13 Of The Best Songs About Leaving Home And Moving

Written by Laura Macmillan
Last updated

Leaving home can be scary or even sad, whether it’s for a job or a change of scenery. Moving, in general, is stressful. But with the power of music, this transition doesn’t have to be as upsetting as you think.

If you’re struggling to make a big move, songs may help inspire you to take a leap of faith and chase your dreams. They may even bring you some peace of mind as you pack.

Wherever you are in the process, blasting these feel-good songs will hopefully aid in the transition. So here is our compilation of 13 of the best songs about leaving home.

1. “Breakaway” By Kelly Clarkson

Listen to “Breakaway” if you’ve been at an age when you just want to grow up, move out and make a life for yourself. This dramatic 2004 ballad from Kelly Clarkson’s second album tells the story of a young girl looking to escape her hometown and break out on her own.

This seems to be the case with a lot of young people growing up in a small town. They feel stifled and limited. As a result, they want to move to a big city where more opportunities await.

The message of this song is uplifting. It encourages people to take a risk and a chance to see what’s out there. This could be scary, no doubt, but growth also comes with stepping out of our comfort zone.

2. “Closing Time” By Semisonic

While the lyrics tell the story of a restaurant or bar closing at the end of the night, “Closing Time” paints a vivid picture of new beginnings. With lyrics like, “Time for you to go out to the places you will be from,” you cannot help but feel inspired to start a new chapter.

Semisonic‘s lead singer, Dan Wilson, said in an interview that he wrote the song while his wife was pregnant with their first child. He said, “It is all about being born and coming into the world, seeing the bright lights, cutting the cord, opening up into something deeper and more universal.”

Wilson’s explanation describes the birth. However, the song also applies to anyone facing a “rebirth” as they move away and start anew.

3. “Wide Open Spaces” By The Chicks

If you’re into songs that celebrate independence and strong-willed femininity, listen to the Chicks. Their 1998 single, “Wide Open Spaces,” highlights the struggles many people face when they first leave home as young adults.

The song touches on the trials and failures that often come with branching out on your own. As the song concludes, it provides a hopeful message that the bumps in the road will ultimately lead to a beautiful life.

The song’s bridge features the girl’s mother letting her daughter go. It reminds her of the day when she left home herself.

4. “Suds In The Bucket” By Sara Evans

Ah, teenage angst. It is an all too familiar tale: A small-town girl is impatient to leave home, and she jumps at the first opportunity she sees.

“Suds in the Bucket” is a twangy country tune from 2003 by Sara Evans. It is about an 18-year-old girl who falls in love with a boy who promises to give her a better, more exciting life. She leaves a letter for her parents to find after she has run off with the boy.

The girl did not even finish her laundry. She left the suds in the bucket, as the title implies. But, as the song says, “You can’t stop time, and you can’t fence love.”

5. “Colder Weather” By Zac Brown Band

There’s always a sad element to leaving home, as you can see from Zac Brown Band‘s single “Colder Weather.” This heartbreaking 2010 ballad is about a musician who ultimately makes the tough decision to leave his lover behind to pursue his dreams on the road.

It is based on a real-life experience from co-writer Wyatt Durrette. He said it was snowing heavily in Wisconsin on the night he had the conversation, hence the song’s title.

Making the decision to leave home can be difficult. But sometimes, it is necessary when you are chasing your dreams.

Related: Read our post here for more weather songs.

6. “See You Again” By Wiz Khalifa Ft. Charlie Puth

You will probably remember this song from the 2015 soundtrack for the movie Furious 7. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa, featuring Charlie Puth, was a tribute to American actor Paul Walker, who died in a car accident during the filming. It played at the end of the movie, while Walker and his co-star Vin Diesel drove away in opposite directions.

The song is not about leaving home per se. However, it can be viewed through a different lens, as “home” can refer to people as well. The lyrics focus on the difficulty of leaving old friends and family behind.

But it offers a hopeful glimpse into the future when the friends can reconnect and catch up. Hence the line, “I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.”

