Have you been trying to find the best songs about being used and taken advantage of? Being taken advantage of can happen in a friendship or relationship. Multiple tracks have discussed this very thing, and below you’ll find 25 songs that have taken on this heavy topic of feeling used!
1. Say My Name – Destiny’s Child
First up on our list of songs about being used is Say My Name, which was a hit for Destiny’s Child in 1999. The track is centered on a woman who thinks her boyfriend is cheating on her because he doesn’t say he loves her or says her name during phone conversations.
This song was a hit for the group, and it made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as number one on the Hot R&B and Hip-Hop Songs chart.
2. Haunted – Taylor Swift
Calling all Taylor Swift fans, Haunted is one of the songs she wrote about feeling used and taken advantage of, and it was released in 2010 on her third album Speak Now. She talked about how this track was about a love you have fading out and feeling like the person you’re with is using you to an extent. There is so much emotion in the orchestra, and she wanted to convey that emotion through the instruments and vocals.
3. How Do You Sleep? – Sam Smith
Calling anyone who has been cheated on or used as a rebound after a breakup, How Do You Sleep? was released by Sam Smith in 2019, and this song is all about feeling like he was being used by his ex-boyfriend.
The ex-boyfriend had cheated on him and left him while only using him as his rebound from the girlfriend he had broken up with. This track made it to 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and made it to nine on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart.
4. Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake had everyone singing along when he released Cry Me A River back in 2002 from his debut solo album Justified. It was rumored to have been about Britney Spears given the video featured a look-alike of the pop princess and his ex-girlfriend.
It details trying to get over a bad relationship that was toxic. Catchy and addictive, this song has all of the emotions and feelings of being used. The track was a hit and reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Billboard Dance Singles Sales.
5. I’m Your Puppet – James & Bobby Purify
I’m Your Puppet was released in 1966 by James & Bobby Purify, and this song really goes to the heart of being used and controlled by someone that you love. While he knows in the track he’s being used, he continues to let it happen and she won’t listen when he begs to be let go.
A perfect song about heartbreak, frustration, and pain, the track made it to number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This remains just as relevant today as it did back in 1966.
6. Grenade – Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars has talent when it comes to singing and songwriting and his vocal prowess shines in Grenade, which is one of his biggest songs ever. This hit came off his debut album in 2010 called Doo-Whops & Hooligans and cemented him as a raw talent.
This track is emotional and talks about someone not even knowing you’re alive even though you need them and are devoted to them. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart.
7. You Ruin Me – The Veronicas
Coming off their debut album in 2014, You Ruin Me by The Veronicas is all about a woman that has been used and taken advantage of by a man that was cheating. It’s slow and methodical as the song goes into the details about the painful experience.
There is growth and mourning in the lyrics as she details how she won’t be there for him when he realizes he messed up. This made it to 34 on the US Billboard Top 40 and remains a classic when it comes to feeling abused and used by someone you were supposed to trust.
8. Layla – Derek & The Dominos
Jim Gordon and Eric Clapton of Derek & The Dominos wrote Layla, and this is one of the biggest songs about feeling used and abused. A woman in this story is in love with a man but the man is married, the woman wants the man and is willing to be used to win his heart. You hear anger, resentment, heartbreak, betrayal, and other feelings within the lyrics. It reached number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 list when it was first released and re-releases of the track have also become major chart successes.
9. Dear John – Taylor Swift
The next artist needs no introduction as she has written about being taken advantage of among other issues. Taylor Swift released Dear John about ex-boyfriend John Mayer, and this song was all about the two of them breaking up and her looking for someone who will treat her better.
You can hear the anger, resentment, and heartache in her voice throughout the track. She went on to say that it was a cathartic experience for her to write about that three-month relationship. This song reached number 54 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and
10. Really Don’t Care – Demi Lovato Feat. Cher Lloyd
Next on our list is Demi Lovato with her 2013 hit Really Don’t Care. This song goes through how she has moved on finally from a man that hurt her and she realizes she doesn’t care about him anymore. It was certified by the RIAA 2x platinum, and it reached number one on the Billboard Dance Club Songs in America.
11. I Hate Myself For Loving You – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Start the head banging now because you’re going to want to rock if you listen to I Hate Myself For Loving You by Joan Jett. This song was released in 1988 and details how her man cheated on her and she continues to go back to him, and she realizes that she lets him treat her this way. A rocker indeed because in 2015, she became the first female bandleader to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
12. Your Power – Billie Eilish
The 2021 hit Your Power by Billie Eilish from the album Happier Than Ever talks about power dynamics that aren’t balanced. The song goes into how when someone thinks they have power and authority they will abuse it, which means using her for money and sex. The track was a huge success reaching 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it charted in multiple countries.
