30 Best Songs about What Could Have Been (Heart Melting)

30 Songs about What Could Have Been (Almost Relationships)
30 Songs about What Could Have Been (Almost Relationships)
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Powerful Songs about What Could Have Been

When it comes to the language of the heart, music speaks volumes. Some of the most powerful songs ever written revolve around the theme of lost opportunities and relationships that could have been. 

Whether it’s the one that got away, a love that wasn’t quite realized, or a relationship that ended before its time, these songs touch upon the universal experience of wondering about what could have been. 

Below we have 30 of the very best songs about what could have been, including both songs with a message around almost relationships and songs with what could have been in the title. This list includes artists such as Adele, Bryson Tiller, Cher, and many more. 


1. “The One That Got Away” – Katy Perry

In this pop hit, Katy Perry reflects on a past relationship that didn’t work out, wondering what might have been. It’s a heartfelt song about love, loss, and the regret of letting someone special slip away.

2. “Someone Like You” – Adele

Adele’s poignant ballad captures the pain and longing of seeing an ex-lover move on while still holding on to the memories of what once was. The song encapsulates the bittersweet feeling of accepting an ended relationship and wondering about what could have been.

3. “Missed the Boat” – Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse’s “Missed the Boat” is a sad reflection on missed opportunities and dreams that didn’t come to fruition. It’s a contemplative anthem for anyone who has ever pondered the roads not taken.

4. “Never Be the Same” – Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello’s pop hit “Never Be the Same” talks about a love so intense that it changes you forever. It’s a melancholic reflection on a love that could have been and the lingering effects it leaves on one’s heart and mind.

5. “In Another Life” – The Veronicas

This pop-rock track by The Veronicas explores the pain of saying goodbye to a love that could have been beautiful in another lifetime. It’s a touching song that resonates with anyone who has ever had to let go of a potential love due to circumstances beyond their control.

6. “My Back Pages” – Bob Dylan

In this introspective folk anthem, Bob Dylan reflects on his younger self’s certainties and how they’ve changed over time. It’s a poignant exploration of growth and change, as well as the understanding that comes with age.

7. “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt’s soulful ballad is a heartbreaking tale of unrequited love. It’s a poignant reminder of the painful truth that we cannot force someone to feel the same way we do, no matter how much we wish things could be different.

8. “Couldโ€™ve Been” – H.E.R ft. Bryson Tiller

In this soulful R&B track, H.E.R and Bryson Tiller reflect on a failed relationship, wondering what could’ve been if things had turned out differently. It’s a touching song about love, loss, and the pain of potential unfulfilled.

9. “Vienna” – Billy Joel

Billy Joel’s “Vienna” is a gentle reminder not to rush through life and miss out on the beauty of the present. The song is a poignant reflection on life’s pace and the possibilities that could have been.

10. “Dreaming With A Broken Heart” – John Mayer

In this passionate song, John Mayer explores the theme of waking up to the reality that a loved one is no longer there. It’s a melancholic ballad about the heartache of what could have been.

11. “Somewhere Down the Road” – Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow’s emotional ballad speaks about two people who part ways only to realize that they may find their way back to each other somewhere down the road. It’s a song about the hope of what could still be.

12. “One That Got Away” – Jake Owen

Jake Owen’s “One That Got Away” is a nostalgic look back at a lost love. The song paints a picture of a summer fling that had the potential to be so much more, making it a perfect anthem for what could have been.

13. “If I Could Turn Back Time” – Cher

Cher’s power ballad is a regretful reflection on a relationship that ended due to mistakes made. It’s an emotional song about wishing to turn back time and rectify what could have been.

14. “Missed” – Ella Henderson

Ella Henderson’s touching song is about the regret and sadness that comes from missing out on love. It’s a beautiful ballad about what could have been if only chances were taken.

15. “A Bad Dream” – Keane

In this haunting song, Keane uses the metaphor of a nightmare to express the fear and sadness that come with a potential loss. It’s a powerful track about facing the painful reality of what could have been.

16. “Both Sides Now” – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell’s iconic song reflects on the illusions of life from both sides – dreams and reality. It’s a profound exploration of the complexity of life and the paths that could have been taken.

