Top 10 K-dramas with Unforgettable OSTs

Top 10 K-dramas with Unforgettable OSTs

K-dramas have given us heartfelt stories, fashionable characters, and yummy-looking food. They’ve also blessed our ears with catchy, emotional, and memorable music. Here are our top 10 k-dramas with unforgettable OSTs (original soundtracks).

Note: Many of these videos contain scenes from the respective k-dramas. Beware of spoilers.

Guardian: The Lonely and Great God/Goblin (2016-2017)

This series needs no introduction. And neither does “Stay With Me.” The duet between EXO's Chanyeol and OST goddess Punch became one of the most-streamed songs in late 2016 and 2017 and is the first k-drama OST to pass 400 million views on YouTube. It’s not hard to see why: the soft melody, subdued rapping, and breathy vocals combine to make a haunting song.

Like Crush's "Beautiful," many of Goblin's OSTs are easy to listen to, with lovely melodies and simple instrumentals. As you hear the rising cadences in the chorus and the tenderness in the singer's voice, you'll smile and maybe even sing along.

However, the show also includes songs that will bring tears to your eyes. “I Will Go to You Like the First Snow” features sweeping violins, delicate piano keys, and a passionate performance from Ailee. Like “Stay With Me,” “I Will Go to You Like the First Snow” saw mainstream and critical success. It is also considered Ailee's signature song.

“Goblin’s” OSTs are like a warm hug. Listeners can take comfort and even shed a tear as they hum or sing along to these songs.

Other Tracks to Listen to: “Round and Round” sounds mystical, with ethereal vocals from Heize and Han Soo Ji and high piano keys playing throughout. Meanwhile, Soyou’s “I Miss You” expresses longing with a quiet guitar accompaniment and soft vocals.

Descendants of the Sun (2016)

2016 had two hit k-dramas. One was Goblin; the other was Descendants of the Sun, which spread like wildfire and had fangirls wanting a Special Forces Captain as their boyfriend. Its OSTs know how to reflect changes in the show's tone. There are lighthearted songs like EXO's Chen’s duet with Punch, “Everytime.” With a playful melody and cheerful lyrics, it’s bound to get stuck inside listeners' heads.

In between the jokes and humorous moments, there are heartbreaking and difficult moments, especially the ones faced by second lead couple Seo Dae-young and Yoon Myung-ju. “Once Again” reflects their struggles with an emotional delivery from Kim Na-young and Mad Clown’s lyrics that express regret. 

Yoon Myung-ju and Seo Dae-young

Image Credits: KBS2 via 8list.ph

And there are several love songs, including Descendants of the Sun's most famous OST, “You Are My Everything.” Starting slow and soft, like Yoo Si-jin and Kang Mo-yeon’s relationship, it crescendos into a confident confession of love, complete with soaring strings and Gummy’s powerful vocals. 

Cover for digital single "You Are My Everything" (Gummy)

Image Credits: Image via Spotify

An emotional rollercoaster, Descendants of the Sun's playlist is unskippable. Whether you’re looking for a romantic ballad or a song to belt out at karaoke, you can rely on this k-drama to leave you satisfied.

Other Tracks to Listen to: With whistles and a joyful guitar, K.Will’s “Talk Love” is a fun summer tune for a long car ride. And if you’re looking for a slow dance number, XIA (Junsu) delivers with “How Can I Love You,” featuring almost-whispered vocals and restrained violins in the chorus.

Secret Garden (2010-2011)

Let’s rewind to 2010 and the show that started the “Hyun Bin Syndrome.” Secret Garden was a huge hit worldwide thanks to its acting, fashion, and catchphrases. However, its music is also worth mentioning, especially Baek Ji-young’s “That Woman,” which won two awards and is her most famous OST. Hyun Bin recorded “That Man,” offering the same story of unrequited love but from a man’s perspective.

“Here I Am” is another song about one-sided love. It is shorter and features more repetition, reflecting the persistence of the singer. There is a piano version sung by Yoon Sang-hyun, who plays the character Oska, and the more popular collaboration between 4Men and MIIII (known then as Mi), acting as a conversation between the main leads.

Secret Garden leads walking side by side
Image Credits: SBS via Xeawn's Garden Corner 

The k-drama isn’t all doom and gloom, however. If you’re feeling down, then listen to Kim Bum-soo’s “Appear.” It includes electric guitar and drums and cheerful background vocals, and the lyrics are sung from the point of view of someone who has just fallen in love.

If you’d like a taste of Secret Garden’s soundtrack but aren’t committed to watching all 20 episodes, then check out Big Bang’s parody “Secret Big Bang," which features many of the original show’s OSTs.

Other Tracks to Listen to: 4Men deliver another R&B banger with “Reason,” which begins hesitantly but becomes louder and more confident with each chorus. Meanwhile, BOIS pairs heartfelt vocals with upbeat instrumentation in “Scar/Only Scratches.”

