The 40 Worst Things About Turning 40

It's your best decade. But it doesn't arrive without some drawbacks.

The 40 Worst Things About Turning 40

They say your 40s are your best years. And, to be sure, they’re totally right. But that doesn’t mean that entering middle age isn’t without some drawbacks. From those graying hairs to that terrible feeling of being left out of the cultural conversation, here are the 40 worst things about turning the big four-oh. And for some great advice on aging gracefully, don’t miss our complete lists of the 50 things no man or woman should own.

worst things about turning 40

“Middle-aged” now refers to you

Welcome to “middle age!” Whether you’re ready for it or not (of course you’re not), that phrase now firmly applies to you.

mid-life crisis

Mid-Life crises

Unfortunately, mid-life crises are a real thing. Any day now, you could feel the need to quit your job to pursue a completely different career path, or find yourself overcome with depression. Take action and break any cycle of monotony in your life by adopting New Habits That Stick.

worst thing about turning 40


When you leave your 30s, those laugh lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet might become more noticeable. But fear not: You can reverse the appearance of lines with the 20 Best Ways to Erase Wrinkles.

getting gray hair is one of the worst parts about being 40

That very first gray hair

Some people go prematurely gray earlier in life, while others aren’t affected until they are much older. If that first silver hair arrives in your 40s, it can be hard to take. And if you’re a man, try to own it like silver fox Steve Carell. 

worst things about being 40


It’s everyone’s least favorite procedure, but it’s an important key to colorectal cancer prevention. Now that you’ve hit 40, scheduling a regular colonoscopy (either every three or five years), is simply part of your life.

worst thing about turning 40

Your younger-year tanning comes back to haunt you

If you enjoyed laying out in the sun back in your teens, 20s, and 30s, your skin is going to start showing the damage now that you’re in your 40s, usually in the form of brown blotch spots. And that’s not the only way your body will remind you you’re getting older. For more facts about your body, check out the 40 Ways Your Body Changes After 40.

not recognizing celebs anymore is a bad part about turning 40

None of the celebrities your nieces, nephews, and kids like are recognizable

No, Ariana Grande is not something you order at Starbucks.

worst parts about turning 40

Touching your toes is gets harder

No matter how many times a week you get your butt to yoga, it’s undeniable that your flexibility is decreasing. Remember: Fitness becomes a little bit harder north of 40, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Just follow the 10 Surefire Ways to Get Your Best Body in Your 40s!

worst part about turning 40

You start worrying about menopause

Between ages 45 and 55, most women begin to go through menopause, though it may occur earlier or later depending on the person. When menopause feels more like a reality, you might start freaking out about having a baby, and wondering if you’re just hot or you’re experiencing a hot flash symptom—and more.

turning 40

Ointments become part of your shopping list

From Bengay to hemorrhoid cream, you can’t rule anything out on your next CVS run.

worst part about turning 40, classic rock

Your favorite bands either break up or fade from view

Unfortunately, we all age in the same direction.

mammograms are one of the things that suck about turning 40

Mammograms are now on your annual to-do list

According to the American Cancer Society, women over 45 should get mammogram screenings yearly, but if breast cancer runs in your family, it might be a good idea to consider going earlier than that.

things that suck about turning 40

In 10 years, you’ll be 50

But don’t worry. Here are 50 Ways to Look Younger in Your 50s.

single father over 40

The kids out there address you as “ma’am” or “sir”

The same goes for “miss” and “mister.”

hair popping up everywhere sucks once you're 40

Hair sprouts up in some pretty bizarre places

While you might not necessarily have to shave your legs or underarms anymore, annoying little hairs can start cropping up on your chin, upper lip, or even your nipples once you enter your 40s.

college kids are kids to 40s people

You call college-aged people “kids.”