7. “Unwritten” By Natasha Bedingfield

This beloved 2004 pop hit’s name says it all: Our future is unwritten, and it is up to you to go out into the world and see what’s in store. As Natasha Bedingfield says in the song, “The pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned.”

The message of “Unwritten” is one of excitement and hope for anyone leaving home. You’re the only one who can decide on the path you want to take. No one knows what will happen in the future but your decisions now will affect that.

The song also calls to take a leap of faith and pursue all new opportunities. It encourages you to break tradition, make mistakes, and create the life you want, regardless of the past.

8. “Never Grow Up” By Taylor Swift

When you were young, you probably made wishes about growing up fast so you can move out. But come adulthood, you realize that you miss the simplicity of childhood. It makes you want to go back and enjoy it more.

This is the message you can learn from Taylor Swift‘s “Never Grow Up.” In this 2010 song, she urges her younger self and listeners to enjoy the time they have at home before adulthood takes over.

It is an excellent reminder for people of all ages. Young people will come to miss their time back home. And parents wish their kids will remain with them forever.

9. “Don’t Forget To Remember Me” By Carrie Underwood

When you’re a parent, you’ll surely dread that day to come when your child leaves the home nest. And when you’re that child, leaving home can be both scary and exciting.

Listen to Carrie Underwood‘s “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” about a girl moving out at 18. In the song, it says that the years fly by so fast for her mother. For her, it feels like forever. But now both of them are at a point in life when they have to say goodbye.

In the tender moment, her mother rattles off life advice and urges her to never forget the family she’s leaving behind. It puts moving out into perspective. It is an important part of life, but you should never lose sight of your roots.

10. “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” By The Clash

Sometimes, the simplest question requires the hardest decision. “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by the Clash is an upbeat 1981 punk song that can be viewed through a variety of lenses.

One is leaving home. As the title implies, the song is about deciding whether to stay in a situation or leave. May it be a relationship, a living situation, a job, or something else.

It all boils down to moving or leaving. If you don’t feel wanted and decide to leave the relationship or job behind, you’ll likely move to get a fresh start.

11. “Back Home” By Andy Grammer

Whoever says that “home is where your heart is” is right. Nothing can replace it. “Back Home” is a sentimental pop song by Andy Grammer that sheds light on the bittersweet nature of leaving home.

The song says that even if you create a beautiful life in your new place, you will never fully lose your home. You can always go back, and you will carry the lessons it taught you throughout your life.

To share with you some really sweet words from the lyrics: “See, we won’t forget where we came from, the city can’t change us. No matter where we go, we always find our way back home.”

12. “It’s Time” By Imagine Dragons

Change is the only constant in the world, and it can be scary. But let Imagine Dragons’ 2011 hit “It’s Time” help dispel your worries.

What the song intends is to be a call to action for anyone needing a change. “It’s Time” encourages everyone to cast their fears aside and take the plunge to follow their dreams.

Understandably, it is hard to leave behind the comfort of home. But don’t forget that growth requires change. Leaving the nest isn’t easy, but this song will remind you that it is time to jump in.

13. “I’m Moving On” By Rascal Flatts

This song by Rascal Flatts is often used to celebrate lost lives at funerals and burial services. However, the more literal message of “I’m Moving On” focuses on re-shifting your life to find something better.

That kind of change oftentimes necessitates a clean slate, which can be found most easily in a new town. Let me quote a few lines from the song. “I sold what I could, packed what I couldn’t, and stopped to fill up on my way out of town. Maybe forgiveness will find me somewhere down this road, I’m moving on.”

In this context, moving on means facing your own future, even if it means leaving your old life. This is your chance to create your own home.

Summing Up Our List of Songs About Leaving Home

Leaving home is not for the faint of heart. It requires courage and determination despite the pain or sadness. And quite frankly, you will go through a rollercoaster of emotions as you transition.

Let the songs above somehow help you. We hope that listening to them helps make the process easier and hopefully more exciting.

Remember, leaving home is an important part of growing up. And the good thing is, you can always go back to that one special place when you need to.

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Laura has over 12 years experience teaching both classical and jazz saxophone and clarinet. She now resides in California where she works as a session and live performer.