Rhett had been holding on to the song for a few years before he recorded it. He explained to the Las Vegas Review Journal: "There's actually been a couple other artists that wanted to cut that song, and for some reason, I just held on to it."
Rhett said the song sums up how he lives his life. He explained: "You know, every day we wake up and we try to do as much as we can and have as good of a time as we can and love as many people as we can, because you really never know if tomorrow, or tonight, is your last day on this earth. So that's really what the song is about is just kind of living every day like, you know, like it is the last time."
The lyrics to "Heartbreak Hotel" were written by a steel guitar player who was once a dishwasher repairman. He was inspired by a newspaper story about a man who killed himself and left behind a note saying only, "I walk a lonely street."