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon/Strong Girl Bong-soon (2017)

One of the most beloved k-drama rom-coms, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon has a soundtrack that’s every bit as memorable as its characters. “Heartbeat” captures the flutter of Bong-soon’s heart when she sees her friend In Gook-doo, and later her boss/partner-in-crime Ahn Min-hyuk. You can hear the smile in Suran’s voice as she sings “Heartbeat, heartbeat, speeding up.” 

If “Heartbeat” is a schoolgirl's crush, then “You’re My Garden” by Apink’s Eunji is a serious romance. Eunji’s warm voice lightly sings the verses but belts out the chorus. The song takes on a deeper meaning as Bong-soon and Min-hyuk’s relationship blossoms (pun intended) in the show. 

And we can’t forget Every Single Day’s “Super Power Girl.” It differs from the other songs with its electric guitars, drums, and an over-the-top vocal delivery. It’s fast-paced and epic, the perfect theme song for the unbeatable Do Bong-soon!

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon is a fun and accessible k-drama for new stans, and the music is one of the reasons why. Catchy and fun, you need to add at least one of the songs to your playlist!

Other Tracks to Listen to: Mamamoo brings a coy, flirtatious air with “Double Trouble Couple,” a song that perfectly describes Min-hyuk and Bong-soon’s chemistry. Meanwhile, Standing Egg’s “Wonder” captures Min-hyuk’s developing feelings for Bong-soon, with acoustic guitar and gently sung lyrics that act as a confession of love from one friend to another.

Crash Landing on You (2019-2020)

Hyun Bin returns to this list with the global sensation Crash Landing on You. A k-drama about star-crossed lovers – one a South Korean heiress, the other a North Korean soldier – needs songs that tug at listeners’/viewers’ heartstrings. And the artists understood the assignment! First, ballad duo Davichi give us “Sunset,” which opens with quiet piano chords and melds soaring orchestral notes with the singers’ moving voices. 

Crash Landing on You leads at campfire

Image Credits: tvN via Genius

Next is Baek Yerin’s “Here I Am Again.” While it’s still a romantic song, the track adds soft rock elements like electric guitar, making it a candidate for karaoke night. Matching the upbeat music, the lyrics are hopeful, expressing the singer’s confidence that she’ll find her partner again despite their separation. 

In contrast, Kim Jae-hwan’s “Someday” contains lyrics sung by a lonely lover. The verses are written in one key and the chorus in another; the transposition and the orchestral crescendos, especially in the bridge, make this song an emotional OST.

Prepare to cry as you listen to this soundtrack. It's a feast to the senses yet heartbreaking, just like the drama itself.

Other Tracks to Listen to: Prepare for chills during “Flower.” Yoon Mi-rae’s comforting voice compares her loved one to a flower she is caring for, encouraging him but also begging him to remember her. And Crush’s “Let Us Go” compares his absent lover to the wind, imagining them together looking at the stars in the night sky.

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Boys Over Flowers (2009)

Let’s take a nostalgia trip with this Hallyu hit. Boys Over Flowers gave us iconic looks, phrases, and songs. “Stand By Me” by then-rookies Shinee is its most famous OST, with a combination of relatable lyrics and cheerful retro music.

“Paradise” begins with acoustic piano, but it quickly transitions to electric keyboards, trumpets, and T-Max’s enthusiastic voices. The group contributed three songs to Boys Over Flowers, but “Paradise” remains their most well-known. It’s a fun earworm and the perfect track to blast on the highway.

With a music box opening that switches to piano and strings, “Because I’m Stupid” is the personal theme song for second lead Yoon Ji-hu. Actor Kim Hyun-joong captures Ji-hu’s unrequited feelings for female lead Geum Jan-di through heartbreaking lyrics and a moving performance.

We had such a difficult time narrowing this list down to a few songs! While Boys Over Flowers hasn’t completely aged well, you can’t deny that its songs still hold up nearly 15 years later.

Other Tracks to Listen to: Kim Hyun-joong’s group SS501 performed “Making A Lover.” The lyrics, vocals, and instrumentation capture the happiness of a man in love. Meanwhile, “Something Happened to my Heart” (T-Max featuring J) is more somber, reflecting main lead Gu Jun-pyo's realization that he can't control his feelings for Jan-di. 

Hotel del Luna (2019)

Hotel del Luna's OSTs are as bittersweet as the show itself. For starters, there's “Another Day,” Punch's duet with Monday Kiz. A soft rock track, the lyrics portray two lovers living “another day” apart from each other, the longing apparent in both artists' voices.

If “Another Day” doesn’t tug at your heartstrings, then “All About You” will. Accompanied only by a piano, Taeyeon sings about a lover who she calls a poem that she wants to remember, her voice caressing listeners’ ears. “All About You” won OST Award at the 29th Seoul Music Awards and became one of the most-streamed songs in 2019.

