12 Songs About Being Sorry – Apology and Regretful Songs

Songs About Being Sorry

We’ve all been there–that moment when you know you did something wrong, and all you want to do is curl up in a ball and cry the guilt away. But sometimes, what you really need is to listen to some good ol’ cathartic music to help you push past your sadness. So in this article, I’m going to provide you with what I feel are some really great songs about being sorry!  

Songs About Being Sorry for Hurting Someone

Let’s begin with a Halsey song aptly titled “Sorry.”

Sorry by Halsey (2017)

From her lovely 2017 album “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom,” Halsey’s Sorry is the perfect example of a “sorry song.” After all, it’s even in the title! 

Contrasting with her usual synth pop sound, this track is characterized by simple repeated piano chords. It pretty much sticks with the piano the entire time without adding much else. Because of this, it’s definitely more on the ballad side. The song is just so melodic and slow, and it really allows Halsey’s emotive voice to shine through. The perfect vibe for a song about being sorry. 

In the lyrics, Halsey apologizes to her past lover, who she pushed away due to her insecurities. She also talks about being sorry to any of her future lovers, because she can’t believe that anyone would ever be able to truly love her. 

So I’m sorry to my unknown lover
Sorry that I can’t believe
That anybody ever really
Starts to fall in love with me

This song is just so sad, but definitely worth listening to.

Forgive Me by Leona Lewis (2008)

Leona Lewis has a song abut being sorry called "Forgive Me."

On the surface, you could easily categorize this great Leona Lewis track as a song about cheating. And sure, I guess it does fall pretty neatly into that category on a technical level. But, sort of like TLC’s Creep, while this song is indeed about “stepping out” on your lover, there’s a lot more bubbling beneath the surface here.

What I like about this track is that Leona makes it clear that she’s in a bad relationship–or at least highly unsatisfying relationship. Her various needs aren’t being met, and on top of that, the man she loves is actually cheating on her.

But there’s light at the end of the tunnel here. Leona has actually found a new man, one who will treat her right and makes her feel happy.

Perhaps because she’s still stuck in an unfulfilling relationship with her current boyfriend, you’d think that this would cause Lewis to be smug about her new secret lover. You’d think this might cause her to want to spike the football in her boyfriend’s face, and tell him how he’s about to lose a really good thing.

But that’s not the case with “Forgive Me.” Because here, despite Leona technically cheating on her man (who, to be fair, is cheating on her), she’s still remorseful. She still hopes that her boyfriend will forgive her for stepping out.

But, as Leona makes it clear in this song, she “needs a man.” So all she can do is hope, in the end, that he’ll understand.

Forgive me, baby
But I gotta take a chance tonight
So I’m doin’ me, myself
And I can’t wait no more
Sittin’ all alone
Man, I really hope, hope you forgive me

Heartbreaker by will.i.am ft. Cheryl Cole (2007)

This song starts off weird and sort of trippy. While the song is admittedly heavy on the autotune, it’s catchy and fun to listen to! Cheryl Cole’s voice is what really makes this song work, as it complements will.i.am’s sound really well, and brings an extra layer to the music.

The lyrics are about being sorry for breaking someone’s heart in a relationship. 

I’m so so so sorry, I’m so so so sorry
I didn’t mean to break your heart (I didn’t mean to break your heart)

In the chorus he repeats the phrase I’m a heartbreaker. It really drives home the point because it sounds like he’s beating himself up for the things that he’s done. You really do feel like he’s sorry for everything. A great apology song! 

Forgive Me by Evanescence (1999)

Forgive Me is a brutally honest song that actually wasn’t supposed to be released due to it being so personal. But it ended up being released anyway in the band’s EP “Sound Asleep.” 

Of course, Amy Lee’s voice is beautiful as always; her vocal skills are impressive, and her voice is as melodic as ever. The track uses piano, guitar, and drums. Pretty simple, but it works. The recording of the song sounds sort of raw and unedited, but I think that’s part of the charm. It makes it feel that much more honest and powerful. 

In the lyrics, Amy Lee apologizes for hurting someone

Can you forgive me again?
I don’t know what I said
But I didn’t mean to hurt you

The words she sings are just so full of anguish and you can really feel just how sorry she is about the whole situation.

I heard the words come out
I felt that I would die
It hurt so much to hurt you

Definitely worth checking out even if Evanescence isn’t usually your style. 

All Apologies by Nirvana (1993)

This is an iconic one—a real classic Nirvana song. Even with just the simple guitar, it’s catchy from the very start. It’s got that sort of lazy, sarcastic feel to it that makes Nirvana songs so unique. 

In the lyrics, it seems like Kurt Cobain is sarcastically apologizing for things that he believes he shouldn’t have to be sorry for. Definitely a different vibe from the rest of the songs on this list! It’s the kind of song you’ll want to listen to if you’re feeling sorry, but not that sorry. 

You really get the feeling that he isn’t really sorry at all, and he’s kind of just saying things that he knows will offend people. 

