Songwriting is one of those crafts that is easy to get stuck in. Writer’s block is really real in this game, and sometimes you just can’t come up with something to say.
So in this post, we’re going to give you a bunch of songwriting prompts you can use to help spark your next song.
Be sure to bookmark this page, so you can come back to it whenever you’re stuck in a songwriting session.
If you’re brand new to songwriting, make sure you check out our guide on how to write songs first.
Otherwise, let’s get into the prompts…
Topical Songwriting Prompts
Here are some prompts you can use if you already know the topic of the song you want to write.
Read through these, even if you don’t have a topic in mind – it may still spark something for you. Later on, we’ll get into random prompts you can use if you have no idea what you want to write about.
Keep a couple things in mind – you don’t have to follow the prompts below exactly. Feel free to use them as jumping-off points to your own ideas.
And none of these scenarios need to have happened to you specifically – make up a story about them if you want. It’s all good.
Love & Relationships Songwriting Ideas
- Your First Crush: write a song about the first time you remember having a crush. Include lyrics about where you were, how it made you feel, what you were thinking and what you did (or didn’t do) about it. The chorus should be about what ended up happening between you.
- Your First Time: write a song about your first sexual encounter with someone you’ve dated. Lyrics DON’T have to be explicit. Include lyrics about the day/night leading up to it and how you felt. Make the chorus about what that experience meant to you (positive or negative).
- Sex: write a song about a sexual encounter you’ve had or have fantasized about. Lyrics should include the run-up to it, the feelings around it and the encounter itself – they can be explicit or implied. The chorus should be about how good or bad it was overall.
- Your Closest Friend(s): write a song about the relationship you have with your closest friend or friends. Include lyrics about specific experiences that helped solidify your friendship. The chorus should be about your appreciation for them.
- The “Big Homie”: write a song about someone in your life who has helped you grow or succeed – a mentor or a “big brother/sister” figure that helped shape who you are for the better or worse. Include lyrics about who you were before and how they helped shape who you’ve become. The chorus should be about how you’re better/worse than before.
- Lost Love: write a song about someone you loved dearly (friend or romantic partner) but lost for some reason – death, divorce, breakup, disagreement, etc. Lyrics should describe the situation before the trouble and the situation after the trouble. The chorus should either be about your yearning for them or your despising of them. (Personal side note, I don’t think it’s good to celebrate death, so if it’s about someone who’s dead… maybe be cool and don’t rejoice in it… but, your call.)
- Infatuation: write a song about someone you’ve been absolutely infatuated with (romantically) – a celebrity crush, an ex, a friend, someone who doesn’t know you, etc. Lyrics should include the specific things that drive you wild about them. The chorus should be about what you wish would happen between you.
- Betrayal: write a song about someone who betrayed you – a friend, a lover, a partner, etc. Lyrics should include specifics about the story of the betrayal and how you discovered it. The chorus should be about what you ended up doing as a result.
- Jealousy: write a song about a specific time you experienced jealousy – either from you or from someone else. Lyrics should include the event/thing that caused the jealousy and the feelings around what was happening. The chorus should be about what ended up happening due to the jealousy.
- Loneliness: Write a song about any time you’ve felt loneliness in your life – romantic or friendship-wise. Lyrics should include specific feelings and yearnings. The chorus should be about overcoming or falling deeper into those feelings.
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Party & Lifestyle Songwriting Prompts
- Living it Up: write a song about living the good life – partying, travelling, buying nice things, etc. This can be fantasy or reality based. Lyrics should include descriptions of how you’d “live it up” and the chorus should be about how good it feels to let loose.
- Dancing: write a song about your love (or hate) for dancing – in the club, in your home, etc. Lyrics should include the moves, the feelings and the excitement/anxiety you get from dancing. The chorus should be a call to get up and start (or stop) dancing.
- Nice Things: write a song about the finer things in life – expensive cars/jewelry/clothing/houses/alcohol/etc. Lyrics should include specific items and their prestige, along with what makes them so great. The chorus should be about how and why you enjoy or want these things.
- Going Wild: write a song about completely going wild on a night out partying or having fun. Lyrics should include what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and why it’s so fun to you. the chorus should be about the intensity with which you are going “all out” doing the things you find fun.
- Boasting: write a song about something you excel at – skill-wise, financially, romantically, anything (are you the laziest lazy person?) and boast/brag about it. Lyrics should include why you’re so great at it and why it’s a good thing. The chorus should be about how you are the best in the world at this.
- Rep Your Hood: write a song about where you’re from or where you live – it can be either boastful (bragging) or detracting (shitting on it). Lyrics should include specific things about the city/neighbourhood/state/country and the chorus should be anthemic, talking generally about the place.
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- Bliss: write a song about a time you’ve felt absolute euphoria for whatever reason – love, meditation, drugs, anything. Lyrics should include the story behind how it happened to you. The chorus should be about what it feels like to be in pure bliss.
- Depression: write a song about sadness or depression you or someone you know has experienced. Lyrics should include the details around why it happened and what the source of it was/is. The chorus should be about overcoming or falling deeper.
- Philosophy: write a song about a high-level idea about how/why life works the way it does – socially, culturally, politically, etc. Lyrics should be about stories that help describe the overarching philosophical thought. The chorus should be about the central idea of the philosophical thought.
- Belief: write a song about your personal spiritual beliefs – whether that includes God, nature, the soul, materialism, whatever. Lyrics should include what it is about the world that makes you believe this thing. The chorus should describe the overall belief you hold.
- Current Event: write a song about something going on in the news/culture right now that affected you emotionally. Lyrics should include your description of what happened in the event, and the chorus should be about whether you think it’s good or bad overall.
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Using External Inspiration as a Prompt
Sometimes you can prompt yourself for new song ideas by turning to the art already out there in the world around you.
Here’s some ideas on how to turn them into songs.
- Use Books: grab a book – fiction or non-fiction – and flip to a random page. Read that page and figure out the main idea of what’s happening on the page. Use it to make up a story to write a song about.
- Use an Argument: think back to the last argument you had with someone. Use it as the inspiration to write a song from one perspective of the argument. The chorus can be the counter to that perspective.
- Use a Picture: look through a book/magazine/wall-art or find pictures of your own to use as inspiration. Look at the picture for a bit and make up a story about what that picture is “saying.” Write your song about that story.
- Use Memes: prowl around for some memes online and find one that speaks to you. Write a song about the idea being expressed in that meme. The chorus should be the main “meme” idea and the verse lyrics should add context around that idea
- Use Movies/TV: make up a story related to one of your favorite shows, movies or characters. Think of it like “fan fiction” for songwriters.
- Use Songs: listen to a song you really enjoy, and then write a song as a “response” to that song. It can take the opposite side of that song’s main idea, or it can build off of that song’s main idea.
- Scroll Social: scroll through your social media feed and make up a story about the first post that catches your attention. Write a song about that.
Random Songwriting Ideas and Prompts
Here are some more songwriting prompts that can help get the juices flowing during your next session.
Again, feel free to use these as jumping-off points to your own ideas.
And remember to bookmark this page, as we’ll keep adding new ideas below as we think of them.
Quick Ideas for Songs
- Last Day: write a song about what you’d do if this was your last day on earth.
- Jokes: write a song about your favorite joke or make up a story related to one of your favorite comedian’s bits.
- Forever: write a song about what it would be like to live forever
- Collapse: write about the end of the world, or what it would be like to live through society’s collapse
- If I Were President: write a song about what you’d change in the world if you were king/president/etc for a day.
- The Mundane: write about a boring, mundane activity from your daily life – what it is, how it makes you feel, why you do it, etc.
- Do it Different: think back to your early life and write a song about something you’d do differently if you could do it over again
- Outlandish Origins: try to come up with the craziest, most non-sensical and absurd story about your “origins” as a person/artist. Turn it into a song.
- Product Placement: write a song about one of your absolutely favorite products in the market that you can’t live without
- Your Dream Spot: write a song about the favorite place you’ve ever travelled to (or a place you wish to visit the most) – write about the culture, geography, vibe, etc.
- Revenge: write about a time you felt wronged and make up a story about how you’d get revenge
- Dreams: if you remember anything about a dream you had last night, make up a story about it and turn it into a song
- Bust a Move: try and make up your own dance move and write a song about it
- Anger: write about the last thing that made you really angry
- Bucket List: write a song about something you want to do before you die
- Time Capsule: write a letter to someone 100 years in the future
- Another Planet: write a song about hurtling through space or visiting another planet and what it’d be like
- Super Hero: imagine yourself as a super hero – what would your power be? Write a song about that
- Stress Reliever: write a song about the one guilty pleasure you love to use as a stress reliever
- Heist: write a song about planning and executing the perfect heist/robbery
- Conversation: pick a public figure and write a song that’s a conversation between you and them
- Heaven and Hell: write a song about what you think either heaven or hell would be like
- The Grind: write a song about working everyday and the struggle of modern life
- Lotto: write a song about what you’d do if you won the lottery
- Pet Peeve: write a song about something that annoys you to no end
- Sport: write a song about playing your favorite sport – make it anthemic and hype
- Addiction: write about something you’re 100% addicted to – it doesn’t have to be serious
- Foot In Mouth: write about a time you said something to someone that you shouldn’t have said
- Bad Date: write about the worst date you’ve ever had
- Sci-Fi/Fantasy: write a song that is a science fiction or fantasy story you make up completely
- Regret: write a song about something you regret doing in life
- Life Lesson: what’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten or heard? Write a song about it.
This post will be a living document – meaning we’ll keep adding to the random prompt ideas over time. So check back in every now and then to see if there’s anything new.
You can honestly write a song about anything – from the mundane to the extraordinary. Use the world around you as a prompt.
If you really want to level up your songwriting skills, I highly recommend you join HitSongsDeconstructed – they’re the best resource on the internet I’ve found on how to write hit songs.
Thanks for reading this list of songwriting ideas and prompts. Hope it sparked something great!