15 Songs About Fixing Relationships

Put these hits about fixing your relationship at the top of your queue.


In the summer where couples are breaking up left to right, the idea of keeping one's relationship seems implausible. With the endless bickering, never being on the same page, and constant dissatisfaction, it is only natural for couples to want to call it quits. Though, just because it's natural, doesn't mean it's necessary. Sometimes the best thing for a rocky relationship is to take a step back and decide what you want and need. This could be something as simple as acquiring your partner's attention ("Focus"), space and time to return to yourself ("Distance"), or just a time out from yet another fight ("Don't Wanna Fight").

Regardless of what it is, it is important to attempt to fix one's relationship before throwing the whole thing away. In a time where things are so easily picked up and thrown back down, fighting for your relationship, no matter how frustrating, might just be your solution. At the end of the day, if it doesn't work out, you'll know you at least gave it your all. With break-up songs leading in the summer hits, turn off the radio, and put these hits about fixing your relationship at the top of your queue.

1. "Need U Bad" - Jazmine Sullivan

"Need U Bad" by R&B sensation Jazmine Sullivan perfectly represents the relentless, desperate passion one exudes when attempting to save their relationship. Over a Carribean bounce, and entranced by a harmonious flow, Sullivan calmly begs for her lover. She is begging for him to let her back in, to regain his trust. Extremely self-aware, she apologizes for her shortcomings. Although, it's clear that she has some groveling to do. Eventually, the juxtaposition of the calm island sway combined with the anxious drums, bleeds into an emotion-filled R&B groove. It's good. Making-an-ugly-face-and-shaking-your-head kind of good. So good, that it's the perfect song to fully explain how heart-wrenching and critical fixing a relationship can be.

2. "Ordinary People" - John Legend

Contrary to those who preach: relationships are hard. Learning to be with another person is hard. They don't think the way you do. They don't act the way you do, and they certainly don't react the way you do. Therefore, it's hard. Despite learning the way they speak, argue, or react, everyone manages to go back default sooner or later, and arguments are bound to happen. In "Ordinary People," John Legend knows exactly this. In this piano ballad, Legend explains that he is in love with this woman. Not cute, infatuated love, but real, honest to God—hand to the Bible kind of love. And in being in love, he is willing to take a step back and consider fixing their relationship. Maybe things aren't working out because they're putting too much pressure on themselves, and, in turn, one another. Instead, they should consider the notion that they are just ordinary people.

3. "Don't Wanna Fight" - Alabama Shakes

"Don't Wanna Fight" shows how truly frustrating fixing a relationship can be. Beginning at the 40-second mark, at what could only be interpreted as a frustrated screech, Brittany Howard perfectly depicts the moment where you realize you love your partner, but you don't quite like them. In moments like this, it's best to step back, acknowledge what has been said, and take a break. Sometimes it is crucial to just let a fight die. Especially when you realize that what you're fighting for, isn't something worth fighting about at all. There is a clear difference between fighting for a relationship and fighting pointlessly for your pride. When this is discovered, Alabama Shakes serves as a reminder to give up the battle for the sake of winning the war.

4. "We Belong Together" - Mariah Carey

I'm sure that I don't have to explain why "We Belong Together" makes for a great song about fixing a relationship. Although, in case I do, here it goes: Mariah Carey. This chef's kiss of a song, doubles as a ballad and a bop. The moment the piano riffs and Mariah harmonizes, it's clear she is out for blood. And boy, how easy it was to fall into her trap. With enticing vocals, layered harmonies, and a moment to scream, it's hard not to. "We Belong Together" is the final call. The moment where everything is laid out on the line. Where you try to stop the arguments, the coldness, or whatever it is that's making your relationship rocky. Instead, you work out your problems because the idea of the two you not being together is ridiculous. After all, returning to one another is inevitable.

5. "Distance" - Emily King

"One room just ain't enough when there's two folks trying to get along." A truer statement has never been said. "Distance" by Emily King shows that, sometimes, the best way to fix a relationship is to give one another space.

Not the type of space in the sense of "taking a break." But more in the sense of maybe you should spend a day apart returning to yourself. In relationships, it easy to get lost in being someone's else partner. Being stuck in just that one role, when you're a multitude of others, can be irritating and result in unnecessary arguments. Therefore, spend a day or two apart. Take time to check in with yourself and what you want. Then, if you must return back to your argument when you're both clear of mind.

6. "Let's Stay Together" - Al Green

Why break up when you can just stay together? In "Let's Stay Together," Al Green believes that if you love someone you should work with them whether your relationship is at the highest high, or lowest low. Mainly about compromising, "Let's Stay Together" talks about what happens when one person is willing to compromise what they want for what their partner needs. Sometimes, it is OK to give a little, especially when what you're fighting for doesn't compare to what you could lose. To fix a relationship--as long as you're not playing martyr for your partner--consider if what they're asking for is rational and plausible.

7. "Slipping" - Eryn Allen Kane

In the impassioned ballad, "Slipping," Eryn Allen Kane sings about the hardships of solely fixing a relationship. Unlike some of the ballads before her, Kane doesn't need a chance to step back and view her relationship. Instead, she sees things for what they are: her partner is unhappy. Knowing this, she makes it her mission to help them find happiness. Though, in doing so, she loses her own when she realizes her partner doesn't care for her efforts. There is an enchantment in being seen. Though she sees her love, she becomes bitter knowing that he doesn't see her. In the end, she challenges him. They could either work it out, or continue to slip away. They still have time to win, but he is going to have to be willing to step up.

