Adele’s Quarter-life Crisis — 30 is an Album About Self-discovery

This album is for the 30- and 40-year-olds that are all committing to themselves and doing therapy – Adele


Adele’s latest album 30 brilliantly documents her quarter-life crisis. 30 is her first album in six years and the theme is self-discovery and self-love —it is her most vulnerable album yet. The songs in this album document her somewhat chaotic journey in adulthood, including her struggle with anxiety, a broken relationship, and a need to redefine who she was after she turned 30. Or as Adele perfectly put it “I feel like this album is self-destruction, then self-reflection, and then sort of self-redemption. I feel ready. I really want people to hear my side of the story this time.”

This is Adele’s “turning 30” album, and she does not hold back on the emotions and transitions that it brings. She truly comes alive in her feelings. In an interview with Vogue, she shared “I’ve been on my journey to find my true happiness”.

Me too Adele, me too!

Entering your thirties (and often late twenties) usually pushes you to consider what you want the rest of your life to look like. You have to let go of certain notions of what you want your life to be, you have to put aside childish things and face reality. You essentially go through a CRISIS. But as I often say, this crisis can be a period of growth, healing, and coming fully into who you are. The process can be tough, but it is necessary.

Adele’s vulnerability is a nudge to others to be more comfortable with their journey to self-actualization. And maybe to learn a thing or two.

In one of my favorite songs on the 30 album, “I Drink Wine.” Adele sings: “Why am I obsessin’ about the things I can’t control? / Why am I seekin’ approval from people I don’t even know?” Adele’s honesty opens up a conversation on topics we are often too afraid to discuss — even among our peers. People usually don’t share the deep struggles they go through as they journey to find themselves — because they are scared of being judged. Her vulnerability in her latest album 30 opens a new avenue for vulnerable conversations about our not-so-great moments of self-doubt and turmoil. It is a nudge to others to be more comfortable with their journey to self-actualization. And maybe to learn a thing or two.

That’s the beauty of music. It gives us something to relate to, provides a tangible expression for our unspoken feelings and fears, and in this case, it can help us be more intentional with our healing process. And that was what Adele intended. In an interview with Apple Music, she clearly states “[This album is for] the 30- and 40-year-olds that are all committing to themselves and doing therapy cos that’s my vibe, ’cause that’s what I was doing. So I’m more concerned with how this record can help them.” She also revealed that she shut down the conversation of making music geared toward TikTok and the younger generation, “I’d rather cater to people that are on my level in terms of the amount of time we’ve spent on Earth and all the things we’ve been through.”

In the song “Hold On” which is one of the most intense songs on the album, she gets deep as she sings:

Oh, what have I done yet again?

Have I not learned anything?

I don’t want to live in chaos

It’s like a ride that I want to get off

It’s hard to hold on to who I am

When I’m stumblin’ in the dark for a hand

I am so tired of battling with myself, with no chance to win


There is a great deal of importance in understanding who you are and holding on to your values despite the (many) things that life throws at you. That’s part of why I am so in love with this album. It amplifies a message that needs to be heard. You will battle yourself, feel lost and confused, and you will be tested. But that is the nature of a quarter-life crisis. Hold on and you will get through it. You will come out stronger. The second verse of the song starts heavy with the lyrics “I swear to God, I am such a mess” but the chorus of this song has a very important reminder: “Hold on ’cause you’re still strong.”

Even if you’re an Adele fan, the takeaway from this is to know that it is ok to go through a crisis and a—sometimes painful— journey to rediscover yourself. It’s an important and even necessary part of adulthood. You’ve got this!



This article was first published in an issue of The QLC Newsletter.

The QLC Newsletter covers issues like finding your purpose, self-actualization, job dissatisfaction, mental health, relationship issues, money anxieties, and more. These topics are typical stressors for an adult’s quarter-life crisis and every week our founder shares advice, insight, and unique perspectives on them.

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Jiji Ugboma

Editor in Chief

Jiji is a writer, entrepreneur, and digital marketing specialist based in New York. She writes about personal development, self-actualization, mental health, and creativity as they relate to the quarter-life crisis experiences of millennials and gen-z. She has a deep love for quirky podcasts, coffee, and chocolate desserts.

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