Writing Music: 100 Best Songs to Spark Your Creativity

I always listen to something when I write — music, podcasts, or YouTube videos.

I’ve explored various soundscapes, from the ambient noise of coffee shops to curated playlists, and I even created a rain sounds video on my YouTube channel, specifically designed to envelop writers in the comforting embrace of nature’s melodies.

From all of this research and testing, here is the best writing music for your every artistic mood.

The Power of Writing Music

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Typewriter surrounded by colorful floating images of music -- Writing Music
I made this image — Writing Music

Why does music hold such power over our creative faculties?

From the rhythmic patter of rain to the soul-stirring swell of an orchestra, each note and nuance can usher us into a state of flow, where words pour out effortlessly. In this guide, I’ll share 100 songs that have been my allies in writing.

These aren’t just any songs; they are melodies that resonate with the rhythm of thought, emotion, and expression.

Each category below is a collection of tunes that have stood by me, helping weave narratives out of the silence.

Classical Calm

Classical music provides a serene backdrop for writers.

Its timeless melodies can transport you to a world of quiet contemplation, where creativity flows unimpeded.

  1. Claude Debussy – Clair de Lune. The gentle ebbs and flows of this piece mimic the natural rhythm of thought, making it perfect for reflective writing sessions. Its ethereal quality can help ideas float freely in your mind.
  2. Ludwig van Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata. This sonata’s deep melancholy provides a powerful backdrop for introspection and profound creativity. The emotional depth of the music can help unlock hidden layers in your writing.
  3. Johann Sebastian Bach – Goldberg Variations. Bach’s variations offer a structured yet creative environment that can boost focus and inspiration. Each variation explores a different facet of the theme, much like exploring various angles in a story.
  4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Mozart’s serenade is lively and uplifting, perfect for when you need a mood booster during long writing sessions. Its familiarity and charm can make the writing process feel more joyful.
  5. Erik Satie – Gymnopédies. The slow pace and simplicity of the Gymnopédies provide a minimalist backdrop that can help clear your mind, making room for creativity and focus.
  6. Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons. Vivaldi’s concertos are vivid and full of life, each portraying a different season. This variety can inspire dynamic writing, offering a range of emotions to draw from.
  7. Frédéric Chopin – Nocturnes. Chopin’s Nocturnes are soulful and expressive, ideal for writing that delves into deep emotions or complex character studies. Their lyrical quality can help smooth out the writing process.
  8. Ludovico Einaudi – Nuvole Bianche. Einaudi’s contemporary classical piece is soothing and cinematic, perfect for writing scenes that require a touch of emotion or a sense of journey.
  9. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake. The dramatic and beautiful themes from Swan Lake can inspire grand narratives and add a touch of elegance to your writing environment.
  10. Philip Glass – Glassworks. Glass’s minimalist compositions offer a repetitive and hypnotic backdrop, facilitating a deep focus that’s ideal for getting lost in the world of your writing.

Jazz Journeys

Jazz, with its blend of spontaneity and structure, can invigorate your writing process.

Its ability to convey emotion through improvisation makes it a dynamic companion for creative exploration.

  1. Miles Davis – So What. The cool, laid-back vibes of this track encourage a relaxed writing pace, making it ideal for brainstorming sessions or fleshing out ideas.
  2. John Coltrane – Giant Steps. Coltrane’s fast pace and complex chord changes can energize your writing, especially when working through challenging sections or looking for dynamic, rhythmic inspiration.
  3. Dave Brubeck – Take Five. Its unusual time signature and catchy melody make “Take Five” a refreshing break from the ordinary, perfect for writers seeking a novel approach or a fresh perspective.
  4. Charles Mingus – Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. This soulful, melancholic piece can provide a deep, emotional undercurrent for writing that explores complex themes or character emotions.
  5. Duke Ellington – In a Sentimental Mood. The smooth, romantic tones of this classic can enhance writing scenes that require a touch of intimacy or reflection.
  6. Bill Evans – Waltz for Debby. Evans’ lyrical piano playing offers a gentle, wistful backdrop, ideal for crafting detailed narratives or developing character backstories.
  7. Thelonious Monk – Round Midnight. Monk’s intricate melodies and harmonies present a thoughtful, introspective mood, suitable for late-night writing sessions or when delving into more serious topics.
  8. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – Summertime. The warm, expressive vocals in this rendition of “Summertime” can add a sense of nostalgia and depth to your writing, perfect for setting a scene or developing atmosphere.
  9. Herbie Hancock – Cantaloupe Island. With its funky groove and catchy riff, “Cantaloupe Island” introduces an upbeat, creative energy that can help spur innovative ideas.
  10. Wynton Marsalis – Feeling of Jazz. Marsalis’ smooth and sophisticated track encapsulates the essence of jazz, providing a cool, composed backdrop for crafting narratives. It’s perfect for when you need to maintain a steady, focused approach to your writing, offering a balance between relaxation and concentration.

