This is the first single by singer-songwriter Norah Jones, from her fifth album, …Little Broken Hearts. Jones premiered the song on February 28, 2012 via her Facebook page on the SoundCloud and it was released on March 6, 2012.
…Little Broken Hearts was entirely produced by Danger Mouse (real name: Brian Burton) and recorded at Burton's Los Angeles studio during the fall of 2011. The record was co-written by Jones and Burton, with the pair handling the majority of the instrumentals. Jones teamed up with the producer after she contributed vocals to his Rome project with Daniele Luppi.
The song surprised Jones and Burton from the moment they wrote it. "We both were like 'Oh my God, this is awesome' at first and then went away and listened over the weekend, explained Jones. "We didn't know if it fit on the record. But I couldn't stop singing it, and neither could Brian. Eventually we decided it was too much fun, it had to be there."
Jones and Burton were about halfway through recording Little Broken Hearts when they recorded this song. Whilst musically it's one of the few upbeat tunes on the set, lyrically it finds Jones singing of emancipating herself from a relationship and finding that she's better off alone. She told the story of the song to Spinner: "When we started doing 'Happy Pills,' he leaned over to me - I think I was getting grumpy waiting for lunch; we were always starving when we got there - we were just kind of waiting around to eat, and he looked over at me and starting going, 'Nah nah nah nah' just to kind of mess with me, I think. I said, 'Well that sounds nice,' and we started working on it. It was just really happy sounding, which was a little different from the rest of the album - not that the album is depressing, but the songs are a little darker on the rest of the album. It was very happy and it wouldn't get out of our heads, so we decided to sort of make the lyrics a little more on the dark side, maybe even mean or kind of silly, but in a mean way. It kind of was a nice juxtaposition between the happy music and the darker lyrics."