26 Songs To Listen To If You’re In The Middle Of A Full-Fledged Quarter-Life Crisis (Like Me)

Mirana Lambert country music

I did this post last year with 25 songs, but I have to admit, they all definitely still apply.

While it’s true a lot can change in a year, a lot can stay the same too, and while I’m still a few months away from 26, they all resonate just as deeply now as they did in 2022.

I mean, I’m happy to be healthy and alive, don’t get me wrong, but there’s just something about that number that I absolutely hate. I know a lot of you reading this right now are either laughing hysterically at the sentiment, rolling your eyes, or probably both, but I just cannot get on board with the whole mid-20’s thing.

I’m not really a birthday person, and I never have been, but this year, I would seriously rather go to the OB/GYN than have to blow out 26 candles on a cake.

Yes, I think I’m still in the middle of a full-on quarter-life crisis for a host of different reasons, but if there’s one thing that can always make me feel a little bit better, it’s music. Miranda Lambert always says “music is medicine”, and in this scenario, it’s about the only thing that’s making me slightly less terrified to be mid-way through my 20’s decade.

First of all, I think being in your 20’s in general is completely overrated, and I hear it gets better down the road, so I really hope that’s true. But on the other hand, it’s the first time I’ve had a birthday where I’ve really felt like I’m “getting older”… or something like that. So to put it as plainly as I can, I don’t really know how to win here.

I’m also just dramatic, and like most people, probably had some expectations about what life would be like now that haven’t exactly panned out the way I thought they would when I dreamed it up 10 years ago or whatever.

So, I’ve come up with a list of 26 songs I’ve been listening to that might help you if you’re in a quarter-life crisis like me. Unless I’m alone in this, in which case, you should still add every song to your playlist because they’re all great.

In no particular order, let’s get into it:

“Mountain Music” – Alabama

This is the hit song they play every Saturday afternoon at my alma mater, Appalachian State University, during football season… I would do a lot of things to have one more semester to go back to college and be young and free again (I already told you, I’m dramatic, and I need to have a moment).

“Losing Side of Twenty Five” – American Aquarium

I don’t think there’s an explanation needed for this one.

“Troubadour” – George Strait

When George Strait sings that opening line, “I still feel 25, most of the time,” I’ve realized that I don’t wanna know what it feels like to be 25 all of the time… yeah, I was right about this one.

“9 to 5” – Dolly Parton

Every working girls anthem, I think this one can go for just about any working lady no matter what age you are.

“First Thing I Reach For” – Ashley McBryde

When Ashley said “the first thing I reach for is the last thing I need,” I felt that.

“Sinners Like Me” – Eric Church

This is just one of those all-time life songs that hits me deep in my soul every single time it comes on.

“Old Rugged Cross” – Brent Cobb

Sometimes, you just have to throw on a good old fashioned hymn and pray for the best.

“On The Road Again” – Willie Nelson

I might be (almost) 26, but I still have that little restlessness deep down that, if I don’t get out, live my life, and travel enough, I feel like I’m doing myself a huge disservice. There’s just so much to see and experience, and I guess I still have a little bit of time left to do it all, right?

“the mockingbird & THE CROW” – Hardy

Hardy’s admission that he has many different facets to his personality and who he is, if there’s someone out there who can’t relate to the concept of being torn between different aspects of who you are and what you’re expected to be, I haven’t met ’em yet… no matter what age you are.

“Part Of Growing Up” – Kip Moore

This is one of the only songs that can about make me cry every time I listen to it. I mean, are these last few lines not absolutely everything?

“I guess until I’m pushin’ up daisies
I’ll be pushin’ my luck
And I’ll always be growin’ up”

“YellaBush Road” – Koe Wetzel

From Koe’s 2022 Hell Paso record, it’s a great reminder that, no matter where you go in the world or what you’re doing, there’s really no place like home.

“Rockingham” – American Aquarium

Another American Aquarium song, because frontman BJ Barham captures a lot of the feelings I have about where I grew up, and he was spot on when he said “nobody ever told me it would be this hard”.

“Honky Tonk Girl” – Loretta Lynn

I don’t care how old I get, I’ll always be a honky tonk girl at heart.

“Find Yourself” – Lukas Nelson

An anthem about getting your shit together in a relationship before it’s too late, I think most of us can probably relate to this song on some level, but especially when you’re still just trying to figure it all out.

“We Were Rich” – Runaway June

This song never fails to take me back to some of my best childhood memories, and the nostalgia that comes along with that also brings a few tears to my eyes when I hear it.

“Janice At The Hotel Bar” – Hailey Whitters

I mean, this is just a master class on songwriting, one of my favorite’s ever, and some grade A life advice if I’ve ever heard it.

“I’ve Always Been Crazy” – Waylon Jennings

I love this song for so many reasons, but the sentiment that Waylon has always remained true to himself and tried to do the best he can and treat people right seems like the only real way to live authentically without going insane, just like the lyrics suggest.

“God Speed” – Zach Bryan

Ya know, the older I get, the more I realize the only two people I need to be listening to about anything are God and my mama.

“Heart Like A Truck” – Lainey Wilson

Lainey’s current single is a great reminder that the dents and scratches from years of wear only add character.

“Being Pretty Ain’t Pretty” – Pistol Annies

I don’t think this one really needs any sort of explanation, either. Of course, trying to look and be perfect is so overrated, but it’s also a hard thing to let go of for a lot of us girls.

“Being pretty ain’t pretty, it takes all day long
You spend all your money just to wipe it all off
You spray on your perfume, you spray on your tan
Get up in the morning, do it over again
Being pretty ain’t pretty at all…”

“Merry Go ‘Round” – Kacey Musgraves

If you know about this one, then you know.

“You Ain’t Dolly (And You Ain’t Porter)” – Ashley Monroe

Let’s be honest… dating sucks, and I know I probably need to be less picky at this point, but I just know what I want and have a hard time settling for anything less. This song is a great take on balancing those expectations, and it’s totally relatable (and hilarious).

“29” – Carly Pearce

This song might be the most perfect for this list out of all of them. Though I’m a few years behind Carly, every single word of this song resonates so deeply to me, and I think that no matter what age you’re at, we all feel the sting of certain failed expectations regardless of how successful or happy we are.

“Day By Day” – Ashland Craft

Whether you’re dealing with the end of a relationship or something totally different, sometimes it’s all we can do to just get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other.

“Payin’ Hard” – Kip Moore

To me, this is easily one of Kip’s best songs, and it doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves. If it doesn’t cut down deep in your soul, you might wanna check your pulse. The older we get, the more our credit adds up with regret and mistakes, and eventually, one way or another, we always have to pay up in the end. And that can be pretty damn painful.

“Gravity Is A Bitch” – Miranda Lambert

Okay, I know I just said trying to look perfect is overrated, but to be really vain for a quick second, I’m also scared of getting old and losing parts of my youthful appearance… and I know that’s still a ways off (hopefully), but like I said, I’m dramatic.

Of course, Miranda puts it better than anybody else can, and I feel a little bit better knowing I’m not alone in this:


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock