Jenna McDougall wrote the line "I need human interaction, I am under stimulated" during an emotionally difficult time in Iowa when Tonight Alive were on tour with Mayday Parade. She told Kerrang: "That was me feeling depressed but not having a good enough reason to be."
McDougall added: "I think it's so dangerous when you try and explain why you're depressed or down or you're just completely lethargic and apathetic towards everything. When really, in the position I'm in I should be so grateful for all that I have. It's just that constant battle of saying to myself, 'I should be so grateful, I should be so happy, why aren't I?' I've never really felt depressed in that way before. I can't imagine what it's like for people that deal with that often. I've felt like that on and off for a long time – it comes and goes."
"Lean On" was originally sent by Major Lazer to both Rihanna and Nicki Minaj's camps as a slower reggae track. After both parties rejected the tune, Major Lazer recruited Danish singer MØ to supply vocals and recorded it themselves.