Runaway's Diary is loosely conceptual, centering on Amy LaVere going AWOL at the age of 15, after her parents' divorce.
The album was partly inspired by American blues musician Seasick Steve, who toured with the singer in 2008. "I ran away from home briefly when I was a teenager," she explained to Uncut magazine. "The song 'Rabbit' is me imagining I'd stayed on the lam and hoping I would have ran into a character like Steve, because he's such a nurturing person. That got me thinking that I wanted to explore that part of my life, and it all started to piece together."
Fall Out Boy's "The Kids Aren't Alright" song title is not a reference to The Offspring's 1998 single of the same name. It actually alludes to The Who's 1979 rockumentary film called The Kids Are Alright.