Ambient Atmospheres

Ambient music, with its emphasis on tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure, can be incredibly effective in creating a focused, meditative writing environment.

These tracks are designed to blend into the background, providing a calming, non-intrusive backdrop.

  1. Brian Eno – Music for Airports. Eno’s pioneering ambient album is designed to induce calm and space for reflection, making it ideal for writing that requires deep concentration and a serene mindset.
  2. Aphex Twin – Rhubarb. This track’s repetitive, soft melodies create a soothing environment that can help minimize distractions, allowing for a deeper immersion into your writing.
  3. Stars of the Lid – And Their Refinement Of The Decline. The slow-moving, drone-like soundscapes of this album are perfect for writers needing to maintain focus over long periods. It’s like a musical form of white noise, enhancing productivity without demanding attention.
  4. Max Richter – On the Nature of Daylight. Richter’s piece combines strings and piano to evoke a sense of emotional depth and introspection, aiding in writing that explores complex emotions or character developments.
  5. Ólafur Arnalds – re:member. Arnalds blends classical and electronic elements to create music that feels both timeless and modern, offering a backdrop that can inspire innovative thinking and new ideas.
  6. Sigur Rós – Ágætis byrjun. The ethereal sound of Sigur Rós can transport you to otherworldly places, perfect for writing fantasy, sci-fi, or any work that ventures beyond the ordinary.
  7. Nils Frahm – Says. Frahm’s minimalist electronic compositions offer a tranquil, yet emotionally charged environment for writing, especially effective for crafting narratives that require a delicate touch.
  8. The Album Leaf – In a Safe Place. The blend of ambient electronics and live instruments creates a warm, inviting atmosphere that’s conducive to creative writing and brainstorming.
  9. Carbon Based Lifeforms – Hydroponic Garden. This album’s ambient, downtempo tracks are great for setting a calm, yet subtly energized environment for writing, especially useful for generating ideas and fleshing out concepts.
  10. Eluvium – Life Through Bombardment. The lush, cinematic soundscapes of Eluvium are ideal for writers looking to create a deeply immersive setting, providing a sonic world that mirrors the depth and complexity of their narratives.

If you’re looking for more a rain sounds aesthetic, here is a video I created for writers (like me and you):

YouTube Video by Writing Secrets (That’s Me) — Writing Music

Epic Soundtracks

Epic soundtracks from movies, TV shows, and video games are masterful at evoking emotions and creating expansive soundscapes that can dramatically elevate your writing sessions.

Writing music like these compositions often carry a narrative weight, making them perfect companions for writing your own stories.

  1. Hans Zimmer – Time (Inception). Zimmer’s powerful compositions are known for their ability to convey deep emotional resonance and epic scope, making “Time” a perfect piece for writing scenes that require a sense of grandeur or emotional depth.
  2. Ramin Djawadi – Main Theme (Game of Thrones). The iconic theme from “Game of Thrones” is imbued with a sense of adventure and intrigue, ideal for writing fantasy or any story that involves complex political machinations and epic battles.
  3. John Williams – Hedwig’s Theme (Harry Potter). The magical quality of “Hedwig’s Theme” can inspire wonder and whimsy, perfect for writing children’s literature, fantasy, or any work that aims to capture the imagination.
  4. Howard Shore – The Fellowship Theme (The Lord of the Rings). Shore’s sweeping score for “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is rich with themes of heroism, adventure, and the struggle between good and evil, offering a lush backdrop for writing epic narratives.
  5. Ennio Morricone – The Ecstasy of Gold (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). Morricone’s compositions blend the majestic with the intimate, providing a dynamic range of emotions to draw from when writing stories that traverse a broad emotional spectrum.
  6. Yoko Shimomura – Dearly Beloved (Kingdom Hearts). This gentle, melancholic piece from the Kingdom Hearts series is great for writing sessions that delve into themes of friendship, loss, or the bittersweet nature of adventure.
  7. Bear McCreary – Theme from Battlestar Galactica. McCreary’s work combines traditional orchestral elements with electronic sounds and ethnic instruments, creating a unique, compelling backdrop that’s especially fitting.
  8. Michael Giacchino – Married Life (Up). Giacchino’s touching composition for the movie “Up” captures a wide range of emotions in just a few minutes, from the joys of love to the pains of loss, making it a versatile background for writing deeply emotional or reflective pieces.
  9. Nobuo Uematsu – To Zanarkand (Final Fantasy X). Uematsu’s compositions have a unique ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia and longing, perfect for writing that aims to explore complex emotions or intricate backstories.
  10. Jeremy Soule – Skyrim (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim). The epic and immersive score of Skyrim invites writers into a world of adventure and exploration, ideal for crafting narratives set in vast, open worlds full of potential stories and characters.

