make for good music sometimes, and this is a perfect example. Or, as Wyclef sang on the song: "If this is the kind of love that my mom used to warn me about, Man, I'm in trouble, I'm in real big trouble."

Buy/download the song

"Un-Break My Heart," Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton's finest moment as a singer came when she managed to reach the lowest of lows emotionally. Damn, this song is so sad it can make people cry for hours at a time.

Buy/download the song

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