After returning from a long tour that followed the Canadian post-hardcore rockers Silverstein second album, Discovering the Waterfront, frontman Shane Told was given the bad news that his cousin had passed away. He found himself drowning in sorrow and came close to breaking up the band before concluding that his grief should rather be reflected in their music. He explained to Alternative Press magazine: "This song is about my cousin who passed away in 2006. It was something that deeply affected me, and I wanted to write about it, but until now, I could never get the words out. It's definitely a very personal song about dealing with death and not realizing how precious the time you get to spend with your family and loved ones really is. I hope it helps other people who are dealing with the loss of someone close to them."
Taylor Swift's “Shake It Off” was inspired by how she'd learned to deal with all the false rumors that circulated about her. "The only thing we can control is our reaction to that ,” said Swift. "You can either let it get to you … [or] you just shake it off."