Lyrical Landscapes

Sometimes, the right lyrics can spark an idea or emotion that brings your writing to life.

These songs, spanning various genres, are chosen for their poetic lyrics and compelling storytelling, offering inspiration for your own narratives.

  1. Bob Dylan – Tangled Up in Blue. Dylan’s storytelling prowess is unmatched, and this song’s intricate narrative and emotional depth can inspire similar richness and complexity in your writing.
  2. Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah. Cohen’s lyrical genius in “Hallelujah” combines spiritual longing with human frailty, offering a profound backdrop for writing that explores deep themes of love, loss, and redemption.
  3. Joni Mitchell – A Case of You. Mitchell’s vivid lyrics and emotive delivery in “A Case of You” paint a detailed picture of love and memory, providing a rich source of inspiration for character development and emotional narrative arcs.
  4. The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby. The poignant storytelling and social commentary in “Eleanor Rigby” offer a great example of how to weave narrative and message into your writing, encouraging exploration of themes like loneliness and societal neglect.
  5. Tracy Chapman – Fast Car. Chapman’s storytelling in “Fast Car” captures the essence of hope and despair, making it a powerful muse for writing about dreams, escape, and the realities of life.
  6. Sufjan Stevens – Chicago. Stevens combines personal narrative with a sweeping scope in “Chicago,” inspiring writers to explore their own stories within larger themes and settings.
  7. Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees. The melancholy and critique embedded in the lyrics of “Fake Plastic Trees” can inspire writing that delves into themes of authenticity, consumerism, and environmental concern.
  8. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide. The introspective and contemplative nature of “Landslide,” combined with its beautiful melody, offers a soothing yet emotionally stirring background for writing about change, growth, and self-reflection.
  9. David Bowie – Space Oddity. Bowie’s narrative of Major Tom’s journey into space provides a unique storytelling perspective, encouraging writers to explore themes of isolation, ambition, and the unknown.
  10. Adele – Someone Like You. Adele’s powerful vocal delivery and the emotional depth of “Someone Like You” can inspire writing that seeks to capture the raw essence of heartbreak and the quest for closure.

Folk Reflections

Folk music offers a raw, authentic backdrop for writing that seeks to explore human experiences and emotions.

These songs are chosen for their ability to connect with listeners on a personal level.

  1. Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence. The haunting melodies and poignant lyrics of this classic folk song can inspire introspective writing, exploring themes of alienation, existential dread, and the search for meaning.
  2. Nick Drake – Pink Moon. Drake’s delicate fingerpicking and soft, melancholic voice in “Pink Moon” create an intimate atmosphere, perfect for writing that focuses on personal journey and introspection.
  3. Joan Baez – Diamonds and Rust. Baez’s reflective and bittersweet recounting of a past love offers a masterclass in narrative lyricism, inspiring writers to explore the depths of their own past relationships and the emotions they evoke.
  4. Bob Marley – Redemption Song. This acoustic anthem of freedom and emancipation from Bob Marley can encourage writers to explore themes of liberation, resilience, and the human spirit’s unyielding desire for redemption.
  5. Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi. Mitchell’s witty and critical take on environmental and social issues set against a catchy, upbeat melody can inspire writers to tackle contemporary issues with a blend of humor and seriousness.
  6. Iron & Wine – Flightless Bird, American Mouth. The intricate lyrics and soft, acoustic melody create a dreamlike quality that’s ideal for writing that delves into themes of love, loss, and longing.
  7. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal. The harmonic vocals and the cyclical, narrative nature of the song provide a lush, wintry backdrop for writing, perfect for stories that weave together themes of memory, time, and change.
  8. Bon Iver – Holocene. The ethereal sound and introspective lyrics of “Holocene” invite writers to explore their place in the world, reflecting on moments of personal significance and the beauty of the natural world.
  9. The Lumineers – Ophelia. With its catchy melody and soulful lyrics, “Ophelia” is a vibrant source of inspiration for writing about love, wanderlust, and the pursuit of passion against the odds.
  10. Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova – Falling Slowly. This duet, with its beautiful blend of voices and emotional depth, can inspire writing that captures the essence of human connection, vulnerability, and the power of a shared moment.

