Explaining your migraine symptoms to friends and family members who don’t experience this chronic condition can be challenging. You’ve likely experienced skepticism or maybe even apathy from loved ones, which can be frustrating. And even those who provide well-meaning nods of sympathy don’t fully grasp the reality of what it’s like to live with this diagnosis, or truly understand the difference between migraine and tension headaches.
Fortunately, it’s important to remember that while many people don’t understand, many people do! You’re not alone in your struggles when it comes to these debilitating attacks.
To help you find other stories of what it’s like to live with migraine, and empower you with a community of individuals who understand your experience, we curated a list of the best podcasts to help you find relief when you need it most.
This three-season series features headache specialists from the UK charity National Migraine Centre discussing everything and anything migraine and headache-related. Designed to give support and advice to those who experience migraine, episodes range from explainers (All You Need To Know About Triptans), medication updates (New Drug Data Alert: Atogepant), self-care (Migraine and Self Management Strategies) to more specific topics, like managing symptoms at school (Take Your Migraine to University), and how posture can affect your headaches (Migraine, Exercise and Posture). Episodes are typically about an hour and feature guest speakers and experts in the medical field, as well as stories from others who struggle from chronic head pain.
This short-lived (two seasons) series is hosted by neurologist Dr. Larry Newman, who is not only the Vice Chair of the American Migraine Foundation, but also a physician who treats and experiences migraine himself. With a goal of helping the 36 million migraine sufferers in America better understand their condition and navigate living with this sometimes-debilitating condition, this podcast also tackles tougher, but important questions—like how to choose the best health insurance that will cover as many aspects of your condition as possible, and what to do when faced with health insurance denial. There’s also a short, but oh-so-critical episode on how to advocate for yourself, because the invisible condition often leaves many feeling unheard.
For those interested in alternative treatment, The Headache 360 Migraine Podcast explores treatments like nerve decompression, surgical procedures, and migraine-specific messages. Hosted by migraine surgeon Dr. Adam Lowenstein, this podcast discusses the diagnosis and treatment of all types of headache pain including migraine, occipital neuralgia, cluster headaches, tension headaches, post-traumatic headache, and more — all with the goal of helping patients find relief. Featuring perspectives from neurologists, pain specialists, emergency room physicians, others in the field of head pain, and patients who have explored these treatments, you’ll get a mix of expert opinions, emerging research, and science-backed advice. Give it a listen to learn about the Migraine Miracle, a massage using cold stone and aromatherapy developed by Kelly Lott, LMT, or the most advanced techniques for procedures in migraine headache care, including nerve blocks and outpatient nerve decompression surgery.
Hosted by the Association of Migraine Disorders, this series investigates the symptoms, treatments, and research topics associated with the often-mysterious condition of chronic headaches. Most episodes are under 30 minutes, and dive into important topics like new treatment options (Pipeline Acute Treatment for Migraine: AXS-07), different ways to manage pain (What is Craniosacral Therapy?) and coping strategies when it comes to the mental and emotional aspects of suffering from migraine (Retraining Your Brain: Mental and Emotional Aspects of Healing).
Stay up-to-date with the latest research and news with this weekly podcast hosted by Molly O’Brien of the Association of Migraine Disorders. These short snippets include sharing interesting updates on research, emerging treatments and FDA clearances, and even how cannabis can affect your headaches—all in less than two minutes!
Produced by the Global Healthy Living Foundation, this series shines a light on different experiences of migraine across various communities, careers, races, genders, sexual orientations, and more. Each episode consists of an interview between host Joe Coe (a migraine sufferer himself) and a guest who also experiences attacks—and is often a migraine advocate or specialist as well. From Confronting Migraine Stereotypes to #BlackMenHaveMigraineToo, these 15–30-minute episodes speak honestly about the challenges of navigating care while exploring issues of intersectionality. Talking Head Pain also has a series of quick 10-minute Audio Guides on topics like getting a diagnosis and managing migraine at work.
While there’s not yet a long-term solution for migraine pain, keeping up with the latest research and treatment options, and hearing about other individual’s coping mechanisms can help you feel less alone.
Remember—knowledge is power! And for migraine sufferers, it can also be a relief.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
Photo by Allie Lehman via Death to Stock