According to Adams, an early version of the song was about Cardinals bassist Chris Feinstein, who died in December 2009. In August 2011, Adams stated:
It was a difficult song to write. The first version was called "Chris". I was trying to write a song for my friend and former bandmate who passed away. The song I wrote was too direct, and I realised that there needed to be more self-reflection. I needed to make this feeling relatable to others, so that it could be relatable back to myself. In some strange way, it needed to be more altruistic, by being more first-person. It's a very strange concept, but when I listen to songs, I need to feel the narrator's shoes rubbing against my feet, you know? I needed to put myself in that place."
Adams elaborated further, "It's the second draft of the song that I wrote for Chris Feinstien. [...] I think it was really fantastic, it was a good thing for me to write. Eventually, because I sat around with it, "Lucky Now" came around."