Nothing helps us express our feelings better than music. Being in your 20’s is complicated. As Taylor Swift expresses in her “22” hit “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical.” If our twenties had a playlist, this would probably be it. Here’s a quarter life crisis one-soundtrack-fits-all for all of us twenty somethings.


1. Lazy Song – Bruno Mars

The ultimate tune for our deliberately planned “sick” leave paired with some Netflix and chill because some days we really won’t feel like doing anything. At all. And we deserve it.

Lazy song
I just wanna lay in my bed/Don’t feel like picking up my phone/ So leave a message at the tone/Cause today I swear I’m not doing anything


2. Twenty-Somethings – Judah & the Lion

Otherwise known as our National Anthem.

driving 20s
We don’t know where we’re going /but we’re on the run./ We don’t know where the road ends,/but we’re having fun. Running scared, Running free,/ Full of light, Got no money, /Yeah, that’s us. Twenty-somethings


3. Working 9-5 – Dolly Parton


Working 9 to 5/ What a way to make a living/ Barely gettin’ by/ It’s all taking/ And no giving/ They just use your mind/ And they never give you credit


4. Material Girl – Madonna

Admit it, you’re already looking forward to your next payday. If you didn’t sing, listen or even think of this song during one of your shopping sprees (or dress up sessions), did it even happen?

material girls
Living in a material world/ And I am a material girl/ You know that we are living in a material world


5. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

Inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s quotation, this hit is meant to inspire and help you move forward, whether it be a breakup, the loss of a job, or simply a crappy day.


What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger/Stand a little taller/Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone/ What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter.


6. All Night – Icona Pop

How did I even get home?

all night

Come on baby we can hit the lights/Make the wrongs turn right/We can smash the club, make the pop go rock/With a love this deep, we don’t need no sleep/and it feels like we could do this all night


7. These Boots Are Made For Walking – Nancy Sinatra

More like these boots are made for learning how to walk again. It’s time to face the consequences of wearing heels and being out all night – to the point where you consider investing in orthopedic shoes to recover in time for next Friday’s plans. You can also just settle for sneakers all week.


These boots are made for walking/ And that’s just what they’ll do


8. Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield

You write your own story and every day represents a page. We’ve only lived a part of our lives and still have a lot more to explore and experience. Carpe diem.


Drench yourself in words unspoken/ Live your life with arms wide open/ Today is where your book begins/ The rest is still unwritten


9. Schoolin’ Life – Beyoncé

Taken from her “4” album, the Queen Bey reflects on her own life experiences and lessons learned. She sassily reminds us that experience teaches just as much as getting an actual education.

schoolin life

This is for them twenty-somethings / Time really moves fast / You were just sixteen


10. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

A timeless classic popularized by the Stepmom and Sister Act 2 films. Either way, this is the perfect pick me up song for ANY situation. Set it as your alarm tone and you’ll wake up every morning feeling like you can conquer any obstacle that comes your way.

aint no mountain

No wind, no rain/ Or winters cold can stop me baby, no no baby

11. Started From The Bottom – Drake

A.K.A humble beginnings.

started bottom

I was trying to get it on my own/ Working all night, traffic on the way home/….Started from the bottom now we’re here


12. Bad Day – Daniel Powter

We all have them.

bad day

You stand in the line just to hit a new low/ You’re faking a smile with the coffee to go/ You tell me your life’s been way off line/ You’re falling to pieces every time


13. Fix You – Coldplay

Adulting isn’t easy, and no amount of planning will keep things from going wrong. Nothing screams “Mom and dad I need you” and homesickness more than this. Melancholic melody aside, this song reminds us that lights will always guide us home.

fix you

When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep/ Stuck in reverse/ And the tears come streaming down your face/ When you lose something you can’t replace


14. Bills – LunchMoney Lewis

You will have to rip open those envelopes and regret every purchase and credit card swipe you’ve made at some point. Bills actually teach you how to live within your means first.


I got bills/ I gotta pay/ So I’m gon’ work, work, work every day


15. Oh No – Marina And The Diamonds

Sometimes it takes being ruthless to convince yourself that you’re ~genuinely~ happy.

I know exactly what I want and who I want to be/ I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine/I’m now becoming my own self-fulfilled prophecy…/Maybe it is all a test/ Cause I feel like I’m the worst/ So I always act like I’m the best


16. Pacific Rim (soundtrack) – Tom Morello & Ramin Djawadi

I don’t know, but doesn’t it just make you feel invincible?


*insert epic instrumental score here*


17. I Need a Dollar – Aloe Blacc

Whoever coined the “funemployment” term was either very well-off, or just crazy. There’s nothing fun about surviving by scrounging for quarters in between your cushions and pockets. But being jobless is just a phase; this too shall pass.


Please mister boss man I need this job more than you know/But he gave me my last paycheck and he sent me on out the door/ Well I need a dollar dollar, a dollar is what I need


18. Be OK – Ingrid Michaelson

The title says it all.
We can’t say the same for Jack, though.

be ok

I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok/ I just want to be ok today…/I’m beyond repair, let me be/ And give me back my broken parts


19. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Need I say more?


But I keep cruising/ Can’t stop, won’t stop grooving/ It’s like I got this music/ In my mind/ Saying, “It’s gonna be alright.”


Ayah Granada is currently a content writer and editor for Former student journalist/writer. Currently a full time writer, grad school student and part time bibliophile. As a TV series hoarder-slash-enthusiast, when she isn't binge-watching episodes,she tries to make up for lost sleep. Occasionally lost and is either always wondering or wandering. Trivial, millennial and often in denial. INFJ.

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