Lovelorn Brits have voted for the top break-up songs – with Amy Winehouse's “Back To Black” taking the top spot.

The 2006 track was followed by the classic Whitney Houston ballad, “I Will Always Love You”, and “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac.

Adele's chart-topping single “Someone Like You”, and Sinead O'Connor's “Nothing Compares 2 U”, also appeared among the top 10 tracks the nation loves to listen to after the end of a relationship.

And listening to music was revealed to be the preferred coping mechanism for adults who have been in a long-term relationship and gone through at least one break-up.

But while almost half, of 2,000 adults polled, say they listen to sad music when heartbroken, not all break-up songs are melancholic.

More than four in ten opt for empowering and happy music, such as Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” – which also featured in the list, alongside Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor”.

The playlist was curated by eharmony, whose relationship expert Rachael Lloyd has unveiled the seven stages of a breakup – including disillusionment, doubt, denial, anger, relapse, acceptance, and happiness – and shared her tips about how to approach them in a healthy way.

She said: “Going through a breakup brings out all sorts of emotions all at once, which can be overwhelming.

“Other times we might go on autopilot and block out difficult feelings. Listening to music can help unlock them and allow us to grieve our losses properly.”

It also emerged a third of heartbroken women focus on self-care practices to get them through a breakup, while only a quarter of men do the same.

Letting loose on a big night out also appeared to be equally popular for 24% of singles.

Overall, men are least likely use any coping mechanisms (24%) – such as eating comfort food, watching sad rom-coms, or exercising – to recover from a broken heart, compared to women (19%).

Looking at their breakup history, the study revealed Brits have gone through an average of four breakups in their life, with the first one occurring at the age of 20.

And most of us believe five months is the right amount of time to wait before getting into a new relationship.

Meanwhile, four in ten adults say the first breakup is the hardest – although they concede coming out of a long-term relationship never seems to get easier.

Over half have been dumped in person, a third got dumped over text, and a quarter over the phone – while just under a fifth have simply been ghosted.

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Rachael Lloyd added: “Going through a breakup is psychologically similar to grief, because you are losing someone who has played a big part in your life for a while.

“So, it’s not surprising we feel things like denial and anger before being able to move on.

“Unlike grief though, we can “relapse” with that person, which leads to all sorts of self-sabotaging habits. You have to learn to be kind to yourself while pushing through.”

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found four in ten adults turn to their friends for relationship advice, while over a quarter go to their family.

But a third of men do not seek anyone’s help, compared to just over a quarter of women.

Interestingly, different generations also approach breakups from varied angles.

Younger people (aged 25 to 34) admit they will go to a relationship therapist or counsellor to work through a breakup – which mirrors positive cultural shifts around mental health.

Whereas more conservative 55-to-64 year-olds are far more likely to lean on their friends, and only a fraction (5%) would be prepared to seek professional help.

But it turns out friends may not be our best counsellors either, as almost one in four received bad relationship advice from someone they know – increasing to more than four in ten in those aged 18 to 24.

Clichés like “there are plenty more fish in the sea” tend to do the rounds for the broken-hearted.

More than a third also admit their own experience has influenced the dating tips they’ve given someone else.

Rachael Lloyd said: “Most of us have a fairly subjective view when it comes to breakup advice, which is coloured by our own experiences with heartbreak. This isn’t always helpful, as each experience is unique.

“While we can help our friends recognise factors such as red flags, it’s also critical we don’t project ourselves into their story.

“If a loved one comes to you to discuss their relationship, resist the temptation to overshare about your own romantic traumas.”

It also emerged a bad breakup has prevented more than a quarter of respondents from getting into another relationship – affecting women (three in ten) more than men (two in ten).

Rachael Lloyd added: “A breakup should not be seen as just the conversation you have with your partner to end things.

“It is the entire period during which your body and mind process the pain before you can move on with your life.

“Accepting your emotions and reflecting on them allows you to grow as a person and go into the next relationship with perspective, rather than negative bias.”

TOP 30 BREAKUP SONGS:

  1. Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
  2. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
  3. Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
  4. Adele – Someone Like You
  5. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
  6. Sinead O'Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U
  7. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
  8. ABBA – Knowing Me, Knowing You
  9. Dionne Warwick – Walk On By
  10. No Doubt – Don't Speak
  11. Coldplay – Fix You
  12. Beyoncé – Irreplaceable
  13. Destiny's Child – Survivor
  14. Al Green – How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?
  15. Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next
  16. Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone
  17. Sam Smith – Stay With Me
  18. Beyoncé – Single Ladies
  19. James Blunt – Goodbye My Lover
  20. Natalie Imbruglia – Torn
  21. Bill Withers – Ain't No Sunshine
  22. Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
  23. Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
  24. Roy Orbinson – Crying
  25. Toni Braxton – Unbreak My Heart
  26. Boyz II Men – End Of The Road
  27. Little Mix – Shout Out To My Ex
  28. Carole King – It's Too Late
  29. John Legend – Used To Love You
  30. Robyn – Dancing On My Own

The 7 stages of a breakup, and how to approach them positively, according to relationship expert Rachael Lloyd:

  1. DISILLUSIONMENT. The relationship is dying, love is gone, and you both know it – yet you still observe a few golden moments which make you hold on to it. Nostalgia, mutual financial commitments, maybe even children – there are plenty of justifications to stay in an unhealthy relationship. That’s why it’s important to embrace the clarity that this sense of disillusionment has brought to your and your partner’s life. Build up the courage to admit that whatever happens next, you know it’s for the best.
  2. DOUBT. Endings are so painful! What if you never get over it? This is partly because when we experience a breakup, we can go through the same kind of physical and mental withdrawal experienced by addicts quitting alcohol or drugs. The brain’s reward system crashes as our happiness hormones (serotonin and dopamine) head south. We can’t sleep or eat. However, this stage is temporary. Don’t let anything make you stay stuck in a relationship that no longer serves you. Sometimes, things aren’t meant to be, and it’s worth remembering that fortune favours the brave.
  3. DENIAL. The decision has been made, it’s over. You just can’t get your head around it. You feel numb and shocked. Now is not the time to keep everything to yourself. Acceptance often comes from opening up to trusted family and friends. You cannot overcome something you’re shying away from. Keep talking to your loved ones to process your emotions – they will be on hand to help you make sense of your feelings.
  4. ANGER AND GRIEF. It finally hits home, and you feel like playing the blame game. “If only, what if, why?”. Accepting the anger is part of healing, along with waves of grief which have you sobbing over your iPhone. Let these powerful emotions come up and find a way to transform the negative energy into positive adrenaline. Find coping resources and positive interactions such as going to the gym, listening to cathartic songs, meditating, and seeing friends.
  5. RELAPSE. You’ve unblocked them and arranged to meet up. Don’t sabotage your progress and cave into sadness, sexual cravings, guilt or nostalgia. Detach yourself again and remember all the goals you’ve worked towards to. Minimise contact with your ex to stay on track.
  6. ACCEPTANCE. At last, the clouds clear. They’re no longer on your mind the moment you wake up. You can forgive any romantic injuries and start to forget. You begin to smile again. Life is looking up, and you might even find a new flirtation. You realise there is a whole world out there waiting for you. Test the waters, get out of your comfort zone.
  7. HAPPINESS. You feel yourself again. The cravings or pain associated with your ex are barely discernible. You have taken up new hobbies, moved on, and have grown from your experience. You’re able to reflect positively on the outcome and go into any new relationships with clear perspective. Now you should know yourself better, and be ready to try dating again and find a compatible match.

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