Electronic Explorations

Electronic music, with its vast array of sounds and textures, offers an expansive landscape for creative exploration.

From ambient to techno, electronic writing music can stimulate a wide range of emotions and settings, making it a versatile companion for any writing session.

  1. Daft Punk – Digital Love. This track’s upbeat tempo and nostalgic feel can inspire writing that explores themes of love, longing, and the joy of connection in the digital age.
  2. Moby – Porcelain. The melancholic yet soothing tones of “Porcelain” offer a backdrop for writing that delves into introspection, solitude, and the complex layers of the human psyche.
  3. Massive Attack – Teardrop. With its haunting vocals and trip-hop beats, “Teardrop” is perfect for crafting stories that explore the darker, more mysterious aspects of life and emotion.
  4. Portishead – Roads. The somber mood and slow build of “Roads” create an atmospheric setting for writing that examines themes of despair, longing, and the search for redemption.
  5. Boards of Canada – Roygbiv. The warm, analog sounds of Boards of Canada can inspire writing that captures nostalgia, childhood memories, and the subtle beauty of everyday moments.
  6. Autechre – Nil. For writing that pushes boundaries or explores abstract concepts, the complex, textural soundscapes of Autechre offer a challenging yet rewarding backdrop.
  7. Kraftwerk – Computer Love. Kraftwerk’s pioneering electronic sound, combined with themes of technology and emotion, can inspire writers to explore the intersection of human experience and the digital world.
  8. Aphex Twin – Avril 14th. This gentle, piano-driven piece by Aphex Twin provides a serene and contemplative atmosphere, ideal for writing that seeks to capture moments of clarity, simplicity, and poignant beauty.
  9. Tycho – Awake. Tycho’s blend of ambient melodies and upbeat rhythms offers an uplifting backdrop for writing, especially effective for crafting scenes that evoke a sense of hope, renewal, and forward movement.
  10. The Chemical Brothers – Wide Open. With its dynamic build and emotive vocals, “Wide Open” is ideal for writing that explores transformation, the feeling of being on the cusp of change, or the exhilaration of discovering something new about oneself or the world.

Soulful Serenades

Soul music can bring a profound depth of feeling to your writing.

The soul genre is rich with themes of love, pain, joy, and resilience, making it a perfect writing music muse for stories that aim to touch the heart and stir the spirit.

  1. Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer. Franklin’s powerful rendition of this classic provides a vibrant backdrop for writing that explores themes of hope, devotion, and the strength found in love.
  2. Otis Redding – (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay. The laid-back, reflective nature of this song is perfect for writing that captures moments of contemplation, the beauty of stillness, and the bittersweetness of reminiscing.
  3. Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come. Cooke’s anthem of hope and resilience can inspire writing that tackles social issues, personal growth, and the universal longing for freedom and equality.
  4. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On. With its poignant social commentary and smooth, soulful melody, “What’s Going On” is a powerful muse for writing that seeks to explore and question the complexities of the modern world.
  5. Bill Withers – Lean on Me. The message of support and unity in “Lean on Me” can inspire narratives that delve into the power of community, friendship, and the human capacity for compassion.
  6. Al Green – Let’s Stay Together. Green’s smooth, romantic vocals can inspire writing that explores the nuances of love, commitment, and the joy found in shared moments.
  7. Etta James – At Last. James’ soul-stirring vocals and the timeless quality of “At Last” make it an ideal backdrop for writing that captures the essence of finding love or fulfillment after a long journey.
  8. Stevie Wonder – Superstition. The funky, upbeat sound of “Superstition” can inspire writing that’s infused with energy, explores themes of fate and belief, or simply needs a rhythmic, lively atmosphere.
  9. Ray Charles – Georgia on My Mind. Charles’ heartfelt tribute to Georgia can inspire writing that explores themes of home, longing, and the deep emotional connections we have to places and memories.
  10. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black. Winehouse’s emotional depth and retro soul style can inspire writing that delves into themes of love, loss, and the complexities of the human experience.

Reggae Rhythms

Reggae music, with its laid-back beats and positive vibes, provides a unique atmosphere that can significantly enhance the writing process.

Its rhythmic patterns and distinctive sound not only offer a refreshing break from the silence but also infuse your writing session with a sense of relaxation and creative flow.

