Ah, the age-old quest for love – it has inspired countless tales, romantic gestures, and heartfelt tunes. There’s a certain magic in the way music can perfectly capture the longing and vulnerability of wanting to be truly loved.
In this article, we’ve wrapped up 16 of the most poignant songs that express this universal desire with unvarnished honesty and raw emotion.
So grab those headphones, prepare to be taken on a musical journey like no other, and discover the best songs about wanting to be loved.
1. “Someone To Watch Over Me” – Ella Fitzgerald (1950)
🎵 Song Name: Someone To Watch Over Me
🧑 Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
💿 Album: Ella Sings Gershwin
📅 Release Date: 1950
🕒 Song Duration: 3 minutes 17 seconds
Ella Fitzgerald’s enchanting rendition of “Someone To Watch Over Me” from the album Ella Sings Gershwin encapsulates the longing for love and protection. The lyrics convey the singer’s search for a special someone who, although not conventionally handsome, holds the key to her heart.
This timeless classic resonates with listeners, as it captures the universal desire to be loved and watched over by a person who genuinely cares for one’s well-being.
2. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” – Whitney Houston (1987)
🎵 Song Name: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)
🧑 Artist: Whitney Houston
💿 Album: Whitney
📅 Release Date: 1987
🕒 Song Duration: 4 minutes 51 seconds
Whitney Houston’s iconic hit, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” from her 1987 album Whitney, is a timeless anthem of love and desire. The song captures the universal longing for genuine connection and speaks to our innate need to be loved, making the track highly relatable.
With its catchy melody and infectious energy, Whitney’s mesmerizing vocals create an uplifting atmosphere that invites listeners to let loose and dance. Truly, a timeless classic!
3. “Dancin’ In Circles” – Lady Gaga (2016)
🎵 Song Name: Dancin’ In Circles
🧑 Artist: Lady Gaga
💿 Album: Joanne (Deluxe)
📅 Release Date: 2016
🕒 Song Duration: 3 minutes 27 seconds
“Dancin’ In Circles” from Lady Gaga’s Joanne (Deluxe) showcases the rollercoaster of emotions in wanting to be loved. The song illustrates resorting to mixed company to soothe the pain of loneliness with lines like “I lay around, touch myself to pass the time” and “come alive”.
Gaga then emphasizes self-satisfaction and self-empowerment through dancing, “Dancin’ in circles, feels good to be lonely”. Ultimately, the track provides comfort to listeners that they are not alone in wanting love.
4. “Nobody” – Mitski (2018)
🎵 Song Name: Nobody
🧑 Artist: Mitski
💿 Album: Be the Cowboy
📅 Release Date: 2018
🕒 Song Duration: 3 minutes 13 seconds
Mitski’s “Nobody” from the 2018 album Be the Cowboy is a raw expression of loneliness and the desire for love. Featuring lyrics like “I just want somebody near me” and “I just need someone to kiss”, the singer powerfully conveys the universal longing for connection and affection.
This deeply relatable anthem has struck a chord with listeners, making “Nobody” an unforgettable ode to aching for love in a seemingly unresponsive world.
5. “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” – Cher (2018)
🎵 Song Name: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
🧑 Artist: Cher
💿 Album: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
📅 Release Date: 2018
🕒 Song Duration: 4 minutes 11 seconds
Cher’s cover of “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” on her 2018 album Dancing Queen is an electrifying tune about wanting love and companionship. The lyrics paint a picture of loneliness, contrasting the glitz of movie stars to the protagonist’s gloomy life.
Cher’s powerful vocals convey the yearning for a partner to chase away the darkness. This catchy anthem resonates with listeners, reminding us all of the universal desire for love and connection in difficult times.
6. “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” – The Postal Service (2003)
🎵 Song Name: The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
🧑 Artist: The Postal Service
💿 Album: Give Up
📅 Release Date: 2003
🕒 Song Duration: 4 minutes 44 seconds
In “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” from the album Give Up, The Postal Service paints a vivid picture of isolation and unrequited love. The lyrics speak to the feeling of being an outsider in a relationship, with lines like “I am a visitor here; I am not permanent.” The song captures the emotions of longing for love and self-realization as the protagonist finally understands “Why I was the one worth leaving.” This 2003 release touched the hearts of many, solidifying its place as one of the best songs about wanting to be loved.
7. “Holocene” – Bon Iver (2011)
🎵 Song Name: Holocene
🧑 Artist: Bon Iver
💿 Album: Bon Iver
📅 Release Date: 2011
🕒 Song Duration: 5 minutes 37 seconds
Bon Iver’s “Holocene” from the 2011 album Bon Iver is a hauntingly beautiful ballad, taking listeners on an introspective journey. The lyrics showcase the fragility of the human spirit and the desire to be loved.
The line “I was not magnificent” demonstrates vulnerability and humility. “Jagged vacance, thick with ice” paints a vivid image of isolation and distance.
The emotional impact of “Holocene” has resonated with many, making it a standout song about love and self-discovery.
8. “Liability” – Lorde (2017)
🎵 Song Name: Liability
🧑 Artist: Lorde
💿 Album: Melodrama
📅 Release Date: 2017
🕒 Song Duration: 2 minutes 52 seconds
Lorde’s 2017 vulnerable ballad, “Liability,” from the album Melodrama, encapsulates the experience of feeling like a burden in relationships. With heartfelt lyrics, Lorde conveys the pain of being rejected for being too intense or “a little much.” The song resonates with listeners who have felt unlovable, emphasizing the need for self-love to counter feelings of inadequacy.
“Liability” has become an anthem for embracing one’s unique qualities and knowing that everyone deserves love.
