It’s hard to be in your twenties. You graduate from college, or you don’t, but either way you don’t feel good about it. You date alcoholics or you become an alcoholic or you get married or all of the above. You work for minimum wage. You probably at some point move back in with your parents. And then, when you turn 27 or 28, you get hit with what astrologers call your “Saturn Return” or other, non-astrologers call “being 27 or 28 and thinking you know everything and then suddenly realizing you know absolutely nothing.” According to people who know about such things, these returns coincide with the time it takes Saturn to orbit the sun (29.4 years) and the first marks the transition between youth and adulthood (28-30). Everyone agrees that it’s pretty much the worst. But all you people who are struggling through your horrible, magical, angst-ridden twenties, I have news for you: if you can kick that drug habit now, and stop texting while crossing the street, you might make it to your thirties. Now, I’ve only been 30 for 2 weeks myself, but already things are looking great. First of all, I had at least 3 birthday parties. And all the choices I am making are very grown-up. And then I got this epic horoscope, in which Susan Miller says: “For nearly 3 years, since October 30, 2009, Saturn, the great teacher-taskmaster planet, has been poking and prodding you to meet tough challenges in an effort to evolve you into an even better version of yourself… As you see, you had layer upon layer of stress over recent years. That’s NOT the case anymore. If I were you, I would celebrate.”
You might not buy into star charts. I don’t really myself, except in a Douglas Adams-y way. But whatever your feelings on your moons and rising signs, turning 30 is definitely something to celebrate. Here are some songs to help you get the party started (secret: this party lasts the rest of your life):
The Avett Brothers — “I and Love and You”
First, yes, this will be a bitter sweet time. You are saying goodbye to your youth! And probably also getting divorced! But you are getting back to your truer self, that self that you haven’t seen since you were 10 years old, the one who knew who they were, what they wanted and how they planned on getting it. You are turning into a Zen master. Still, let yourself mourn a little. Also, maybe start thinking about moving to Brooklyn.
Stars — “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”
You know what though? Even if it is sad, you’re going to get over it, I promise. You aren’t going to have regrets. Your scars are going to remind you of the good parts. You chose to feel it and now it’s time to set yourself on fire. Listen to this song. Listen to it a million times if you have to. Congratulations. Now it’s over (sign the divorce papers, start a book club). Don’t be sorry. You did the best you could.
Fleetwood Mac — “Never Going Back Again”
This one speaks for itself. No matter what you do, there is absolutely no way you are ever going back again. The earth only spins in one direction. But this shouldn’t make you unhappy! In your thirties you can still look as good as you did in your twenties, if you exercise and eat right. But you are now better at relationships, friendships, household chores, not overdrawing your checking account and dressing yourself! And triple bonus! You make more money!
Flo Rida — “Good Feeling”
It’s time to celebrate. You won’t be 40 for 10 whole years, so you’re still young enough to appreciate a little dub step every once in awhile. The end of your Saturn Return should feel like someone lifting a piano off your back, one that has been strapped there for years that you have forgotten about. Dance, friend. You are practically weightless.
Wiz Khalifa — “Black and Yellow”
Look, haters are gonna hate and ballers are gonna ball. You are definitely a baller now. Kids in their twenties look at you in awe and ask you for advice. Older relatives give you alcohol without cutely asking to see ID. And unless something really terrible happens with the economy, maybe you can even cut back to one roommate! Hey 30-year-old, you are living the dream.
Elbow — “One Day Like This”
Once you give up fighting against yourself, you start having beautiful days all the time. Your angst will melt away and in its place will be epiphany after epiphany. Or at the very least you will be able to appreciate the beauty that is in front of you and stop wanting and wishing for something you are never going to get.
Two Door Cinema — “Something Good Can Work”
Girl, let’s show the world something good can happen! Bonus, now that you are closer to dying, it is becoming less and less likely you will live to see the end of the polar bears and the rise of the robots! Live in the moment. This is your life, you can’t keep pretending you are gearing up for something bigger. Let’s finally get it started.
Passion Pit — “Little Secrets”
Seriously 30-year-olds: You are getting better and better. This song is here to remind you to a) keep working out FOR REAL and b) never give up!
NewVillager — “Lighthouse”
Friends, I cannot emphasize this enough. Your thirties are a time to let go of all the things and people and relationships that are holding you back, not in a selfish way but in a way that means you can go on to the better things, the better people and the better relationships THAT YOU DESERVE. Go on! Take 3 steps on the right road! Go out, go free and run to the lighthouse!
Jay Z & Alicia Keys — “Empire State of Mind”
And what is that lighthouse? See song one: all your friends are already there and you can’t move to New York in your forties. Now may be the time. Sell your stuff. Get out of California before you forget what winter feels like. You can always come back when you retire in 35 years.
Do you need more Saturn Return music? Here’s the entire playlist on Spotify.