8. "Passionfruit" - Drake

This song is a coin toss. On one hand, it's clear that Drake is realizing that his relationship might've come to an end and wants to fight for it. On the other hand, he understands why his lover might choose to leave. Regardless, in this R&B, pop, dancehall tune, Drake attempts to fix his relationship. Having a long-distance relationship is stressful. Not only are you separated from the person you care most about, but that separation can also bring about insecurities.

In "Passionfruit," this is no different. Drake is constantly away and the woman he has left behind has had enough. This eventually puts them at an odds, where Drake is left to explain that he is still wanting this relationship. Although, he understands why his romantic interest might think differently because he is not around to prove it. By the end of the song, he is left fighting for the relationship, but whether his partner wants to remain is up to her.

9. "Focus" - H.E.R.

Giving your partner attention is important. Despite our hectic lives and busy schedules, the need to ensure connection with your partner should always come first. When connection and attention are often ignored, problems in the relationship can easily occur. In H.E.R.'s "Focus," politely demands attention of her partner. Instead of being focused on the games, phones, and other miscellaneous things, she asks that he just focus on her. This song shows many ways a relationship can be fixed. The most important way being communication. Unlike other songs, she isn't beating around the bush, she isn't alluding to what she wants. Instead, H.E.R. is very clear about what she needs to save this relationship, and that's her partner's unrelenting focus.

10. "Lost In Translation" - Johnnyswim

Listening to "Lost in Translation" by Johnnyswim is like listening to the aftermath of a huge, heated argument. Stopping in the middle of their argument, or immediately after one has ended, Abner takes things into perspective. Realizing that he might have taken things too far, he wants to know what can be done to salvage their relationship and the guilt he feels. He no longer cares why they are arguing, he just wants to return back to how things were. Meanwhile, Amanda agrees. She acknowledges that they are missing something, so instead of choosing to fight or figure it out that night, she wants them to enjoy one another's company like they did in the past. Fighting has gotten them nowhere and they are aware that despite wanting the same thing, they keep colliding. So, instead of trying to end the argument, maybe the best thing would be to leave it where it is.

11. "He Won't Go" - Adele

At times, fixing a relationship often requires silencing the people closest to you. Not that they're not right in what they're saying. They just aren't as informed as you. They know only what you've told them and are responding with your best interest in mind. You and your partner on the other hand know what you've gone through and what has brought you in. This can be said for "He Won't Go." In this R&B pop song, Adele sings about wanting to try for her relationship because her past cannot let her easily leave it behind. The same can be said for her partner. Therefore, they are going to try to make the relationship work because they have something worth fighting for. As long as he is willing to stay, she is, too.

12. "Mercy" - Jacob Banks

This type of relationship in need of fixing is far from romantic. Nevertheless, it could be interpreted as such. "Mercy" by Jacob Banks talks about the ostracism African-American experience in the United States. Tired of being treated like a "second-class citizen," Banks demands "a little mercy" be given to himself and his community. After sacrificing and playing along with the majority, he hopes to be treated like someone who has hopes and aspirations of his own. This makes the perfect song for fixing a relationship, because it calmly takes things into perspective. When we're in a rough place, we spend most of our time victimizing ourselves and wondering why we're being treated badly. Nonetheless, when the situation is calmly addressed, there is an opportunity to acknowledge and validate the imbalance someone might be experiencing in a relationship. This can, of course, lead to a road of rectification.

13. "Loved By You" - Kirby

When you've been a relationship for too long, it is easy to take advantage of what you have. Whether you're used to the affection, care, love, kindness, or whatever it is your partner gives to you, it would be wise to speak up and openly appreciate the love given. Otherwise, you won't know what you had until it's too late. Kirby's soulful, heartfelt ballad, "Loved By You" is the final chance to acquire the love she always wanted. Hoping to amend her previous relationship, Kirby openly expresses her desire to love and be loved. She knows that this might be the last chance that she is given to experience true, all-encompassing, passionate love and she wants to work on doing so with the one she admires.

14. "Piano Joint (This Kind of Love)" - Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka has been beaten and bruised by love. This time, he won't let it happen, again. "Piano Joint (This Kind of Love)" focuses his relationship on the right type of love. Kiwanuka tells his partner that he is tired of fighting and hopes that in choosing to lose this battle, he might actually win in the end. Giving up in hopes of fixing his relationship, he tells his love that this kind of love is something that he has never experienced. Due to this, he knows that this has the potential to make him happy. So, he chooses to put their grievances aside and gives himself the opportunity to enjoy "this [new] kind of love" that has liberated him.

15. "Mad" - Ne-Yo

According to studies, going to bed while angry can create long-term damage in relationships. When one goes to bed angry, one's brain places that experience into sections that hold long-term memories, while asleep. Which ultimately results in the argument holding a lasting impression and intensified anger on the matter. Therefore, it's best to refrain from going to bed mad and/or find a comprisable stopping point. Ne-Yo's hit single "Mad" says just this. Knowing that possibly going to bed mad will only ruin his relationship, Ne-Yo asks his girlfriend what they're fighting for. When they realize that they can't recall why they're arguing or why they're mad in the first place, Ne-Yo asks for the argument to end. He doesn't want to go to bed mad at her or vice-versa, so it's best to just settle things.

Featured image by Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
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