The song was written by Emily Haines and produced by John O'Mahony. The song was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, being one of the first songs Haines had written in months.
On November 5, 2008 Metric updated their website with a video on how Haines writes a song. The video follows Haines through Argentina on a soul searching journey to find creativity and herself. "The songs that I wrote here were the simplest and clearest writing that I've done in I think in my whole life", said Haines. "Help I'm Alive" was one of the first songs Haines had written in Buenos Aires.
The song has been very well-received by contemporary rock music critics.
On January 28, 2009, the band made the acoustic version of the single available for download from their website. The acoustic version features Emily Haines on piano and James Shaw on acoustic guitar.
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