The soundtrack to my twenty-something life
How many trillion times in your life have you said, “If only my life had a soundtrack…” Everything would be more epic, wouldn’t it? Or at least you’d have a chance to feel like Anne Hathaway in a rom-com or Meryl Streep in a good drama. You’re not alone in feeling that way.
I’ve sifted through multiple genres to compile a list of songs appropriate for notable moments in a twenty-something’s life. Oh, and they’re a little less conventional than usual – we all know that “From This Moment On” is a perfect tune for when he pops the question. Listen on!

The soundtrack to my twenty-something life:

1. “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt
This is a poetic, painful observation of the unattainable relationship: Your gay best guy friend, a married man, your university professor who’s twenty years older than you are… Whatever the reason, you two can’t be a couple and it feels like hell on earth. We’ve all been there.
2. “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel
Thought you could make it through a list of life themes without this one? Honey, you thought wrong! This is the tune to crank up as you drive away from quitting that job you despise. The lyrics have it all: A little bit of trepidation and a whole lot of badassery. Twenty-somethings may not be royalty, but just like Queen Elsa we’re learning who we are and we want to be free to make our own choices, even if it means making mistakes along the way.
Delivered with killer vocals, this song is the guttural cry of a soul searching for deeper meaning (and deliverance) amid a seemingly insurmountable struggle. Whether religious or not, spiritual or searching, not one of us makes it through our twenties without facing the question of whether there’s something more – and if there’s Someone who can rescue us.
4. “Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals
Undeniably the most romantic song ever recorded, this feelgood oldie perfectly portrays the joy of falling in love and sharing your life with another. Even if your happily-ever-after romance doesn’t play out during this decade I’m sure you know a friend or two to whom this ballad applies!
5. “This Is Your Life” by The Killers
A perfect unconventional graduation song, the lyrics tug at my heartstrings every time. “You’ve got to be stronger than the story / Don’t let it blind you. . .The sky is full of dreams / But you don’t know how to fly.” Life isn’t perfect, my fellow twenty-somethings, but every little step (or degree!) counts.
6. “Defying Gravity” by Idina Menzel
I’ve personally dubbed this “the moving out theme.” Because let’s face it: Landing a decent job and being able to afford living on your own with this economy is almost as difficult as defying gravity. Oh, and don’t worry – I haven’t moved out yet, either. But this tune sure keeps me motivated to save up!
7. “Bleeding Out” by The Lone Bellow
An angsty yet mature cry of “We can do it!” “Bleeding out” is Generation Y’s revolution against negative stereotypes and low expectations. In fact, it’s just a good theme for twenty-somethings in general. Cue the replay button.
8. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
So many glorious opportunities for this chart-topper! It might be stuck in your head for days after the little blue line shows up, it could be the tune of choice post-finals, or even your alarm in the morning. As mature twenty-somethings we recognize that happiness is a choice, but there’s nothing quite so exciting as life surprising you with a fun treat, so you should always have a theme prepared, just in case!
It’s no secret that your twenties are generally the decade when you consume more caffeine than the rest of your years put together. That being said, I consider this song a cute nod to twenty-somethings’ collective coffee addiction with a large dose of hipster charm thrown in. Now next time you’re in Starbucks catching up on GenTwenty articles, you know what to have going in your earbuds.
10. “Really Don’t Care” by Demi Lovato
I know I said I was aiming for less overdone moments, but what’s a life soundtrack list without a catchy-as-hell, sharp-tongued break-up song? My favorite part about the lyrics is how well they describe the sentiments of a scorned twenty-something. “I can’t believe I ever stayed up writing songs about you / You don’t deserve to know the way I used to feel about you.” Clearly there’s been a significant amount of maturing since Demi and the referenced ex were a couple. Perhaps the reason it resounds so well with us here at GenTwenty is because the singer herself is a twenty-something!
There you have it, G20 readers! You’re no longer on the outside looking in, but the star of your own story. Will you be turning up the volume on some of these hits, or do you have your own faves? Write in the comments below, and have fun living out your life!
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