15 Songs About Forgiveness and Saying You’re Sorry

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When words can’t express how sorry you are, songs about forgiveness are a great way to convey your remorse and your willingness to make things right.

In this post, we share a collection of the best songs about being sorry and the true meaning of forgiveness.

We hope that these tracks will pave the way for complete forgiveness and the healing of any pain caused by your actions or words.

Before diving into today’s collection of songs, let’s first discuss the benefits of forgiveness, as well as some pointers on how to make a sincere apology.

The Benefits of Forgiveness

There are a lot of benefits you can reap from forgiveness.

  • Eases tension – Forgiveness frees up headspace formerly occupied by the past hurts you’re holding on to and lifts a heavy weight off your shoulders.
  • Improves overall health and well-being – Recentresearch studies have shown that forgiveness is beneficial for our mental and physical health.
  • Increases empathy – When you forgive someone, you see those who have hurt you in their most vulnerable state. You begin to see that they are like you—also hurting, and also hoping for the conflict to be resolved.
  • Helps develop self-love – Forgiveness should not only be reserved for other people. Sometimes, we also need to forgive ourselves. Although it can be a challenging task, forgiving ourselves opens up the door to deeperself-love.

So, You Want to Say Sorry…

If you’re the one who has caused offense, here are some quick pointers for how to make amends.

  1. Apologize as soon as you realize you’ve done something wrong.
  2. Be accountable. Acknowledge that you are at fault.
  3. Give an explanation for your action—not as a justification, but as a chance for the one you’ve hurt to know where you’re coming from.
  4. Make it right. If something has been damaged, make your best effort to restore it.

Read on for our curated list of songs about forgiveness and saying sorry.

1. Apology Song, The Decemberists

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via TheDecemberists

I'm really sorry, Steven, but your bicycle's been stolen. I was watching it for you 'til you came back in the fall. I guess I didn't do such a good job after all. I was feeling really sorry, Steven, and I spent all morning grieving.

Let’s start off with a lighthearted apology song. In this song, there are no broken hearts or ruined lives.

The only offense that vocalist Colin Meloy is guilty of (and sincerely apologizes for) is the theft of a friend’s bicycle while it was in his care.

Hopefully his friend Steven forgave him for this unfortunate event. After all, Meloy did spend “all morning grieving.”

2. Back to December, Taylor Swift

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via Taylor Swift

So this is me swallowin' my pride, standing in front of you sayin' I'm sorry for that night. And I go back to December all the time. It turns out freedom ain't nothin' but missin' you. Wish I'd realized what I had when you were mine.

Relationships don’t always last forever. When they end, there may be feelings of regret.

This song is an example of that regret and the apologies one makes in an effort to reconcile with an ex-partner. Sometimes, though, the apologies come a little too late.

3. Hello, Adele

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via Adele

Hello from the other side. I must've called you a thousand times. To tell you that I'm sorry for everything that I've done. But when I call, you never seem to be home.

Speaking of late apologies, this hit from Adele is also about missed chances at reconciliation.

Having to swallow one’s pride and admit that we are at fault is not an easy thing for many of us to do—and it becomes more difficult if our attempts at reaching out to the aggrieved person are rebuffed.

However, we need to remember that forgiveness holds the key to lasting peace of mind.

4. A Song for You, Amy Winehouse

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via Amy Winehouse

I know your image of me is what I hope to be. I've treated you unkindly but can’t you see? There's no one more important to me. So darlin', won't you please see through me? ‘Cause we're alone now and I'm singing this song for you.

This song is an indirect apology for all the things that went wrong in a relationship. In this song, Amy Winehouse admits to treating someone dear to her unkindly, and she seems to regret it.

Sometimes we realize that we’ve taken someone for granted while still in a relationship with them. Either way, an apology is typically necessary, whether you are still in a relationship or have already broken up.

5. For What It's Worth, Liam Gallagher

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via Liam Gallagher

For what it's worth, I'm sorry for the hurt. I'll be the first to say, “I made my own mistakes.” For what it's worth, I know it's just words and words betray. But sometimes we lose our way. For what it's worth.

Even a simple “sorry” can make a tense situation a whole lot better. However, it has to be done sincerely in order to truly repair the broken relationships.

This song from former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher is an example of what a simple sorry can look like.

We also have to be aware that an apology should be accompanied by sincere actions. This further conveys that we truly want to fix things.

6. Whatever It Takes, Lifehouse

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via Lifehouse

I'll do whatever it takes to turn this around. I know that I've let you down. And if you give me a chance, believe that I can change. I'll keep us together, whatever it takes.

Sometimes, when people let us down, we’re willing to give them a second chance.

This song is asking listeners to give the person who messed up another chance, and to believe that they can still change.

When you’re the one receiving the apology, will you accept it?

7. In Between, Linkin Park

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via Linkin Park

Let me apologize to begin with. Let me apologize for what I'm about to say. But trying to be genuine was harder than it seemed. And somehow I got caught in between.

In this song, the singer is apologizing in advance, and mentioning how difficult it is to be genuine.

When we apologize, it does not mean we’re seeking to be perfect. It means that we humbly admit our shortcomings and hope that the other person will accept this and give us another chance.

