This song finds JoJo giving in to a painful love that she knows is no good for her. She explained the background to the track to Vogue:
"Being from the East Coast, mad love is a term that you hear a lot. You know, like, I've got mad love for you. And I use mad love a lot actually in my daily speech. That's mad good, mad real, et cetera. In the beginning of the year, when I started on this album, I got into the studio while at the end of this relationship that I wasn't really able to let go of, and Mad Love is a product of talking about that.
Sometimes the emotions are so strong that you stay in it because it's so exhilarating. What you get from it is passion and crazy and intensity, even though it might not be good for you. It's so abundant, it's so strong, and it's what you're used to and what you end up craving. That's the standpoint that I wrote it from."