What Do You Listen To While You Work?


What Do You Listen To While You Work?

This is a question that comes up a lot when I visit schools and teen groups, and I never quite know what to say. I don’t usually listen to anything while I work – it breaks my concentration. Maybe it’s simply another piece in a long list of evidence that I am secretly a 80 year-old man. Or maybe I’m too easily distracted. Or maybe I’m normal? Beats me.

In any case, when I have something playing, I typically listen to music when I work (complete albums, please! No playlists or shuffling), and podcasts during workouts or traveling. Here’s a taste of what I’ve been loving:


From the Top of Willamette Mountain Joshua James, 2012

Nebraska Bruce Springsteen, 1982

Be the Void Dr. Dog, 2012

All Delighted People EP Sufjan Stevens, 2010

Have One on Me Joanna Newsom, 2010

Love This Giant David Byrne + St Vincent, 2012


Your Dreams My Nightmares – Artist Sam Weber interviews creators

The Moth – True stories told live

This American Life – Mostly true stories of everyday people

Inkstuds – Comics- and illustration-related interviews with creators

What Do YOU Like To Listen To?

I’m always on the lookout for great music, stories, and podcasts. Post below if you’re listening to something good.

3 Responses to “What Do You Listen To While You Work?”
  1. Emily A. says:

    Jess, here is one of my absolute favorites. I only listen to it during a break though. I can’t listen to it while working because it induces a complete wide eyed stupor of wonder… that or singing. It’s great for writer’s block, though.

    • Jess Smart Smiley says:

      Oh, good! I was wondering if WordPress has blocked the link or something. I listened to this the morning after you had first mentioned it to me. It’s wonderful.

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