50 Best Songs About Growing Up & Coming Of Age

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The hardest part of life is growing up. Transitioning from being a kid to suddenly being considered a full-grown adult can hit you like a ton of bricks and leave you lost and stressed.

How do you even start adulting? How do you know if you’re doing this thing called life right?

Growing up is more than just getting older and having a birthday party to commemorate the celebration. It’s about obtaining more life experiences. We grow in so many aspects of our lives like in relationships and our careers. All that growth we experience is a part of growing up.

It's a process that we will continue to experience for the rest of our lives. And isn't that the fun in life — you never stop growing up, changing, or maturing?

50 Best Songs About Growing Up & Coming of Age

To never grow up would be to live in stagnation and, quite frankly, that would be very boring. It’s in those moments where we have the opportunity to grow that we have the most memorable times.

RELATED: 14 Quotes About Kids Growing Up That Remind You To Cherish Every Moment

Somehow, songs and all different genres of music have a great way of capturing all the emotions and confusion tied into growing up. Artists understand the complexities of adulthood just like the rest of us.

Check out these songs about growing up that will make you feel a little less alone.

1. "Wake Me Up" by Avicii

For those who grew up to follow their dreams, sometimes you may not believe that you've gotten this far in life. "Wake Me Up" perfectly describes that feeling of being in awe over what you've accomplished.

"So wake me up when it's all over

When I'm wiser and I'm older

All this time I was finding myself

And I didn't know I was lost"

2. "Doll House" by Melanie Martinez

A song about a dysfunctional family, the narrator attempts to understand her reality. It's a reminder that not everyone grew up the same.

"Picture, picture, smile for the picture

Pose with your brother, won't you be a good sister?

Everyone thinks that we're perfect

Please don't let them look through the curtains

D-O-L-L-H-O-U-S-E

I see things that nobody else sees

(D-O-L-L-H-O-U-S-E

I see things that nobody else sees)"

3. "Breed" by Nirvana

When you've become an adult, you may begin to plan for a family and the future. In this song, however, Cobain's lyrics are about doing things a bit differently and living an unconventional life.

"Even if you have, even if you need

I don't mean to stare, we don't have to breed

We can plant a house, we can build a tree

I don't even care, we could have all three"

4. "Changes" by David Bowie

One of David Bowie's most famous songs, the lyrics describe how quickly things change around us, especially Bowie, who was known for his musical innovation.

"I watch the ripples change their size

But never leave the stream

Of warm impermanence

And so the days float through my eyes

But still the days seem the same

And these children that you spit on

As they try to change their worlds

Are immune to your consultations

They're quite aware of what they're goin' through"

5. "Vagabond" by MisterWives

If you've wandered through life, unsure of who you are or what you want to become, give this song a listen.

"Where to fly? Who knows

Winds rapidly blow

From branch to branch you go

When you see the sun, dear friend, let it glow

Don't shun it all, don't let it fall

From your hands how you used to crawl

You're walking tall, no need to hide

Behind the clouds in the sky"

6. "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts

This song is like one long "good luck" card, wishing you well with all of your dreams. 

"My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small

You never need to carry more than you can hold

And while you're out there getting where you're getting to

I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too

Yeah, this, is my wish

7. "Ready, Set, Don't Go" by Billy Ray Cyrus

Pure father-daughter love radiates through this song. Billy Ray wrote this song when his daughter Miley moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Flying the nest is just as tough for the ones we leave behind. 

"She's at the starting line of the rest of her life

As ready as she's ever been

Got the hunger and the stars in her eyes

The prize is hers to win

She's waiting on my blessings before she hits that open road

Baby get ready

Get set

Don't go"

8. “Ivy” by Frank Ocean

No one does nostalgia like Frank Ocean. These lyrics remind us that life is short and growing up can be over in an instant. 

"I ain't a kid no more

We'll never be those kids again

We'd drive to Syd's, had the X6 back then

Back then

No matter what I did

My waves wouldn't dip back then

Everything sucked back then

We were friends"

9. “7 Years" by Lukas Graham

A lifetime condensed into one 4-minute song, Graham reminds us to hold on to the little things while we work towards our dreams. 

"I only see my goals, I don't believe in failure

'Cause I know the smallest voices, they can make it major

I got my boys with me at least those in favor

And if we don't meet before I leave, I hope I'll see you later"

10. “I Remember” by Rod Wave

Rod Wave reflects on his troublesome childhood, celebrates his struggles, and remembers all the lessons learned. 

"I remember, oh, I remember

How could I ever forget?

How would I ever forget?

