Background and release
"Habits (Stay High)" was written by
Tove Lo alongside Ludvig Söderberg and Jakob Jerlström, while produced by Söderberg and Jerlström under the production name The Struts.
 Initially, Lo signed a publishing deal with
Warner/Chappell Music in 2011,
 and co-wrote songs for
Icona Pop and
 She later released her debut single, "
Love Ballad", in October 2012, which drew the attention from some music blogs. This encouraged her to start a career as an independent singer so she could record her most personal songs.
 According to Lo, "Habits (Stay High)" is the song from
Truth Serum (2014) that means the most to her because of its honest lyrics and extended writing process.
 Initially, the verses of the song were part of a poem written by Lo when she was going through a difficult time in a relationship.
 Later, Lo's boyfriend became part of a
Buddhist movement but she refused to join, which led the relationship to an end.
 After that, she started using drugs and drinking in order to forget him.
 Months after the relationship ended, she was staying at a friend's apartment in
New York City, during 2012's
 When the apartment lost electricity and heat, Lo went on to stay at her friend's studio in
Midtown, New York City, where she wrote the
On 11 December 2012, she announced through her
Facebook account that she did not get to finish some of the projects she was working on in New York and that she was collaborating in the studio with The Struts in Sweden.
 The singer decided to use the vocals she recorded for the
demo on the song because her vocal performance "was really coming from the heart".
 The Struts co-wrote, produced and
programmed the track, and additionally played the
keys. Filip Runesson played the
strings, with Lars Norgren
mixing the song and Björn Engelmann
 In an interview with Coup de Main magazine, Lo said that: "[While writing the song, I was thinking about] my way of getting through a hard time in 'the best' possible way. It's a big relief to just think 'fuck it all' for a while. We all have to be so perfect, and absolutely no one can live up to it."
 She later confessed to
The Huffington Post that she recovered from the break-up after writing the song.
On 13 March 2013, the singer released the song's artwork accompanied by the statement "soon" on her Facebook account.
 Two days later, she released the track, under the title "Habits".
 It was her second independently-released single, after "Love Ballad" (2012).
 The song drew the attention of music blogs, which gained Lo an online following.
Marina and the Diamonds and New Zealand artist
Lorde praised the song through their
 Subsequently, the recording was re-released under the title "Habits (Stay High)" on 6 December 2013 through Universal Music as the second single from Lo's debut EP Truth Serum, as well as the
lead single from her debut studio album
Queen of the Clouds (2014).
 It was made available for digital consumption in the United States on 14 January 2014.
 On 17 June 2014, it was sent to US
contemporary hit radio.
 About the song's re-release, the singer explained in an interview with The Untitled Magazine that, after the attention the track gained from music blogs, she signed a
record deal with
Universal Music. Then, the label representatives decided to re-release it with proper promotion as they believe it still had commercial potential.