Your twenties are a weird time. Everyone you know is at different stages of life, from having kids to staying out all night. It’s the time you’re trying to figure out how to even be an adult, and can leave you feeling lost, carefree, or overwhelmed on any given day.
Because of the swirl of emotions around being that age, there’s plenty of music that’s easy to relate to when it comes to being 20. Here are 25 songs to blast in the car to get the angst out.
1. 22 – Taylor Swift
22 may be the quintessential song about being in your 20s. Any night can be a good night to fall in love with strangers, eat breakfast at midnight, or dance the night away. It hits all the right notes, discussing how you can feel happy, miserable, lonely, or confused all at the same time.
2. 9 To 5 – Dolly Parton
Your twenties are a time when most of us have to buckle down and pay for everything ourselves. Whether you’ve been working for a while or you’ve just finished college, it’s time to get one of those dreaded full-time jobs. 9 to 5 sums up exactly what goes through most of our brains when we start those jobs: this is crazy and not even really worth it. It’s a song that can help keep you sane on your commute to a job you don’t want to be doing in the first place.
3. What’s My Age Again? – Blink-182
Ever feel like everyone hates twenty-somethings? Yeah me too, but Blink-182 hits the nail on the head with those feelings in What’s My Age Again? You probably feel like you should be more mature than you are and your interests should change, and it’s hard to reconcile that with the fact that childish TV shows and pranks are still amusing. Don’t worry about it and shout along with this song as you figure out the things you’re really into and slowly learn to “act your age.”
4. 20 Something – SZA
It’s incredibly common to feel like you should have your life together already, I mean you’re in your twenties for goodness sake. But honestly, it’s okay if you don’t. 20 Something from SZA is all about her fears for the future and praying everything will be okay, something that’s very easy to relate to for twenty-something-year-olds.
5. Twenty-One – Khalid
Twenty One is all about not knowing what you want to do with your life. Throughout the song, Khalid struggles with not having a clue, considers giving up, and comes to the conclusion that you’ve got this. You just need to be patient. Not only is the message relatable, but it’s good advice. That can be scary for people who need a sure plan, but just trust in yourself, trust in the process, and never give up.
6. Schoolin’ Life – Beyonce
Once you turn 20, you really start to feel how fast life can fly by. With all the responsibilities you end up with in your twenties, it’s also very easy to look back and wish you were a kid again. In Schoolin’ Life, Beyonce reminds us about how fast time can pass us by. It’s important to live a little bit in the moment instead of rushing toward things in the future. Take the time to truly enjoy and soak up the now, because you’ll be looking back later wishing you were here again.
7. Twenty Somethings – Judah & The Lion
Twenty-Somethings captures the essence of being in your twenties. You have all the freedom in the world but don’t know where to go and don’t have much money to do anything. It’s a feel-good song about enjoying the ride anyway.
8. Young, Wild, & Free – Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa feat. Bruno Mars
One of the better attitudes you can adopt is just the “so what” one. It’s important to care about your future, but you shouldn’t let people stop you from enjoying whatever you enjoy. Young, Wild, & Free nails down that sentiment and is perfect for a twenty-something tired of being told how to live.
9. Not Nineteen Forever – The Courteeners
Not Nineteen Forever kind of nails down the slap in the face that turning twenty brings with it. It mimics the slap in the face that turning twenty brings with it, that you aren’t a teenager anymore and it’s time to start growing up, at least a little.
10. At Least I Look Cool – Sasha Alex Sloan
At Least I Look Cool discusses the big image problem a lot of twenty-year-olds have. You at least want to look like you have everything together, even if everything is falling apart or you’re lost. It’s relatable to people throughout their twenties that are just trying to figure it out.
11. When I Grow Up – NF
When I Grow Up is perfect for any twenty-year-old feeling a bit lost. NF raps about the struggles of being young, not knowing what to do, and being unsure about the future.
12. Anti-Everything – Lost Kings & Loren Gray
Sometimes, you’re just going to be done with everything. It happens to everyone, but it’s super common among twenty-somethings. If you need a banger song to play while you secretly flip off everyone and everything around you, look no further than Anti-Everything.
13. I Like Myself (Most of the Time) – K.Flay
Again, image is a big deal for a lot of twenty-somethings trying to fit in. Plus, they’re also coming to terms with who they are while being told they have to be something else. I Like Myself (Most of the Time) describes the struggle of coming to terms with liking yourself and asks if that’s such a bad thing.
14. Pushing 20 – Sabrina Carpenter
Pushing 20 is a song about not caring what other people think. It’s time for a fresh start and time to stop putting up with crap from other people because, frankly, you don’t have to anymore.
15. Don’t Start Now – Dua Lipa
You’ll go through a lot of heartbreaks and letdowns in your life, with many of them changing how you see things. This is normal, but eventually, everything will work out. Don’t Start Now is all about moving on from things and not letting those toxic people back into your life.
16. Forever Young – One Direction
Forever Young is a lament over getting older while also telling us to live in the moment and enjoy being young. There are endless possibilities when you’re young, and you get to decide where you go with them.
17. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
People are inherently going to have bad things to say about you or disagree with your choices. Taylor Swift reminds us to hold onto our dreams and shake off those comments because, in the end, they don’t mean anything.
18. Crash and Burn – Thomas Rhett
It’s normal to feel lonely when a relationship ends. Crash and Burn is an upbeat song about that kind of failure that can help lift you up when you’re feeling down about a failure or a heartbreak.
19. Learning To Fly – Tom Petty & The heartbreakers
Learning to Fly is a great song about being twenty, because it waxes poetically about how the good old days may never come back and it’s a struggle to learn to live in a new world. It describes the nature of life, with failures and successes going hand in hand.
20. No Time – Young Woods
Unlike the rest of the list, this one doesn’t have lyrics to guide you. The beat of the track is meant to make you feel rushed like you need to be somewhere and should have left ten minutes ago. It’s a relatable feeling because it’s basically what most twenty-somethings feel in their head all the time.
21. Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
Unwritten is all about having power and control over your life. The song is all about taking control, something most twenty-somethings need to be reminded of, that they have the ability to do so.
22. Daydream – Tori Kelly
Daydream is all about being young and having dreams for your future. If you’re feeling down or are in need of a little motivation, it’s a great pick-me-up song.
23. Believe In Me – Demi Lovato
Believe In Me is all about the feelings of trying to keep up with everyone else and losing confidence because of it. It’s also a reminder to just believe in yourself and it’s telling you that you can find the strength you need inside of yourself.
24. Life Of The Party – Shawn Mendes
It’s important to just enjoy your life and not be down because of what other people say. Life of the Party nails down that message while relating to twenty-year-olds going through similar situations.
25. Lazy Song – Bruno Mars
Not all twenty-somethings want to go out and party every weekend, a lot of us just want to lay around in bed when we can. Lazy Song is the perfect anthem for those types of twenty-somethings, especially with friends that just don’t get the need to do nothing.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.