I remember everything, the shine and the struggle

I remember all the pain, all the grind, all the hustle

I remember elementary when pops would come and get me

And take me to the neighborhood with Veneria and Whitney"

11. “Moment for Life” by Nicki Minaj

Do you ever just want some nights to last forever? When times are so perfect you just have to hold onto the memories?

"I wish that I could have this moment for life, for life, for life

'Cause in this moment I just feel so alive, alive, alive

I wish that I could have this moment for life, for life, for life

This is my moment I just feel so alive, alive, alive, for life

This is my moment, I waited all my life I can tell its time

Drifting away I'm one with the sunsets, I have become alive"

12. "Jack and Diane" by John Mellencamp

Mellencamp based this song on Tennessee Williams' film Sweet Bird of Youth. It's the story of young lovers falling in and out of love as their lives diverge. 

"Oh, let it rock, let it roll

Let the bible belt come and save my soul

Holdin' on to sixteen as long as you can

Change is coming 'round real soon

Make us women and men"

13. "Ready, Set, Go" by Tokio Hotel

Even though we don't have a choice in the matter, it's easy to feel reluctant about growing up. This song is about being forced to adapt to change that you didn't see coming your way, but also about finding the strength to push through. 

"We learned to live and then

Our freedom came to an end

We have to break down this wall

Too young to live a lie

Look into my eyes"

14. "What's My Age Again?" by blink-182

Acting your age? What's the fun in that? Blink-182 are trying to hold on to their youth for as long as possible.

"And that's about the time she walked away from me

Nobody likes you when you're twenty-three

And you still act like you're in freshman year

What the hell is wrong with me?

My friends say I should act my age

What's my age again, what's my age again?"

15. "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen

One minute you're living through the good times, and the next you're sitting around with your friends talking about it. Memories are valuable treasures. 

"Glory days well they'll pass you by

Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye

Glory days, glory days"

16. "When You Were Young" by The Killers

This is one of The Killers' most popular songs and it's easy to see why. It deals with how our expectations for our lives can be a lot different from reality, for better or worse.

"We're burning down the highway skyline

On the back of a hurricane that started turning

When you were young

When you were young

And sometimes you close your eyes

And see the place where you used to live

When you were young"

RELATED: 25 Memes That Perfectly Explain College Life (And The 'Adulting' That Comes Afterwards)

17. "Wake Up" by Arcade Fire

Life can be filled with hard lessons that ruin some of our innocence, but if we accept mistakes and stop being so hard on ourselves, maybe things would be a little easier. 

"If the children don't grow up

Our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up

We're just a million little god's causin' rain storms

Turnin' every good thing to rust

I guess we'll just have to adjust"

18. "Stop This Train" by John Mayer

Sometimes life has a way of making us feel like we got the train in the wrong direction and can't seem to get off or keep up with where we're going. 

"Stop this train

I want to get off and go home again

I can't take the speed it's moving in

I know I can't

But, honestly, won't someone stop this train?

So scared of getting older

I'm only good at being young

So I play the numbers game

To find a way to say that life has just begun"

19. "I'm Just A Kid" by Simple Plan

This song recently blew up on TikTok as a way for people to recreate their old childhood photos. It taps into that feeling we all got as teens when we would feel like no one understands us. 

"I'm just a kid

And life is a nightmare

I'm just a kid

I know that it's not fair

Nobody cares 'cause I'm alone

And the world is

Having more fun than me

Tonight"

20. "West Coast" by Fidlar

This is for those late teen years when you know you need to go your own way, but you're also having too much fun to move on. 

"And all my friends, they just stay the same

I'm growing up but nothing's changing

I'm so sick of this stupid place

It's so suburban and so boring

I should try and get a life

But I don't want that 9 to 5

I'd rather die, keep getting high

So pack my things and say goodbye"

21. “Time” by Pink Floyd

Time slips through our fingers. We spend our whole lives planning our lives and sometimes we forget to live it. 

"So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking

Racing around to come up behind you again

The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older

Shorter of breath and one day closer to death"

22. "Patience" by Tame Impala

This song is about not having a plan and just going with where life takes you. Tame Impala's Kevin Parker might be on to something.

"Just growin' up in stages

(Lay down, low down)

Livin' life in phases

Another season changes

And still my days are shapeless"

23. "Young" by The Chainsmokers

When you're young, everyone always tells you you're living through the best days of your life. But that doesn't mean everything is plain sailing. Being young can also be tough. 

"We both know I go too far like when I wrecked your car

And almost fought your father when he pushed me in the yard

And all those nights we snuck out, like to meet up at the bar

Don't worry, my love, we're learning to love

But it's hard when you're young

Yeah, it's hard when you're young

Yeah, yeah, it's hard when you're young"

24. “Memories" by Maroon 5

Raise a glass for the good times and the bad, because all these memories make us who we are. 