This author’s favorite OST, Punch's “Done For Me” is emotional on its own, but when it appears in Hotel del Luna (preceded by a bass instrumental version), it's more poignant. Beginning with piano, acoustic guitar, and restrained strings, the bass and full orchestra play dramatic chords in the chorus. The lyrics are written from Jang Man-wol's point of view: a woman falling in love but fighting against it because of past heartbreak. Pull out your tissues whenever this song plays.

Few other k-dramas have a soundtrack that will leave listeners/viewers in tears. With lyrics that tie directly to the plot and exquisite instrumentation, it perfectly captures the atmosphere of Hotel del Luna, taking listeners on a journey that never completely stops.

Other Tracks to Listen To: “Can You See My Heart” sounds like a lullaby, with the lovely piano-guitar combination and Heize’s subdued delivery of heart-wrenching lyrics. For a change of pace, Red Velvet’s “See the Stars” is an upbeat R&B track that captures the happiness of new love, particularly between the show’s young second lead couple.

My Love from the Star (2013-2014)

Another Hallyu sensation, My Love from the Star gave listeners one of the most iconic OSTs. Lyn's “My Destiny” has a gentle opening that quickly shifts to a dramatic and on-the-nose chorus. While it's now become something of a meme, it won several awards, including “Best Original Soundtrack” at the 50th Baeksang Arts Awards in 2014.

Sung Si-kyung gave the k-drama another iconic OST, “Every Moment of You.” With a combination of piano, violins, and flute, he serenades the object of his affection (and listeners). If you don’t think this song is romantic enough, Sung Si-kyung also recorded a piano version for the show.

Finally, there is “Like a Star” by K.Will, dubbed the "Prince of OST." Sung by a person in love but hesitating to reveal his feelings, you'll want to dance and sing your heart out to the infectious beat and joyful music.

My Love from the Star’s OSTS are a perfect balance of heartfelt and overly dramatic. A feel-good show deserves a feel-good soundtrack, and this show delivers in spades.

Other Tracks to Listen to: If you’re wondering where the ballads are, then check out Hyolyn’s “Goodbye.” Slow and bittersweet, the lyrics address a lover the singer has said “goodbye” to but still waits for. There’s also “Promise,” sung by lead actor Kim Soo-hyun and accompanied by a harp. One of two songs he sang for My Love from the Star, it is simultaneously soothing and melancholy.

It’s Okay, That’s Love/It's Alright, That's Love (2014)

A rom-com about broken individuals, It’s Okay, That’s Love has several OSTs that stand out. Chen returns to this list with “Best Luck,” a song that is fast-paced and energetic, bringing an element of action to this soundtrack.

Davichi also returns with the ballad “It’s Okay, That’s Love” (or "It's Alright, That's Love"). Featuring beautiful harmonies and high piano notes in the chorus, the words are written from the perspective of someone who never expected to fall in love again but is doing just that. 

And we can’t forget “Sleepless Night.” With hushed vocals and the tickling of the highest piano ivories, Punch and Crush deliver a smooth, sensual song that will comfort listeners, especially those spending a lonely night.

Whether you’re in a relationship or happily single, It’s Okay, That’s Love's music will put you in the right mood and make your day a little bit brighter.

Other Tracks to Listen to: Yoon Mi-rae is straightforward with “I Love You,” a simple but sweet R&B number. If that's not your cup of tea, then jam out to Ulala Session’s funky “Love Fiction.”

Our Blues (2022)

The most recent k-drama on this list, Our Blues is all about healing and reconnecting to the world around you. And it has songs for every mood. Kim Yeon-ji’s “Whiskey on the Rock” is a soft rock song with trumpets, perfect for a car ride during summer vacation. 

In keeping with the vacation theme, enjoy the harmonicas in Heize’s “The Last.” The sweet yet melancholy melody match with lyrics about a relationship that ended too soon. However, the singer sounds hopeful that her lover will return someday.

BTS member Jimin and Han Sung-woon’s “With You” also deserves mention. A gentle duet, it's sung partly in English and partly in Korean. Accompanied by acoustic guitar, it is a confession of undying love that we can see someone singing by a campfire.

We’ve hinted it several times, but Our Blues’ OSTs are the perfect summer soundtrack, whether you're finding love or are looking back at a past fling. We guarantee that, if you put the playlist on loop, the right song will play at the right moment for you.

Other Tracks to Listen to: It's in the title - Melomance’s “Happy Song” (which also includes harmonicas) will have listeners swaying happily to the beat. And STAYC’s “Star” blends the members’ youthful voices with a whimsical acoustic guitar and optimistic lyrics.

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Whether it's a sad ballad or an exciting number, k-dramas know what song to play at the right moment. And there are so many great OSTs that viewers will remember, even after they finishing watching the show.

Were any of the tracks we mentioned your personal favorite? Did we leave out a k-drama with amazing songs? Name the OSTs you play on repeat in the comments below.

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