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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?

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.

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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.

50 Best Songs About Growing Up & Coming of Age

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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"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. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"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"

3. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Ch-ch-changes / just gonna have to be a different man / Time may change me / But I can't trace time"

4. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Where to fly? Who knows / Winds rapidly blow

From branch to branch you go / When you see the sun, dear friend, let it glow"

5. "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts

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

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"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"

6. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"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"

7. “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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Soon, I'll be sixty years old, will I think the world is cold? Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me?"

8. “I Remember” by Rod Wave

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

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"I remember everything, the shine and the struggle / I remember all the pain, all the grind, all the hustle"

9. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Oh yeah, life goes on / Long after the thrill of livin' is gone"

10. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"We learned to live and then / Our freedom came to an end"

11. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"My friends say I should act my age / What's my age again, what's my age again?"

12. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Glory days / well they'll pass you by / Glory days / in the wink of a young girl's eye"

13. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"If the children don't grow up / Our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up"

14. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"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"

15. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"I'm just a kid / And life is a nightmare

I'm just a kid / I know that it's not fair"

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16. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"And all my friends, they just stay the same / I'm growing up but nothing's changing"

17. “Time” by Pink Floyd

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

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older / Shorter of breath and one day closer to death"

18. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Just growin' up in stages / (Lay down, low down) / Livin' life in phases / Another season changes / And still, my days are shapeless"

19. “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?

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Tell mommy I'm sorry / This life is a party

I'm never growing up"

20. “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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"When did you change? Wendy, you've aged

I thought you'd never grow up"

21. “17” by Youth Lagoon

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

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"When I was seventeen / My mother said to me

'Don't stop imagining / The day that you do is the day that you die'"

22. “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?

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"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?"

23. “Good Riddance” by Green Day

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

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"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"

24. “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart

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

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"And may you grow to be proud, dignified, and true / And do unto others as you'd have done to you"

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25. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"And we don't notice any time pass / We don't notice anything"

26. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"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"

27. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Control yourself / Take only what you need from it

A family of trees wanted to be haunted"

28. “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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"People change / But you know some people never do / You know, when people change

They gain a piece / but they lose one too"

29. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"No, I don't want to grow up"

30. “Fifteen” by Taylor Swift

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

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"I've found time can heal most anything / And you just might find who you're supposed to be"

31. "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins

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

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"That we don't even care, as restless as we are / We feel the pull in the land of a thousand guilts"

32. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"I just found out there's no such thing as the real world / Just a lie you've got to rise above"

33. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Teenagers scare / The living s— out of me / They could care less / As long as someone'll bleed"

34. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child / See heaven's got a plan for you"

35. "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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"I don't know how, but I'm taller / It must be something in the water"

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36. “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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Ain't about how fast I get there / Ain't about what's waiting on the other side

It's the climb"

37. “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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

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

38. “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.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Forever young, I want to be / Forever young

Do you really want to live forever / Forever and ever?"

39. "Give Yourself a Try" by The 1975

A reminder that you have to let yourself experience life.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"And what would you say to your younger self?"

40. "Fade Away" by Oasis

This song is about losing sight of your childhood dreams as you get older unless you actively hold onto them.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"While we're living / The dreams we have as children fade away"

41. "Never Get Old" by Sinead O'Connor

Even as you're getting older, music is often there to remind you of your youth.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"She likes to listen to rock and roll / She moves with the music / 'Cause it never gets old"

42. "Birch Tree" by Foals

A song about the stages of aging.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"And when we age / Shed our skin and grow

We shed our layers / Spread our wings and go"

43. "Teenage Talk" by St. Vincent

Reminiscing on your teenage years, it may feel like you'll never be as happy. But this song is a reminder that that's just an illusion and there is still plenty of life to enjoy.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"That's just teenage talk / I don't think the past is better, better

Just cause it's cased in glass / Protecting us from our now and later"

44. "The Circle Game" by Joni Mitchell

This song is the story of a child's journey into adulthood.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"We're captive on the carousel of time / We can't return we can only look"

45. "Twentytwo" by Sunflower Bean

A song that discusses the expectations women face as they grow up.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"If I could do it, I would stay young for you / We could live inside a place

Where we'd never have to face / All the people who disgrace us"

46. "Boys Will Be Boys" by Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa discusses the differences in aging for boys and girls and how girls are often forced to grow up faster.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"No, the kids ain't alright / Oh, and they do what they see / 'Cause it's all on TV"

47. "Young New England" by Transit

A song about savoring the few fun nights you have as you get older.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"We don't stop risking our short time / Always working through the weekend / An uphill battle for a few good nights"

48. "Young" by Kenny Chesney

One day you're skipping class in high school, the next you're a full-blown adult trying to make ends meet. Where does the time go?

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Man, I don't know / Where the time goes

But, it sure goes fast / Just like that"

49. "Ocean Avenue" by Yellowcard

The lyrics in this iconic Yellowcard song reminisce on being with someone who helped define your teenage years and the longing to go back to those days.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"If I could find you now things would get better / We could leave this town and run forever / Let your waves crash down on me and take me away"

50. "20 Something" by SZA

An ode to all of the 20-somethings trying to figure their lives out.

Best lyrics about growing up or coming of age:

"Ain't got nothin', runnin' from love / Only know fear / That's me, Ms. 20 Something"

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

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