"Here's to the ones that we got

Cheers to the wish you were here, but you're not

'Cause the drinks bring back all the memories

Of everything we've been through

Toast to the ones here today

Toast to the ones that we lost on the way

'Cause the drinks bring back all the memories

And the memories bring back, memories bring back you"

25. “Opposite Of Adults" by Chiddy Bang

Becoming an adult is unavoidable, but acting like one is a choice. Kids have more fun, so who wouldn't want to behave like one?

"Aye yo I once was a kid all I had was a dream

Mo' money no problems, when I get it I'm a pile it up

Now I'm dope wonder bread we can toast

So fresh how we flow, everybody get their style from us

I once was a kid with the other little kids

Now I'm whippin' up shows and 'em fans goin' wild with us

Tell mommy I'm sorry

This life is a party

I'm never growing up"

26. “Never Gonna Change" by Broods

There's nothing like heartbreak to force you to grow up. Letting go of your first love can be the hardest lesson life will ever teach you. 

"And I hate that I'm always so young

Had me feeling like you were the one

And it's never gonna feel like it's done

'Cause it's never gonna change (Change)"

27. “Same Drugs“ by Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper has said that the line "We don't do the same drugs no more" has nothing to do with illegal substances. Instead, it represents friends and former lovers growing apart and moving in different circles.

"Don't forget the happy thoughts

All you need is happy thoughts

The past tense, past bed time

Way back then when everything we read was real

And everything we said rhymed

Wide eyed kids being kids"

28. “17” by Youth Lagoon

Our younger selves were never afraid to dream, so we owe it to them to hold onto our aspirations. 

"When I was seventeen

My mother said to me

'Don't stop imagining

The day that you do is the day that you die'

Now I pull a wanton carriage

Instead of the horses, grazing along

I was having fun

We were all having fun"

29. “Ghost!” by Kid Cudi

"Ghost!" is about a mental health struggle and how going through tough times can make you into a ghost of your former self. But you didn't come this far to only come this far, right?

"The people I met and the places I've been

All will make me the man I so proudly am

But I wanna know one thing

When did I become a ghost?

I'm mostly confused about the world I live in

They think that I'm lonely, well I probably am

One thing that still gets me

When did I become a ghost? Yeah"

30. “Good Riddance” by Green Day

Green Day reluctantly accept growing up and moving on in this song that is probably one of their most well-known.

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road

Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go

So make the best of this test and don't ask why

It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time"

31. “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart wrote this song for his children, wishing them goodness and joy for their lives.

"May the good Lord be with you

Down every road you roam

And may sunshine and happiness

Surround you when you're far from home

And may you grow to be proud, dignified and true

And do unto others as you'd have done to you"

32. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

Stevie Nicks will have you crying your eyes out over your childhood photo albums with this song. 

"Well, I've been 'fraid of changin'

'Cause I've built my life around you

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I'm gettin' older, too"

33. “Disco 2000” by Pulp

Can you believe that before we could stalk all of our exes on Facebook and Instagram, people used to have to imagine where their childhood sweethearts are now?

"And I said, 'let's all meet up in the year 2000

Won't it be strange when we're all fully grown?

Be there two o'clock by the fountain down the road'

I never knew that you'd get married

I would be living down here on my own

On that damp and lonely Thursday years ago"

34. "We’re Going To Be Friends" by The White Stripes

Remember when all we thought about was learning to spell and playing in the schoolyard with our pals? Simpler times. 

"Tonight I'll dream, while I’m in bed

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When silly thoughts go through my head

About the bugs and alphabet

And when I wake tomorrow, I'll bet

That you and I will walk together again"

35. "First Time" by Kygo ft. Ellie Goulding

For those days when you're thinking about all the foolish things you did as a teen and wishing you could go back a relive it one more time, this song will take you there. 

"We were high and we were sober

We were under, we were over

We were young and now I'm older

But I'd do it all again"

36. "Kids" by MGMT

This song is sampled in “Opposite Of Adults" by Chiddy Bang, but it deserves its own slot on this list since many of us will remember dancing around to it at our best friend's house party. 

"Control yourself

Take only what you need from it

A family of trees wanted to be haunted"

RELATED: 5 Bittersweet Signs Your Kids Are Outgrowing You

37. “Seasons (Waiting On You)” by Future Islands

There comes a time in all of our lives when we have to let go of a person, place, or situation. And though it can hurt at first, it helps us grow. 

