Top Instrumental Inspirations

There are so many wonderful songs, across so many styles and genres that can spark inspiration. The coolest part is that the same song can hit each of us in different ways, or we seek inspiration for the same writing mood from entirely different types of music.

Today, though, I want to highlight my favorite instrumentals. Songs that move me, heighten my emotions and leave me inspired without saying a single word.

Honorable mention: Love Actually Prime Minister’s Theme
I don’t think I could ever write to this one because it is always and forever associated with Love Actually in my mind, but it sure brings a smile to my face!

5. Boondock Saints Theme
Love this one for fast-paced scenes, where I’m trying to capture coordinated actions and close camaraderie on the battlefield.

4. Prince of Egypt: The Burning Bush
As close to the music of Heaven as you can get with mortal instruments. I've never heard wonder captured more beautifully in a song.

3. Lord of the Rings: The Breaking of the Fellowship
This has a “take me a away” quality that makes me think of starting on a grand adventure. Even though it conveys high stakes, it also makes me think of friendship. And I always envision running over green hills.

2. Requiem for a Dream
If I’m on a tight writing deadline, and I need to get in the mindset for a battle scene ASAP, this is my go to music. Awesome! (And, yes, the video is LOTR...again. But how can you not love it?!)

1. Last of the Mohicans: Promentory
The subtle building tension in this song cannot be outdone. Last of the Mohicans has been my failsafe writing soundtrack for years, and this song is simply incredible. It plays so well for so many different emotions, and for those moments where your characters are getting oh-so-close (to what they want, to each other) but they just can’t seem to touch. Also, for battle scenes, right in that moment when the good guy and bad guy first face each other across the field.


  1. I love all the music from the Lord of the Rings. It's probably my most listened to soundtrack.

  2. I'm not much into soundtracks, but all three for LOTR were powerful.

  3. I can see why these instrumental songs are inspirational, especially the Lord of the Rings soundtracks. :)

  4. Nice picks. I find instrumentals can tap into emotions far more than lyrics can most of the time.

  5. Great songs! For inspiration I love to listen to the soundtrack of Coppola's Dracula. It's so creepy, dark, and yet gentle and sweet. I love it!

  6. This is a solid line-up. Great choices!

  7. I love your choices, and especially what you said about "wonder" in the burning bush song. I love "Through Heaven's Eyes" from that soundtrack too but a great pick-me-up song. I hadn't heard the theme from Love Actually before - what a great discovery.

  8. Promentory is my fave - Not only do I imagine the scenes in the movie but my mind takes me other places as well which makes me think I need to re-acquire that soundtrack!

  9. What an interesting post! These are really great picks, and not ones I would have thought of. :)

  10. I tend to prefer lyrics to inspire me, even when I have no clue what the lyrics are saying--which apparently is most of the time. :)

  11. I seriously broke out in goosebumps when I clicked on the Love Actually clip...

    LOVE that movie... hate Richard Curtis (not really :) he is soooo super talented :)

  12. Heather - Same here! I love it.

    Alex - We'll have to get Rush to do a soundtrack for you. :)

    Cherie - They always manage to take me away.

    Christine - Agreed. Though I love lyrics, there's just something about the power of instrumentals.

    Georgina - Ooh, that does sounds like a good one for what you write!

    Emily - Thanks!

    Margo - I love "Through Heaven's Eyes" as well. That whole soundtrack is just incredible. And, happy to introduce you to the awesomeness that is Love Actually. ;)

    MSHatch - Right?! It sucks me in every time I hear it.

    Rachel - Glad to add some new music to your list.

    Stina - You're in good company. My family has an ongoing joke about me messing up lyrics. ;)

    Mark - I can't help but smile like a little kid when I listen to that song.

  13. Nicole,

    These are GREAT. Thank you! I cannot write to music with lyrics, but instrumentals are wonderful for creating moods without distracting me. I am bookmarking this page for future reference! :) So wonderful.

    1. Oh, I'm so glad! Yes, I find that when I'm really "in the zone" I need instrumentals.

  14. LOTR has epic soundtracks. I've never seen Boondock Saints, but the music was very captivating. My go-to soundtrack for me is Braveheart.

  15. those are some seriously inspirational tunes!! perfect to get a person unstuck!

  16. I'll have to try writing to instrumental music sometime! I can't write to anything with lyrics because I get way too distracted and want to start singing instead! The Love Actually clip is beautiful.

  17. I don't write to music but love the LOTR and Last of the Mohicans music.