Music as Motivator – Rock Out To Rock On With Your Bad Self

by Kate Kosturski, Head Editor, INALJ Rhode Island and Volunteer Coordinator

Music as Motivator – Rock Out To Rock On With Your Bad Self

kate_kosturski_photo2“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”  – Hunter S. Thompson.

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

There is no doubt that music can be the food of emotion.  How often do you hear Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” and think about beaches and that lost summer romance when you were 13? Does “Dancing in the Street” make you want to get up and do just that?   Are there songs that just put you in a good mood, no matter what is going on in life? (For me, it’s anything Elton John and the Sirius XM 80s on 8 channel.)

My last blog post talked about self-care during the job search, and finding the right music is also part of this equation. It can push you farther, faster, higher.  It’s why athletes are never seen without their Beats headphones – it helps them get into their competitive space.

So, what helps you get into your competitive job searching space?   I asked several librarians (including some of our fellow INALJ Head Editors), and we built for you the “Our Daily Motivation” Spotify playlist.   Check it out (if you don’t have Spotify, you can create a free account and listen on the web)  and if you have suggestions for your own motivating music, comment here and (pending availability on Spotify), we can add it!

Note: Some of our songs may be of the Not Safe For Work variety, so if you’re listening at the office, have your headphones handy or close the office door and keep the volume low!
Suggestions from our Head Editors


Holly Boyer (INALJ Virginia):  My new summer jam is “Dreaming” by Smallpools. Beyonce’s “Partition”, Phantogram “Fall In Love”, Drop City Yacht Club “Crickets”, Cobra Starship “You Make Me Feel…”


Rachel Loria (INALJ Colorado):  Paula Cole is definitely my guilty-pleasure pep up pop music! “I don’t Wanna Wait” also happens to remind me of my Dawson’s Creek days, which is an added bonus


Fallon Bleich (INALJ Arkansas):   I’m sort of embarrassedly admitting this, but Lil John’s “Turn Down for What” pumps me up for some reason. On the not embarrassing side, anything that would be played in a club? That’s my jam. Everything from Britney Spears to Beyonce to EDM to Euro-pop (Robyn especially) to remixes of slow songs. They just make me want to dance and be happy. Also, Pharrell’s “Happy”. I know, it’s overplayed, but I can’t help but be happy to it.


Leigh Meredith (INALJ Pennsylvania):  My biggest motivational music is punk rock music because its very upbeat and keeps me going. I listen to a few different stations on Pandora to keep me going. Here’s 3 of my favs as of recent that really keep me going: This One’s On Me-I am the Avalanche-This song is about having a drink and having a good time, so I know if I keep my work until Friday I will get my drink  True Believers-The Bouncing Souls-This song is about believing in yourself so it keeps me believing in myself, because I need to make a habit of doing that. Sweatpants-Childish Gambino- This is Donald Glovers most confident song since he’s started rapping, so keeps me confident throughout my day, The lyric Yeah I’m winning yeah yeah I’m winning just sticks with me, because well I’m winning


Ashley Mancill (INALJ Alabama): I listen to Pharrell’s “Happy” before I go to work (don’t ask.) “Ego” by Beyoncé also has an empowering effect.


Naomi House (INALJ founder):  I created a list waaaay back in the day of suggestions by INALJ fans, called Music to Job Hunt By.  You should totally, check it out!


Suggestions From Other Librarians

  •  “Treasure by Bruno Mars…it makes me want to get my roller skates on.”
  • “You know you gotta get some Dolly in there. For pep, I like 9 to 5.”
  • “Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult.  Why? Because it’s Godzilla.”
  • “Many many Poi Dog Pondering songs but Circle Around The Sun is especially heart-gladdening: ‘ Circle around the sun, turn turn turn/One day my turn will come/I’m living every minute and dying every day/I hope my heart is in the right place’ “
  • “Let’s Dance to Joy Division by The Wombats has been my thing lately. Or I Still Believe by Frank Turner. Love the rock beats to get me moving.”
  • “Explosions in the Sky- Your Hand in Mine- It is mostly instrumental, but it’s very inspirational and uplifting!”
  • “My 90’s nostalgia music makes me super happy and is on rotation when I do yard & house work & go for a jog such as “Creep” – TLC, “Living in Danger” – Ace of Base, “Jump” – Kriss Kross, and the list goes on and on…”
  • “Power metal. Put on some Dragonforce, works every time.”
  • It’s totally overplayed, but Katy Perry’s “Roar” is my current “make me feel big inside” song (as I explained to my 6 year old son) that I’ve listened to before both of my recent job interviews. It must do the trick because I was offered both positions and I’m headed in tomorrow to go do my paperwork and ID badge picture taken for the one I accepted!
  • “Atmosphere by Kaskade because it reminds me that my life journey began with a dream that I made a reality; Ready to Go by Republica because it reminds that I’m properly trained to handle anything that gets thrown at me by patrons or the administration; Pound the Alarm by Nicki Minaj because it reminds me not to care what people think and to live life for ME.”

Kate’s Pick

And finally, my own picks – the Euro-Pop edition (I have an affinity for the Eurovision Song Contest, and Spotify was one of few places I could legally get my Euro-pop fix).

  • Heartbeat: Can-Linn (with Kasey Smith) – includes the lyric “you’re a dreamer and you don’t know that your story isn’t carved in stone.”   Reminder that life is ever changing, and not to get hung up on one thing
  • Rise Like a Phoenix: Conchita Wurst – because no matter how bad things are you will rise above it
  • Hunter of Stars: Sebalter – just a peppy happy song. (And I totally admit to having a crush on this singer, so whenever I see his face pop up on Spotify it makes me smile.)
  • Euphoria: Loreen.  The name says it all. 🙂
  • No Prejudice: Pollaponk: Your daily reminder to be nice to others.


And don’t forget to check out our “Our Daily Motivation” Spotify playlist!

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ has had over 20 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.