What millennials are doing to confront the 'quarter-life crisis'

We’ve all heard of a midlife crisis, but how about a quarter-life crisis? 

It’s now happening to people in their 20s. Along the East River in Manhattan, hundreds run, escaping life’s everyday rush. Justin is one of them.

"It’s more a mental health activity than a physical health activity for me," he said.


Now, more young people find themselves rushing toward the runner’s high, like Nicole.

"Running makes me feel alive, using lot of energy to get through my day and makes me happy," she said.

In 2023, nearly a fifth of runners who finished the New York City Marathon were in their 20s, compared to 15% back in 2019. Journalist Maggie Morton shares that there’s more behind the mileage.

"Whether that's harder, taking longer to find a career path that is meaningful to them or taking longer to find a partner, things like that, or moving to a new city, you know, and not having friends," Morton said.


Morton found younger runners were seeking purpose, identities outside of the social norms like the house, spouse and little ones. Some, in fact, were running through what she calls a quarter-life crisis.

"Being able to find that within running is something that, but, you know, I think most people would say it's pretty healthy," she said.

However, not everyone’s just running from their problems. Many are running into who they want to become, and find themselves inching a little closer to a marathon each time.