13. Use Me – Bill Withers
In 1972, Bill Withers released Use Me, which is an iconic pop and soul song about staying in a toxic relationship where he’s being abused and used. In the track, he goes into his motivations and even points out all of the people that tried to talk sense into him to leave.
There is a lot of complexity in the percussion rhythm, and the bass is repetitive, which gives the song its sound. This track made it to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles chart. It also made it to the 78th spot on the top songs of 1972, and the RIAA certified it gold!
14. Part Of Me – Katy Perry
Katy Perry released Part Of Me in 2012, and this song is all about the feelings and emotions you go through when you’ve been used, but it’s an anthem about taking back the power. Not only does she talk about being stronger, but also talks about how to get out of it in the first place. A must-listen track to feel better about letting it all go, it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Dance Club Songs, and also charted in multiple countries.
15. Mary Jane – Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette had a huge hit with Mary Jane, which is about having a narcissist as a significant other and how it’s difficult to deal with. In the song, it’s advised for the woman to be selfish and look out for herself instead of the narcissist, which is good advice when you’re being used.
Recommended: Songs about narcissists
16. Stay – Sugarland
Have you ever been in a relationship where it’s obviously one-sided and the other person isn’t emotionally available? That’s what Stay by Sugarland is about, and you can feel the desperation and frustration in the track as she tries to encourage him to stay. It reached number two on the Hot Country Songs list and 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
17. Hustle – Pink
On our list next is P!nk, and her song Hustle, which was released in 2019 is one of her most popular songs to date. This is a catchy track that’ll leave the chorus stuck in your head. While some songs are about desperation, this is a more positive track about not needing a man and becoming her own person after heartbreak.
18. Never Again – Kelly Clarkson
Never Again by Kelly Clarkson is a must-have on this list because it’s a song that has amazing guitar riffs and very angry and dark lyrics that go well with someone going through heartbreak. This track is different for her because it’s much angrier and harsh compared to her softer vocal sound, and that’s what makes it worth a listen!
19. Piece Of Me – Bullet For My Valentine
Bullet For My Valentine released Piece Of Me in 2018, and it’s all about a guy who is done with being taken advantage of by everyone in his life and is ready to just move forward in life. If you’ve just felt like you’ve been done and want to start all over, then this song is worth a listen!
20. Never Enough – Five Finger Death Punch
Metal band Five Finger Death Punch released Never Enough in 2017, and it reached number nine on the Mainstream Rock charts. This is a song that is all about being taken advantage of by everyone around the guy in the track, and he figures out that he isn’t going to please everyone all the time.
21. The Heart Wants What It Wants – Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez released The Heart Wants What It Wants in 2014, and if you’ve ever been used, you need to listen to this song because it’s on point! It’s a track that is full of raw emotions, and honestly, the lyrics will make you want to reach out and hug her. The song was so good it reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100.
22. New Rules – Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa released New Rules in 2017, and this song is awesome because she is all about making new rules after her breakup, which means moving on and being done feeling hurt. The track comes from her self-titled album, and this song went to six on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number one on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. The album ended up becoming one of the top albums of 2017!
23. Bed Of Lies – Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj deserves a spot on our list because she talks about her ex-boyfriend in the song Bed Of Lies, which is all about him taking advantage of her and her quick rise to fame. She calls him out in the track, and it’s a perfect representation of what it’s like to become famous and have people use you because of it.
24. Chestnut Street – John Mellencamp
Next up is John Mellencamp with the hit Chestnut Street. This song was released in 1976, and it’s a track that’ll leave you feeling sad and empathetic for the character in the song. If you’re a fan of his vocals and style, then you’re going to rock out to this tune.
25. Don’t – Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran released Don’t, and it’s the perfect song about being led on by someone who had no intentions of ever committing. Being used is the main subject here, and it’s dark but also catchy and worth a listen because of its cool melody.
From the time she was little, Florence loved listening to music and quickly learned how music can make you happy and feel fulfilled. One of her favorite memories is being in the garage with her dad working on classic cars with the local rock station blaring in the background. Ever since Florence was 3, she loved grunge music and spent hours listening to bands such as Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Soul Asylum, and Soundgarden.
She also enjoys classic rock, modern rock, nu metal, alternative rock, and old 90’s R&B. Her love of music grew as she got older, and used music to help her get through tough times in her life. More often than not, you’ll see Florence with earbuds in while she’s writing, cooking, cleaning, and doing other tasks. She also loves to debate music with her friends such as which lead singer is the best vocalist, the most iconic guitar solos in music, and what songs are really the best of the decade.