Cole Swindell told Billboard
magazine the story of the song:
"I was sitting at home, and I had a writing appointment the next morning. There was a guitar of my dad's - not the one from the 'You Should Be Here
' video - just another guitar, and I'd never really played it. So I was just messing around, and I had this idea.
Originally, in my mind, I was thinking 'Broke Down' would be about losing my dad. I'd already written 'You Should Be Here' [about the loss of his father], so I was like, 'Well, I think the girl route would be better, since I'm never going to top that.'"
After turning his original idea into a girl-themed tune, Swindell took it in the next morning to his writing appointment with Michael Carter and Ashley Gorley and played it to them. They loved it, and the trio knocked his song into shape.