The four best breakup albums of 2014

(Photo: courtesy of the artists)

It's never easy when a relationship ends.

We all react differently to the heartache, pain, and stress a breakup causes. Amicable or not, it takes some time to get over it and numerous musicians over the years have recorded albums that ruminate on love lost.

What do you listen to when you're going through a breakup? Has music helped you heal, seek revenge or find solace?

Over the years these are the albums I have clutched onto as a guide when things have gone south in a relationship:

  • Bob Dylan - "Blood On The Tracks"
  • Fleetwood Mac - "Rumours"
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - "The Boatman's Call"
  • Spiritualized - "Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space"
  • Bon Iver - "For Emma, Forever Ago"

Fast forward to 2014. This year seems to have produced a few landmark albums from artists who have experienced a breakup. Here are four of the very best:

photo: The Black Keys Turn Blue album cover

The Black Keys' ninth album serves as the duo's darkest release. It was written by Dan Auerbach during the same time he was going through a bitter divorce. Music helped him get through it.

Court documents show that Auerbach claimed his wife had tried to commit suicide in front of their young daughter as well as start their house on fire. As of mid-2014, he has temporary custody of his child and a fiercely dark record of emotional wreckage that documents this difficult time.

photo: Lykke Li I Never Learn album cover

Lonesome breakup ballads make up this third and final record of songstress Lykke Li's trilogy about a woman searching for love. Li wrote "I Never Learn" over a period of two and a half years when she fled her native Sweden to Los Angeles. Originally she didn't set out to write an album, she was just hoping a change of scenery would heal the biggest breakup of her life.

photo: Chet Faker Built on Glass album cover

Newcomer Nick Murphy aka Chet Faker debuted in 2012 with a cover of Blackstreet's "No Diggity." The Australian electro-producer and R&B crooner's rendition garnered a lot of attention, but at the same time his personal life began to crumble. He broke his foot skateboarding, he broke up with his live-in girlfriend, and then took a break geographically to get away and finish writing his breakthrough breakup record.

"Built On Glass" can be seen as a pre- and post-breakup release, with the first half about the tough times of the relationship and the second about overcoming them.

photo: Sondre Lerche album cover Please

"Please" is an album about divorce. Put bluntly via an interview with Wall Street Journal's music blog Speakeasy, Sondre Lerche calls his ninth record “about being out of place, watching your life fall apart, not living up to your partner’s or your own ideals.”

Less than two years ago the musician was scoring his model-turned-filmmaker wife's directorial debut and shortly thereafter he was writing about the demise of their eight year marriage. The first single "Bad Law" (currently our free Download of the Week until September 7) is an ode to divorce, and the full-length comes out on September 23.

Sound-off in the comments below about your go-to breakup album. Is it Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill" or Tori Amos' "Boys For Pele"? How about Marvin Gaye's "Here, My Dear" or "Tunnel of Love" by Bruce Springsteen? These are just a few of the many great breakup records that won't be forgotten.