Writing Play Lists

I am a big fan of playlists. Music has such an influence on our mood and how we operate. I use this all of the time in running and we will often hear about power music playlists for picking yourself up. Likewise, we hear about calming playlists for when you need to cool down.

Many writers swear by ambient sound and while I do like using these sounds for sleeping and the like, I can not stand the sound of coffee shops as I write. They are just not relaxing for me when I spend 40 hours a week managing a coffee shop. (The sound of milk being steamed wrong is a very distinct sound!) I will often turn on playlists to help fill the noise that I need and to pump me up for what I am writing. Here are a few ten song playlists to help you in different sorts of genres. There are so many out there so please don’t feel the need to just use these. Build your own or follow the radio stations (if you are using Spotify) to give you even more inspiration. As you go through these will get longer and longer.

Keep in mind that these are just my fav songs and playlists that I have made from my spotify so they may not be your favorate songs. Always write to things tht inspire and move you!

Roam/ Travel

  • 1,2,3,4: Feist
  • Shot Gun: George Ezra
  • Location: Khalid
  • Movement and Location: Punch Brothers
  • Come with Me Now: Kongos
  • Fire: Barnes Courtney
  • When You Were Young: The Killers
  • Straight Into Your Arms: Vance Joy
  • Home By Now: Bombay Bicycle Club
  • American Girl: Tom Petty
  • Ride: Lana Del Ray
  • Burning Man: Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne
  • Gypsy: Fleetwood Mac
  • Gimme Shelter: Paul Brady
  • Boston: Augustana
  • Hurricane: Bob Dylan
  • Saturday Sun: Vance Joy
  • Blue Tacoma: Russell Dickerson
  • Cool Kids (Instrumental Version): Steve Petrunak
  • Where the Streets Have No Name: 2Cellos
  • Crippled Up Blues: 3Hattrio


  • Power over me: Dermot Kenny
  • Swim Til You Cant See Land: Frightened Rabbit
  • Suit and Jacket: Judah and the Lion
  • You Dont Own Me: Grace, G-eazy
  • Beat the Devils Tattoo: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
  • Like a River Runs: Bleachers
  • We’re Going Home: Vance Joy
  • Somebody Told Me: The Killers
  • Ruin My Life: Zara Larsson
  • Tusk: Fleetwood Mac
  • Young God: Halsey
  • Hunger: Florence and the Machine
  • Black Balloon: Goo Goo Dolls
  • Trip Switch: Nothing But Thieves
  • Til The Casket Drops: ZZ Ward
  • Secret: Pierces


  • Breath of Life: Florence and the Machine
  • URA Fever: The Kills
  • Kanye’s in My Head: Boy Epic
  • Til Its Gone: Yela Wolf
  • Warrior: Scandal
  • Blood in the Cut: K Flay
  • In For the Kill: La Roux
  • Smells like Teen Spirit: 2cellos
  • White Flag: Bishop Briggs
  • Lash Out: Alice Merton
  • Kiss With a Fist: Florence and the Machine
  • The Chain: Fleetwood Mac
  • Do it Like This: Daphne Willis
  • Feel Good Inc.: Gorillaz
  • Smooth Criminal: 2Cellos
  • Stand By Me: Ki Theory
  • Behind Closed Doors: Rise Against


  • Bring on the Wonder: Susan Enan
  • Way Down We Go (Acoustic): Kaleo
  • Indian Summer: Jai Wolf
  • Take it All Back: Judah and the Lion
  • Disarm: Smashing Pumpkins
  • Dark Paradise: Lana Del Ray
  • Take Me to Church: Hoizer
  • Sedated: Hoizer
  • Bad Company
  • Linger: The Cranberries
  • Neon Church: Tim Macgraw
  • In the Blood: John Mayer
  • Yoga Nirda: Meditation Spa
  • Naked as We Came: Iron and Wine
  • Half Light: BANNERS


  • Fire and the Flood: Vance Joy
  • We found love: 2Cellos
  • Only Love: Ben Howard
  • Setting the World on Fire: Pink, Kenny Chesney
  • Born to Love You: LANCO
  • Born to Be Yours: Kygo Imagine Dragons
  • Blue Jeans: Lana Del Ray
  • Like Real People Do: Hoizer
  • Better Love: Hoizer
  • You’ve got the Love: Florence and the Machine
  • Hey Jealousy: Gin Blossoms
  • King of Spain: Tallest Man on Earth
  • Electric Love: BORNS
  • Burning for You: Blue Oyster Cult
  • River Flows in You: Yirmia
  • Kisser: Step Rockets
  • Little Lover: The Barr Brothers
  • Tell Your Heart to Beat Again: Danny Gokey
  • Dont Wait: Mapei


  • Prepare to Die but Sew the Rye: Lowercase Noises
  • Medicine: The 1975
  • Mirror Maru: Cashmire Cat
  • Walking in Memphis: Marc Cohn
  • Send Me On My Way: Rusted Roots
  • Young and Beautiful: Lana Del Ray
  • Cherry Wine: Hoizer
  • Calling me Home: Emily Brimlow
  • Wild Love: James Bay
  • Young Blood (Acoustic): Noah Kahan
  • Budapest: George Ezra
  • Tear Drop: Massive Attack
  • Georgia: Vance Joy
  • Down: Marian Hill
  • Two Miles of Uncertainty: Good Weather for an Airstrike
  • Stop Everything; Its Snowing: Good Weather for an Airstrike
  • Bowspirit: BolmarHea

Supernatural/ Fantasy:

  • Seven Devils: Florence and the machine
  • Running up that Hill: Placebo
  • Call Me in the Afternoon: Halfmoon Run
  • Genesis: Armors
  • Battlefield: Svrcina
  • Edge of Seventeen: The Wind and the Wave
  • Is There Anyone Out There: Delta Rae
  • Dance in the Graveyards: Delta Rae
  • Evil: Interpol
  • Tear You Apart: She Wants Revenge
  • Born to Die: Lana Del Ray
  • Foreigners God: Holzer
  • Gods & Monsters: Lana Del Ray
  • Cringe: Matt Maeson
  • Seven Wonders: Fleetwood Mac
  • Only For a Night: Florence and the Machine

I am also a huge fan of creating a playlist for different WIPS and for ships; something most shipping partners in Role play or writing groups will often be thrilled about. Like the Character Aesthetics Board that I wrote about earlier, character playlist can give you a much greater feel for your characters feelings or moods.

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