"People change

But you know some people never do

You know, when people change

They gain a piece, but they lose one too

'Cause I've been hanging on you

I've been waiting on you

'Cause I've been waiting on you

I've been hanging on you"

38. "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" by The Ramones

The title says it all. Channel your inner angsty teen with this track and an air guitar. 

"I don't want to have to shout it out

I don't want my hair to fall out

I don't want to be filled with doubt

I don't want to be a good boy scout

I don't want to have to learn to count

I don't want to have the biggest amount

No, I don't want to grow up"

39. “Fifteen” by Taylor Swift

Thinking back on your freshman year is sure to give you all the feels (and a bit of internal cringing). 

"'Cause when you're fifteen,

Somebody tells you they love you

You're gonna believe them

And when you're fifteen

Don't forget to look before you fall"

40. "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins

This is a nostalgic coming of age story that describes the transition from childhood into adolescence. 

"That we don't even care, as restless as we are

We feel the pull in the land of a thousand guilts

And poured cement, lamented and assured

To the lights and towns below

Faster than the speed of sound

Faster than we thought we'd go, beneath the sound of hope"

41. "No Such Thing" by John Mayer

This song is John Mayer's response to his guidance counselor telling him to "stay inside the lines." Instead, he wants to forge his own path and be his own person. Safe to say he succeeded. 

"I want to run through the halls of my high school

I want to scream at the

Top of my lungs

I just found out there's no such thing as the real world

Just a lie you've got to rise above"

42. "Teenagers" by My Chemical Romance

Ever wanted to back-talk your teachers, tear up your school rule book, and storm the auditorium during assembly? Here's the soundtrack for you. 

"Teenagers scare

The living s*** out of me

They could care less

As long as someone'll bleed

So darken your clothes

Or strike a violent pose

Maybe they'll leave you alone

But not me"

43. "Don't You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin

Everything happens for a reason. Don't sweat the small stuff because it's all part of life's journey. 

"There was a time, I met a girl of a different kind

We ruled the world,

Thought I'll never lose her out of sight

We were so young

I think of her now and then

I still hear the songs, reminding me of a friend"

44. "Garden Song" by Phoebe Bridgers

Bridgers has said this song is about manifesting your dreams and creating a reality for yourself by removing your fears and obstacles. 

"And when I grow up

I'm gonna look up from my phone and see my life

And it's gonna be just like

My recurring dream

I'm at the movies

I don't remember what I'm seeing

The screen turns in to a tidal wave

Then it's a dorm room

Like a hedge maze"

45. “Roar" by Katy Perry

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. This song is all about pushing forward even when life puts things in your way. 

"You held me down, but I got up (hey)

Already brushing off the dust

You hear my voice, you hear that sound

Like thunder, gonna shake the ground

You held me down, but I got up (hey)

Get ready 'cause I've had enough

I see it all, I see it now"

46. “The Climb" by Miley Cyrus

Life is one big mountain. It can be hard to get there, but once you make it to the top, the view is incredible. 

"There's always gonna be another mountain

I'm always gonna wanna make it move

Always gonna be an uphill battle

Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there

Ain't about what's waiting on the other side

It's the climb"

47. "Tennis Court" by Lorde

Lorde captures that feeling of holding onto your dwindling teenage years before you face the real world. 

"Baby be the class clown

I'll be the beauty queen in tears

It's a new art form showing people how little we care (yeah)

We're so happy, even when we're smilin' out of fear

Let's go down to the tennis court, and talk it up like yeah (yeah)"

48. “Change“ by J. Cole

You can change your life or let your life change you — the choice is yours. 

"Life is all about the evolution

I give up, I give in, I move back a little

I live up, I look up, now I'm back for more

You can dream but don't neglect the execution

I give up, I give in, I move back a little

I live up, I look up, now I'm back for more

Time is short that's what somebody told me"

49. “Who You Are” by Jessie J

When the world tries to tell you no, it's up to you to look inside yourself for the yes you need to keep going. 

"Don't lose who you are, in the blur of the stars

Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing

It's okay not to be okay

Sometimes it's hard, to follow your heart

Tears don't mean you're losing, everybody's bruising

Just be true to who you are"

50. “Forever Young” by Alphaville

This song will make you reminisce, think about the future, and remind you to live in the moment all in one. 

"So many adventures couldn't happen today

So many songs we forgot to play

So many dreams swinging out of the blue

We let them come true

Forever young, I want to be forever young

Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever?

Forever young, I want to be forever young

Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever?"

RELATED: 20 Quotes About Adulthood Perfectly Describe What 'Becoming An Adult' Actually Means

Tamara Sanon is a writer with a passion for covering topics about health and wellness, lifestyle, astrology, and relationships.