40 Things Every Woman Should Do Before She's 40

Read on for the ultimate life bucket list

Maybe you’re still riding the golden high that is your 20s. Maybe you’re clinging to your 30s like Leonardo DiCaprio on that door-raft at the end of Titanic. Regardless, you’ve got a whole lot of life to live. Here are 40 things we firmly believe every woman should do before she turns the big four-zero.


1. Fall in love.

2. Get her heart broken.

3. Find a gyno that doesn’t make her feel like a seventh-grader in sex ed.

4. Take a solo vacation.

5. Skinny-dip.

6. Try a short haircut (it’s OK if “short” means shoulder-length).

7. Cook Thanksgiving dinner.


8. Perform karaoke.

9. Read Jane Austen.

10. Own a dress she feels stunning in.

11. Own a handbag she’s proud to bring to a job interview.

12. Own a toiletries bag that’s more than a Ziploc sack streaked with sunscreen.

13. Understand her color palette.

14. Have a stance on organized religion.

15. Have an orgasm.

16. Operate a power drill.


17. Ride a roller-coaster.

18. Ride a motorcycle (yes, on the back, going six miles an hour counts).

19. Sleep outside, in a tent.

20. Make a presentation in front of 20 people or more.

21. Tell off a stranger.

22. Apologize to a stranger.

23. Accidentally send an email to the wrong person and then realize that life goes on.


24. Learn how to knit.

25. Forget how to knit.

26. Decide she’s comfortable with her crafting skills, whatever they may be.

27. Host a dinner party.

28. Know how to order a bottle of wine.


29. Do something big and selfless for the planet or the people living on it.

30. Vote for a winning president.

31. Play the lottery.

32. Negotiate a raise.

33. Start a 401(k).

34. Tell her mother/grandmother/favorite lady mentor just how influential she’s been.


35. Help a friend through a difficult time.

36. Accept a friend’s help during a difficult time.

37. Figure out how to make a house a home.

38. Grow something green.

39. Salvage something broken.

40. Dance like no one’s watching (bonus points if it’s the moonwalk).

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...