  1. Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman, No Cry. Bob Marley’s soothing voice and the song’s comforting rhythm make it a perfect choice for writing sessions that require warmth and empathy. Its message of hope and resilience can inspire narratives that resonate deeply with readers.
  2. Peter Tosh – Legalize It. Tosh’s anthem for marijuana legalization is not only a call for social change but also a song that can inspire writers to explore themes of activism, freedom, and the fight against oppression in their work.
  3. Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come. This track’s message of perseverance in the face of adversity offers a motivational backdrop for writing, especially for stories that feature characters overcoming challenges or fighting for their dreams.
  4. Toots and the Maytals – Pressure Drop. The upbeat tempo and hopeful lyrics of “Pressure Drop” provide an excellent environment for writing music that encourages a sense of impending change or catharsis within narrative arcs.
  5. Gregory Isaacs – Night Nurse. Isaacs’ smooth voice and the song’s relaxed groove offer a soothing background for writing sessions, particularly when crafting scenes that require a tender touch or a healing moment.
  6. Burning Spear – Marcus Garvey. The powerful and inspiring lyrics dedicated to the Jamaican national hero, Marcus Garvey, encourage writers to delve into historical narratives, explore themes of leadership, and the impact of influential figures in society.
  7. Steel Pulse – Handsworth Revolution. With its roots in the Handsworth riots, this song can inspire writers to tackle complex social issues, reflecting on the causes and effects of civil unrest and the community’s resilience.
  8. Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. This track’s reggae beat and engaging storytelling elements make it a compelling choice for writing music that explores themes of unexpected encounters, societal norms, and breaking barriers.
  9. Alpha Blondy – Jerusalem. The song’s plea for peace and unity in Jerusalem can inspire writing that explores themes of conflict, hope, and the quest for harmony in a divided world.
  10. UB40 – Red Red Wine. UB40’s version of this classic song brings a light, enjoyable atmosphere to the writing session, perfect for when you need to loosen up and let the words flow with ease.

Blues Beats

Blues music offers a powerful source of inspiration for writers.

Characterized by its melancholic melodies and often reflective lyrics, this type of writing music can help unlock deep emotions and foster an environment ripe for creative storytelling.

This genre’s expressive power lies in its ability to convey the complexities of the human condition.

  1. B.B. King – The Thrill Is Gone. King’s iconic guitar licks and soulful vocals on “The Thrill Is Gone” provide a poignant backdrop for writing about loss, heartbreak, and the journey to recovery. Its bluesy essence captures the bittersweet nature of moving on.
  2. Muddy Waters – Mannish Boy. The deep, gritty voice of Muddy Waters combined with the song’s powerful riff offers inspiration for writing strong, defiant characters or narratives that embody the spirit of resilience and rebirth.
  3. Etta James – I’d Rather Go Blind. The emotional intensity of “I’d Rather Go Blind” can inspire writers to explore the depths of love, betrayal, and the complexities of human relationships, making it perfect writing music for scenes charged with emotional turmoil.
  4. John Lee Hooker – Boom Boom. Hooker’s foot-tapping rhythm and bluesy vibe in “Boom Boom” provide a lively atmosphere that can energize writing sessions, perfect for crafting scenes with dynamic, compelling action or dialogue.
  5. Howlin’ Wolf – Smokestack Lightnin’. The haunting harmonica and raw vocal power of “Smokestack Lightnin'” create an atmospheric setting for writing, especially suitable for stories that delve into darker themes or explore the human psyche.
  6. Robert Johnson – Cross Road Blues. Johnson’s tale of desperation and deal-making at the crossroads offers fertile ground for writing music that inspires stories of choices, consequences, and the eternal search for redemption.
  7. Stevie Ray Vaughan – Texas Flood. The virtuosic guitar work and emotional delivery of “Texas Flood” are ideal for writing music that evokes a sense of longing, intensity, and the raw edge of passion.
  8. Buddy Guy – Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues. With its expressive guitar solos and heartfelt lyrics, “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues” can encourage writers to tap into their own emotions, exploring themes of despair, endurance, and the catharsis of expressing one’s truth.
  9. Janis Joplin – Me and Bobby McGee. Joplin’s raspy voice and the song’s narrative of freedom and loss make it a compelling choice for writing music that explores themes of adventure, companionship, and the sacrifices we make for the ones we love.
  10. Gary Clark Jr. – Bright Lights. The modern blues sound of “Bright Lights,” with its gritty lyrics about city life, can inspire writers to explore contemporary themes, setting their narratives against the backdrop of urban landscapes and the dreams and struggles found within.

Best AI Song Generators for Writing Music

Believe it or not, you can actually now generate your own writing music to your exact specifications.

You can use this to inspire your writing or create a cool soundtrack for your stories.

Try these generators:

  • Suno – This is my current favorite!
  • Soundraw
  • Boomy

Final Thoughts: Best Writing Music

Now you have a writing playlist for every mood.

For even more inspiration for your writing, check out some of our other great guides below.

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