21 Sad Christmas Songs for When You’re Feeling the Holiday Blues

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We've compiled a list of sad Christmas songs for when you're not in a holly jolly mood.

While the holidays can be a holly jolly time, they can also bring up feelings of grief, loss or sorrow. There are plenty of joyful Christmas tracks to listen to when you’re feeling upbeat and joyful, but what about sad Christmas songs for moments when you have the holiday blues?

We’ve rounded up 21 of our favorite sad Christmas songs. Whether you’re feeling emotional this holiday season or simply want to switch it up from the upbeat tunes that dominate the radio, here are some of the best sad Christmas songs to play.

1.”Last Christmas” by Wham!: Perhaps the most beloved sad Christmas song is “Last Christmas.” On the track, the singer laments giving his heart to the wrong person last year—and hopes that this year, they choose wiser.

2. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love: If you’re missing someone this holiday season, we’ve got a classic holiday song for you. Despite the upbeat vibe of this tune, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” details the singer reminiscing a person of the past and all the fun they had last Christmas.

3. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Bing Crosby: Talk about another emotional Christmas classic! “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” shares the story of someone who can’t make it home for Christmas except for in their dreams.

4. ‘”Tis The Damn Season” by Taylor Swift: This song from Taylor Swift’s popular 2020 release Evermore describes a connection the narrator has with someone from her hometown. But, they can only be together around the holidays.

5. “Every Holiday” by Mt. Joy: Despite the band’s upbeat name, Mt. Joy’s gutting Christmas song tells of the pressure and sadness that sometimes accompany the holiday season.

6. “Lonely This Christmas” by Mud: If you’ve ever felt lonely for the holidays, this song is a must-listen-to. “Lonely This Christmas” by Mud beautifully describes the feelings of sadness that many experience while being alone for the holiday season.

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7. “Christmas Makes Me Cry” by Kacey Musgraves: Country songstress Kacey Musgraves describes the reasons Christmas makes her emotional on this intimate track. Whether you’re missing a loved one or are nostalgic for holidays past, this song will resonate with you.

8. “If We Make It Through December” by Phoebe Bridgers: This song is equal parts optimistic and heart-wrenching. Bridgers’ delicate vocals share sentiments of hope while describing the harshness of winter.

9. “Nothing Breaks Your Heart Like Christmas” by Matt Maltese: If you’re missing someone this Christmas, you’ll relate to this song. The singer describes how the holidays make you reflect on what you’ve had and lost.

10. “For Those Who Can’t Be Here” by Tom Walker: The grief of losing a loved one never goes away completely, but feelings of loss often feel stronger during the holiday season. Tom Walker shares how during the holidays, the people who are no longer with us are heavy on our minds in this soulful song.

11. “Christmas Song” by Phoebe Bridgers: Just call Phoebe Bridgers the queen of emotional holiday songs. In “Christmas Song,” she describes feelings of isolation around the holidays despite not being physically alone.

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12. “Christmases When You Were Mine” by Taylor Swift: This throwback track from Taylor Swift’s 2007 holiday collection is just as heart-wrenching as it was when we heard it years ago. This song describes how difficult it is to still love someone you can’t be with this holiday season.

13. “I Don’t Want You To Come Home For Christmas” by Vérité: We love how earnest this acoustic track is. The singer describes how she doesn’t want someone who doesn’t really care about her to return just for the holidays, as she’s been fine on her own this year.

14. “Same Old Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg: On “Same Old Lang Syne,” Fogelberg recounts a Christmas-eve grocery store encounter with a past love interest. We love the way Fogelberg samples “Auld Lang Syne,” a popular New Years’ Eve track, on this song, too.

15. “Christmas Lights” by Coldplay: This devastating Christmas song by Coldplay describes the narrator losing someone they love due to a fight, and how it doesn’t feel like the holidays without that person.

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16. “HERE (For Christmas)” by Lukas Graham: If you miss the same person every year around this time, Lukas Graham describes how he relates with this song.

17. “When Christmas Comes to Town” by Matthew Hall and Meagan Moore: If you’ve watched The Polar Express, this song will sound familiar to you. The song’s peaceful beat combined with sad lyrics that describe a child who has never experienced the magic of Santa makes for a sad Christmas song.

18. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon: One of the best-known Christmas songs is “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by the Beatles’ John Lennon. It lands itself on our list of sad Christmas songs because even though the war is over, it doesn’t erase the devastation the war left.

19. “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson: This is another song about missing someone during the holiday season. (Do you notice a theme?) The two singers’ voices pair beautifully.

20. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Vince Vance & The Valiants: If you find yourself just wishing for one person to be with you this holiday, you’ll love this moving tune.

21. “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley: Rounding out our list of sad Christmas songs is one of our favorites: “Blue Christmas” by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself. In the song, Presley describes the blue feelings he has during the holidays without the person he loves.

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