17. “One Man Can Change The World” – Big Sean ft. Kanye West & John Legend

In this emotional rap song, Big Sean reflects on every individual’s potential to change the world. It’s a poignant reminder of what could be achieved with belief and determination.


18. “The Road Not Taken” – Bruce Hornsby

Inspired by the famous Robert Frost poem, Bruce Hornsby’s song reflects on the choices we make in life and the path not taken. It’s a deep dive into the world of what could have been.


19. “Yesterday” – The Beatles

The Beatles’ classic song ‘Yesterday’ is a nostalgic look back at times gone by and the longing for what could have been. Its timeless lyrics resonate with anyone who has experienced regret over past decisions.


20. “What Might Have Been” – Little Texas

This country hit by Little Texas is a wistful look back at lost love and the possibility of what might have been. It’s a song that captures the universal experience of regret and longing for a different outcome.


21. “The Man That Got Away” – Judy Garland

This classic tune, performed by Judy Garland in the film “A Star Is Born,” is a poignant reflection on lost love. Garland’s powerful delivery captures the pain and longing of reflecting on a relationship that held great potential but ultimately never was.


22. “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” – The Script

“The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” by The Script tells the story of a man who’s still holding on to what could have been, even when it seems impossible. His unwavering hope is a testament to the power of love and longing.


23. “I Almost Do” – Taylor Swift

In this heartfelt song from her “Red” album, Taylor Swift explores the struggle of wanting to reach out to an old flame but holding back. It perfectly captures the internal conflict of wanting to revisit what could have been and yet understanding why it can’t.


24. “Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd’s classic “Wish You Were Here” is a poignant reflection on missed opportunities and lost relationships. The song’s deeply introspective lyrics make it a timeless anthem for those contemplating what could have been.


25. “Not Over You” – Gavin DeGraw

In “Not Over You,” Gavin DeGraw sings about his struggle to move on after a breakup, showing his regret and yearning for the relationship that could have been. The song’s emotional depth resonates with anyone who has experienced a similar situation.


26. “Thinking of You” – Kesha

Kesha’s “Thinking of You” is a song about a past relationship, where she reflects on what could have been if things had turned out differently. The song’s catchy rhythm and raw lyrics make it a compelling listen for anyone reflecting on past relationships.


27. “Never Had It So Good” – Mary Chapin Carpenter

“Never Had It So Good” by Mary Chapin Carpenter is a touching song about yearning for a past love and the life that could have been shared together. Her heartfelt vocals and the song’s melancholic melody beautifully express this sense of longing.


28. “Somebody That I Used To Know” – Gotye ft. Kimbra

Gotye’s global hit, “Somebody That I Used To Know,” tells the story of a failed relationship from both perspectives. The song’s emotionally charged lyrics and unique sound make it a relatable song about what could have been.


29. “Almost Lover” – A Fine Frenzy

A Fine Frenzy’s “Almost Lover” is a haunting song about a love that almost was but never quite materialized. The poignant lyrics and delicate piano melody make it a stirring reflection on potential love lost.


30. “If I Never See Your Face Again” – Maroon 5

In this song, Maroon 5 explores the complicated emotions that come with the end of a relationship, focusing on the uncertainty of what could have been. Its catchy, upbeat melody contrasts with its melancholic lyrics, making it a fascinating exploration of lost possibilities.


Summary: Songs about What Could Have Been

Exploring the “what could have been” through music is a cathartic experience. These 30 songs about almost relations capture the essence of this feeling, providing comfort and understanding to listeners who may be going through the same experience. 

While every song is unique in its melody and style, they all share the common thread of reflecting on past relationships and the longing for what could have been. 

Whether you’re reminiscing about a past love or simply enjoying the poignant storytelling in these songs, this playlist offers a diverse selection of music that resonates with this universal emotion.


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Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
As Visionary and Chief Editor of 122BPM, Thomas is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of music pioneers. With a degree in Music and 10 years industry experience, Thomas is now shaping 122BPM as the central hub for music and audio education.
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