What else should I be? All apologies
What else could I say? Everyone is gay
What else could I write? I don’t have the right
What else should I be? All apologies

The ending of the song is really cool with the trippy ringing sound that eventually fades out! A real masterpiece.

Sorry by The Rose (2017)

This song is dominated by the powerful voice of lead singer Woosung from the very start.  “Sorryis one of The Rose’s more popular songs—and for good reason! It’s super catchy and bound to get stuck in your head from the very first time you listen to it!

While it’s definitely a catchier song, once you look at the lyrics, it’s also pretty sad. In the lyrics, he apologizes for something that he regrets, but that he knows he can’t undo. 

I feel tired tonight, unforgettable words
I can’t turn back, sorry I’m selfish, I’m sorry
The colored city lights, the cold voice
I can’t turn back, sorry I’m selfish, I’m sorry

This is definitely a sentiment that a lot of people can relate to—knowing you’ve done someone wrong, and wishing you could go back in time to change it. 

I’m Sorry by CNBLUE (2013)

This song is pretty cool because it starts with a phone call, where a girl apologizes and calls it quits on their relationship. The music starts immediately after, with the lyrics discussing the girl from the phone call. They call her out for being insincere about her apology. 

Your last words, those cold words were
I’m sorry (I’m sorry) I’m sorry (I’m sorry)
You said you loved me, you said I’m the only one for you
Oh but they were all lies

The song itself really has that classic 2010s pop music vibe. It’s heavy on the beat, but it’s really, really catchy! You’ll find yourself dancing along even though it’s a pretty sad song. 

This song is different from some of the others on the list because the singers aren’t the ones that are sorry—it’s the ex-girlfriend who was (in the most insincere fashion possible) sorry for ending the relationship.

A different take, but interesting nonetheless.

Back to December by Taylor Swift (2010)

This is popular Taylor Swift song loved by fans and casual listeners alike. It’s a truly heartbreaking song that really highlights Taylor’s sweet, melodic voice. 

What makes it hit so hard is the honesty behind the apology: she apologizes knowing that she was the one who was entirely at fault, and knowing that she can never have that person back again. 

So, this is me swallowing my pride
Standing in front of you saying, “I’m sorry for that night”
And I’d go back to December all the time

This song is truly a masterpiece. It makes you feel so much, but it’s also catchy and lovely to listen to!

In Between by Linkin Park (2007)

I actually listened to this one all the time growing up. In Between is a song that I think many people can relate to. In the song, the singer apologizes for being disingenuous and getting caught up in the self he was pretending to be. 

Let me apologize to begin with
Let me apologize for what I’m about to say
But trying to be someone else was harder than it seemed
And somehow, I got caught up in between
Between my pride and my promise

The track is simple, with most of it being a few simple notes of a chord progression with drums added later. The simplicity sort of remains throughout the whole song, but it really adds to the empty feeling of the song. The singer’s voice sounds borderline dejected. He’s not only sorry, but seemingly ashamed.

Bad Boy by BIGBANG (2012)

Bad Boy is a song you won’t want to miss out on! Released in 2012, it was definitely ahead of its time – it doesn’t sound like an early 2010s song at all. The piano and classic BIGBANG rap sound mixes quite really well together to create the iconic song that is Bad Boy.

In the song, the singers apologize for being “bad boys.” 

Me, whom you love, sorry, I’m a bad boy
Yes, just leave me, goodbye, you’re a good girl

They know that they are flawed, but they hope the girl will stay with them anyway. 

Baby, don’t leave me
I know you still love me
Why, yes, I’ll tell you the truth, I need you

It seems like it’s a combination of being a playful, sarcastic song, while also sounding like they’re genuinely apologizing for not being good enough. A catchy, interesting take on an apology song.

I’m Sorry by Flyleaf (2005)

Flyleaf’s I’m Sorry is another great one. It’s a little heavy on the rock, and does have some screaming in it, so it might not be for everyone. But don’t be so quick to dismiss it if that’s not usually your thing, Because here, lead singer Lacey Sturm’s powerful voice is really something to marvel at, especially in this song, which really showcases her vocal range.

The lyrics seemingly paint a dark picture about the terrible things a person can experience when they’re younger.  However, by the end of the song, there appears to be a healthier outlook on life—ending with the simple but powerful message: I’m done healing.

Apologize by OneRepublic (2006)

This is one that pretty much everyone knows! It’s been played on the radio time and time again—if you don’t already recognize the title, you’ll probably be able to remember it once you hear the chorus. 

It’s too late to apologize
It’s too late

I’m definitely not alone in thinking this song has been overplayed at this point. And for good reason, since it is such a catchy track. But that might make it easy to be dismissed as a great song about apologies. It’s really such an emotive piece, with a beautiful track that combines pop and classical instruments. 

It also has some really good, moving lyrics outside of the chorus. 

And you say sorry like the angel
Heaven let me think was you


Unfortunately, guilt is a big part of the human experience. It’s something that we all have to deal with in one way or another.  But, when you take some time out to listen to songs about being sorry, such as the ones I’ve outlined in this article, you begin to realize that there’s a much easier path towards redemption and moving forward.

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