8. Low Man's Lyric, Metallica

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via Metallica

So low the sky is all I see. All I want from you is forgive me. So you bring this poor dog in from the rain. Though he just wants right back out again.

Hitting rock bottom can bring everything into perspective. It’s an opportunity for deeper realizations that can become the springboard to changing destructive habits or thought patterns.

This song from Metallica is about someone who has hit rock bottom and is now asking for a second chance.

Perhaps he has hurt people who cared for him and is unsure if they’ll accept him now.

Low Man’s Lyric is a great apology song for those looking for a way to communicate how deeply remorseful they are for the hurt they’ve caused.

9. Purple Rain, Prince

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via The Codfather

I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain. I only wanted one time to see you laughing. I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain.

This song from Prince offers an apology and a wish for things to get better.

The act of saying sorry can be the start of the healing process. But to complete the process, one must also learn to forgive. Letting go of anger and resentment provides an opportunity for festering negative emotions to dissolve.

10. Last Time I Say Sorry, John Legend and Kayne Brown

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via Kane Brown

I won't say I'm sorry over and over. Can't just say I'm sorry, I gotta show you I won't do it again. I'll prove my love is true. I hope the last time I said sorry is the last time I'll say sorry to you.

One of the most important parts about saying sorry is that the person who apologizes no longer commits the offense.

However, there are people who take it for granted that they will be forgiven when they mess up, so they don’t ever change their behavior. We often see this play out in relationships such as marriages.

This song is different from other tracks that glorify getting second chances after big offenses.

In this song, the singer proves his love is true by matching his apology with the resolve to never repeat the action that hurt the one he cared about.

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11. I Forgive You, Kelly Clarkson

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via Kelly Clarkson

I forgive you. We were just a couple of kids trying to figure out how to live. Doing it our way. No shame, no blame. ‘Cause the damage is done. And I forgive you.

This song is an example of how we can forgive somebody because we understand where they’re coming from.

How easy is it for you to forgive?

Some people hold on to grudges for a long time rather than forgiving the injustices done to them. Sometimes they do so out of fear of being seen weak.

Forgiveness is not weakness.

Nor does it necessarily mean reconciling with the one who has done us wrong.

Instead, it is arriving at a level of empathy that allows us to understand the other person. This way, we can finally let go of the anger and resentment that holds us back from true happiness and peace of mind.

12. Angry Anymore, Ani DiFranco

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via Ani DiFranco – Topic

I just want you to understand, that I know what all the fighting was for. And I just want you to understand, that I'm not angry anymore. No, I'm not angry anymore.

This song is a declaration that you’ve cast away all your anger. You finally understand the situation and don’t need the other person’s apology to start forgiving them.

When we come to a place of forgiveness, all the anger, resentments, and bitterness just melts away.

We suddenly feel lighter. Some people who decide to forgive even feel that it is easier to smile again.

Healing can finally begin.

13. Forgiven Me, Mary Mary

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via Mary Mary TV

I never ever want to press rewind, never wanna go back in time. Not much glory in that story, but it's mine. So I'm lovin' who I am today. The past has passed away. Finally, I have forgiven me.

As mentioned previously, forgiving ourselves can be difficult.

It is a process that often opens up a mixed bag of emotions. Once you process self-forgiveness, you must be ready to deal with guilt, self-loathing, and shame.

However, this process eventually strengthens you.

Once self-forgiveness happens, the past no longer has power over you.

You’re finally free to begin a new chapter in life.

14. Time Is a Healer, Eva Cassidy

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via Eva Cassidy

I found a picture of your smiling face, bringing old memories that I had locked away. The burden of anger from a heart filled with pain was finally lifted. And I smiled at you again.

Sometimes we burn at an injustice done to us and plot our revenge on the person who caused us pain. Forgiving them is the farthest thing from our minds.

Fortunately, as this song declares, time helps extinguish the flames of our wrath and dulls the pain. It softens the memories and increases our willingness to forgive.

15. So Sorry, Feist

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via Kiekjaa

I'm sorry. Two words I always think after you're gone, when I realize I was acting all wrong.

Saying sorry does not require a lot of fanfare. When done in a timely manner, it can heal broken relationships, restore people to health, and even save relationships, even if it’s a simple apology.

If you’re looking for an example of a straightforward apology in song form, this track from Feist is perfect.

Final Thoughts on Songs About Forgiveness

We hope that you’ve found the perfect song for making an apology in the featured collection today.

A sincere apology should make you feel that a heavy weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

However, there is no guarantee that your apology will be accepted. That is the prerogative of the person you are apologizing to.

Whether you’ve been forgiven or not, the important thing is that you’ve shown the other person that you’re willing to make things right—that you’re committed to healing the pain that you’ve caused.

That act allows you to move forward, free from guilt, shame, anger, or resentment.

If you are looking for more resources on forgiveness and letting go of anger and resentment, you may want to visit the following posts:

In addition, if you’re looking for recommendations of the best songs for a particular topic, here are some posts you might want to check out:

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15 Songs About Forgiveness and Saying You\'re Sorry