What music do you listen to when you write?

Sometimes when I’m trying to write a particularly emotional scene (sad, happy, romantic, exciting, etc.), I have trouble putting myself in that particular emotional mindset. One of the best ways I’ve found to counter this type of writer’s block is by listening to a song (usually put on endless repeat) that embodies the particular emotion I’m trying to convey.

I’m going to share some of my current favourite emotion-inducing songs with you here, so grab some headphones and enjoy!


“I Am (Record Version” is from the anime Inuyasha. It’s light, cheery, has lots of xylophone and flute, and just makes me smile every time I hear it.


“Let’s Start a Riot” is loud, raucous, and makes me want to riot every time I hear it. Warning: don’t talk to anyone for at least a few minutes after listening to this song. You will feel very pumped up and confrontational, so cool down a bit first.


“First Love” is a Japanese song reminiscing about a girl’s first love. I actually prefer listening to songs in different languages when I’m writing, because lyrics often distract me from what I’m writing. If the lyrics are in a different language, however, it’s much harder to get distracted by them!


“Safe and Sound” is from the Hunger Games soundtrack. Every time I listen to this, I picture a girl sitting alone in an empty room, nostalgically remembering a simpler, happier time.

What about you?

What songs do you listen to when you write? I’m always looking for new music, so please share!!!

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “What music do you listen to when you write?

  1. Rhiannon

    Happy: Hall & Oats, “You Make my Dreams”

    Love: Craig Armstrong, “Glasgow love theme” or Ingrid Michaelson, “You and I”

    Future: Wintersleep, “Weighty Ghost” – I find myself always listening to this when I need to think/reflect

    Those are the first ones that pop into my head.

  2. Music is really important for me as well. Here are some choices I thought of after a bit.

    For crime fiction/romance/noir:

    My Favorite Things – John Coltrane
    Alabama – John Coltrane
    Moondance – Van Morrison
    Four Horsemen – Metallica & Alice in Chains

    For Western:

    The entire Red Dead Redemption soundtrack

    For horror:

    Raining Blood – Tori Amos

  3. Sean

    Happy: Take the Time – Dream Theater.

    Actually, it’s not so much the entire song as a 20 second solo in the middle that no one could possibly listen to without cracking a grin. It’s definitely uplifting.

    • Is that one of the ones you made me listen to?

      • Sean

        Nope, at least I don’t think so. Here’s a link if you are interested:

        The main happy part starts at around 3:45, and hits its peak around 4:30. The whole happy stretch, if you will, lasts a bit over a minute.

  4. Pingback: Thoughts on Music « See Me Write, See Me Struggle

  5. I love Sarah Blackwood. She’s getting less new by the day, so if you haven’t heard of her, check her out at TheSarahBlackwood on YouTube.

    I absolutely can’t listen to music when I write. It affects my moods and my writing is all about my moods. Sometimes my head composes my own stuff when I write though.

    • Sarah Blackwood has a sweet, soft voice, and she’s an excellent guitar player. She’s not really the style of musician I listen to, but thanks for broadening my horizons 🙂

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