9. “National Anthem” – Lana Del Rey (2012)
🎵 Song Name: National Anthem
🧑 Artist: Lana Del Rey
💿 Album: Born To Die – The Paradise Edition
📅 Release Date: 2012
🕒 Song Duration: 3 minutes 51 seconds
“National Anthem” from Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die – The Paradise Edition shines as a powerful representation of both materialism and a yearning for love. Lyrics like “Money is the anthem of success” and “Take me to the Hamptons” highlight the influence of wealth and glamour in modern relationships.
The song finds Lana Del Rey exploring the balance between genuine love and material desires resulting in a haunting melody that resonates with listeners who seek deeper connections in a superficial world.
10. “Somebody To Love” – Queen (2018)
🎵 Song Name: Somebody To Love
🧑 Artist: Queen
💿 Album: Bohemian Rhapsody (The Original Soundtrack)
📅 Release Date: 2018
🕒 Song Duration: 4 minutes 56 seconds
“Somebody To Love” by Queen from the album Bohemian Rhapsody (The Original Soundtrack) is a powerful anthem about the universal need for love. Freddie Mercury’s emotive vocals and the band’s intricate harmonies convey the desperation and longing for love.
Along with meaningful lyrics and a compelling melody, this song deeply resonates with listeners who can relate to the struggle of finding “somebody to love.”
11. “I Get Lonely” – Janet Jackson (1997)
🎵 Song Name: I Get Lonely
🧑 Artist: Janet Jackson
💿 Album: The Velvet Rope
📅 Release Date: 1997
🕒 Song Duration: 5 minutes 18 seconds
“I Get Lonely” from Janet Jackson’s 1997 album The Velvet Rope is a captivating and heartfelt ballad. It showcases Jackson’s vulnerability as she craves the love of a specific person, rather than just anyone.
Its lyrics center on the feeling of loneliness and the longing for a deeper emotional connection with a lover. By vividly describing the emotional turmoil, “I Get Lonely” resonates with listeners, vulnerably illustrating how deeply true love can impact us.
12. “Lonely Weekend” – Kacey Musgraves (2018)
🎵 Song Name: Lonely Weekend
🧑 Artist: Kacey Musgraves
💿 Album: Golden Hour
📅 Release Date: 2018
🕒 Song Duration: 3 minutes 47 seconds
In “Lonely Weekend” from Kacey Musgraves’ 2018 album Golden Hour, the lyrics depict the artist’s longing for meaningful connection amidst a world of superficial social activities. The song resonates with listeners who’ve experienced the fear of missing out while recognizing the importance of self-love and embracing solitude.
This meaningful tune showcases Kacey’s ability to tackle the universal theme of wanting to be loved with authenticity and a hint of optimism.
13. “Breakdown” – Mariah Carey Feat. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (1998)
🎵 Song Name: Breakdown
🧑 Artist: Mariah Carey
🧑 Featured Artist(s): Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
💿 Album: Breakdown EP
📅 Release Date: 1998
🕒 Song Duration: 4 minutes 57 seconds
Mariah Carey‘s soulful 1998 hit “Breakdown” from the Breakdown EP is a powerful collaboration with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. The lyrics convey a raw portrayal of heartbreak, as Mariah hides her pain behind a smile.
She captures listeners with her vulnerability and honesty, making “Breakdown” a standout anthem for anyone seeking love and strength in difficult times. This memorable tune remains an inspiring example of artistry and genuine emotion.
14. “Sad Beautiful Tragic” – Taylor Swift (2021)
🎵 Song Name: Sad Beautiful Tragic
🧑 Artist: Taylor Swift
💿 Album: Red (Taylor’s Version)
📅 Release Date: 2021
🕒 Song Duration: 4 minutes 45 seconds
“Sad Beautiful Tragic” from the album Red (Taylor’s Version) is a poignant exploration of a love that’s doomed yet mesmerizing. Taylor Swift’s heartfelt lyrics express regrets over lost love and the inevitability of heartbreak.
The song resonates with listeners who have experienced similar emotional whirlwinds, making it one of the best songs about wanting to be loved. Its introspective lines like “We had a beautiful magic love there, what a sad, beautiful, tragic love affair” perfectly capture this sentiment.
15. “Cherry” – Rina Sawayama (2018)
🎵 Song Name: Cherry
🧑 Artist: Rina Sawayama
💿 Album: Cherry
📅 Release Date: 2018
🕒 Song Duration: 3 minutes 25 seconds
“Cherry” by Rina Sawayama, from her 2018 album Cherry, captivates listeners with its sincerity and desire for love. Embodying the longing to be loved for who you truly are, the lyrics “even though I’m satisfied, I lead my life within a lie” evoke a sense of vulnerability and internal struggle.
Rina’s enchanting voice and genuine emotion make “Cherry” a standout track that speaks to the heart of anyone who’s ever craved genuine connection.
16. “Pool” – Paramore (2017)
🎵 Song Name: Pool
🧑 Artist: Paramore
💿 Album: After Laughter
📅 Release Date: 2017
🕒 Song Duration: 3 minutes 53 seconds
“Pool” from Paramore’s 2017 album After Laughter is an emotional rollercoaster about the desire for love and vulnerability. The lyrics describe diving back into a relationship despite the fear of getting hurt, suggesting a dive into shallow water can leave one “sinkin’.” Hayley Williams’ powerful vocals carry the song’s raw emotions, resonating with listeners and making “Pool” a standout track.
The song beautifully captures the universal longing to be loved and the bravery behind taking emotional risks.
Alexandra loves playing the piano and guitar. She has always been a music lover, but it wasn’t until she was in high school that she realized how much she loved to play. It allowed her to express herself without having to be verbally expressive, which is something she found very empowering.