For me, writing and music are inexplicably bound. All my best writing occurs with a soundtrack behind it, and there’s nothing like a particularly emotive song to get those creative juices flowing.

Here are my ultimate writing playlists for every mood. If you try them out, let me know what you think in the comments below! I’d love to hear what your favourite music to write to is.


Your characters are exchanging stolen glances, or maybe even phone numbers. Here are some sultry tunes to help a budding romance along.

  1. Angel Olsen – Acrobat
  2. Damien Rice – Delicate
  3. Warpaint – Billy Holiday
  4. Tallest Man On Earth – Thrown Right At Me
  5. Radiohead – Nude
  6. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Are You The One That I’ve Been Waiting For
  7. Lana Del Rey – Yayo
  8. Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey
  9. Etta James – Don’t Go To Strangers
  10. Ella Fitzgerald – These Foolish Things


Maybe it’s a love lost, a secret revealed or a bout of deep depression. Help your characters get in touch with their darker side by playing these tear jerkers.

  1. Annie Lennox – Dark Road
  2. Joanna Newsom – The Things I Say
  3. Tegan and Sara – Soil, Soil
  4. Soko – I’ve Been Alone Too Long
  5. The National – England
  6. The Smiths – Asleep
  7. Lana Del Rey – The Other Woman
  8. Glasvegas – Daddy’s Gone
  9. Fleetwood Mac – Storms
  10. Cat Stevens – Sad Lisa


These are the kinds of songs that play in the movie montage of a character finally getting their life together. Maybe they’re running down the street dramatically after a raise. Maybe they’ve had a life changing epiphany. Or maybe they’re working on something they’re really, really passionate about. Either way, this playlist is sure to have you feeling on top of the world.

  1. Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams Come True
  2. Diana Ross – Chain Reaction
  3. The Clash – We Are The Clash
  4. Billy Joel – Uptown Girl
  5. The Jackson 5 – ABC
  6. Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now
  7. Marina and the Diamonds – Can’t Pin Me Down
  8. Lorde – Team
  9. Joanna Newsom – Bridges and Balloons
  10. Jay Z & Kanye West – Otis (feat. Otis Redding)


If there was ever a playlist reserved for flashbacks and sentimental inner monologues, this would be it. Put on these sweet sounds for sepia-soaked visions of the past and journeys back in time.

  1. Beirut – Elephant Gun
  2. Alex Turner – Glass In The Park
  3. Trentemoller – Miss You
  4. The Strokes – I’ll Try Anything Once
  5. Air – Ce Matin La
  6. Sharon Van Etten – Keep
  7. Ray LaMontagne – All The Wild Horses
  8. Nico – These Days
  9. Magnetic Fields – The Things We Did and Didn’t Do
  10. The National – Pink Rabbits


Any writing playlist is best complimented by a writing view… This was mine in Hertfordshire. Not bad, huh?