A kid isn’t necessarily a pre-schooler. People who are in college, people who are 21, and people who many others may consider grown-ups start to seem like “kids” in your eyes.

alcohol isn't as fun over 40

Drinking alcohol isn’t what it once was

Take the amount of liquor you used to drink, divide it in half, and you’ll still end up with a hangover the following morning.

people need more coffee over 40

You need significantly more coffee

While it less alcohol to catch a buzz, it takes and much, much more coffee to get you going as a 40-year-old person.

irregular periods happen after 40

Your period becomes irregular

As your body gears up for its next stage of life, you might see some funky changes in your cycle.

hair starts thinning after 40

Hair starts thinning

There’s a reason there are so many commercials for shampoos and conditioners that claim to strengthen hair. As we age, our hair thins out because our bodies are producing less estrogen.

over 40 myth

Forty means you’re halfway to 80

Again, you’re officially in “middle age.”

stomach pain

Bowel movements aren’t the same as they used to be

Unfortunately, constipation is a reality for many people over 40.

bartenders IDing you is good after 40

If a bartender cards you, you’re flattered

Now, this isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s a daily reminder of your newly exalted station in life.

social media changes after 40

Facebook posts are less often selfies and more often pictures of cakes

Your Facebook feed all of a sudden is filled with desserts, snapshots of the house decorated for the holidays, and photos of children in funny outfits.

getting out of bed is harder after 40

Getting out of bed elicits a moan

Yes, things start getting a little bit creaky when you cross over into your 40s.

turning lights off

Turning out the lights annoys you

You’re always the one running around the house shutting off all the lights. It’s like no one else cares about the electricity bill!

seeing people without jackets upsets people over 40

Seeing a young person out, without a jacket, not shivering, drives you crazy

You can’t shake the urge to throw a coat over her bare shoulders—or to ask the guy incessantly, “Are you cold?!,” despite his rebukes.

losing your glasses happens after 40

You constantly lose your glasses

The struggle is real. Don’t know that phrase? Read here. 

Doctors appointments become frequent after 40

Your doctor’s appointments multiply

From the eye appointment to the ear appointment to the colonoscopy screening to the mammogram to the visit with your GP… Do the medical appointments ever end?

taking fiber is one of the worst things about being 40

You need more fiber

And you start adding it to your glasses of water.

vitamins are necessary after 40

There’s a days-of-the-week vitamin holder on the counter

With all the vitamins we have to take, it’s best to be organized and cop one of those days-of-the-week holders from the local dollar store. But still, we can’t believe we now have one of these things.

thongs are no longer a thing after 40

Thongs are out of the question

Give me cotton panties or give me death!

face cream commercials

Commercials about anti-aging creams are your demographic

The women on the TV screen with beautiful, flawless skin promoting anti-aging creams? Yeah, they’re officially talking to you.

moisturizing is necessary after 40

You regret all the times your mom told you to moisturize your neck and you didn’t listen

Mom was right. Let’s just leave it at that.

melatonin becomes necessary after 40

Melatonin is crucial to falling asleep

As we get older, insomnia becomes more of an issue, so it’s no wonder we keep reaching for the bottle of gummy melatonin.

applying mascara is necessary after 40

Mascara is no longer a preference. It’s a must

It’s not just your hair that’s thinning out in your 40s. It’s your eyelashes, too.

sleeping becomes inconsistent after 40

You never know if you’re going to wake up cold or hot

Hot flashes and cold sweats are both a part of going through menopause, so don’t be surprised if you wake up in the middle in the night, the sheets underneath you drenched. It’s just a part of getting older.

mail catalogs become unavoidable after 40

The Lane Bryant, Harriet Carter, and Gold Violins magazines arrive

It’s like these companies literally know when you turn 40. (They do.) So if you’re in need of a portable mobility step or a step-in bath tub, these catalogs have your back. (Ugh.)

getting moles checked out is one of the worst parts about turning 40

Inspecting. Every. Single. Mole.

Yes, now that you’re 40, you have to be on the lookout for signs of melanoma at all times. So if any marks on your skin get darker, change, or seem to grow, you’re going to need to visit a dermatologist.

blood pressure becomes a talking point after 40

The doctor keeps warning you about blood pressure

We get it: Blood pressure is more important than ever. But does the doctor need to drive the point home into your heart and then twist the knife? And to make sure you truly conquer your 40s, be sure to read the 34 Bad Habits Everyone Should Stop by Age 40.

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