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Living with migraine can feel isolating at times. While the support of family and friends is helpful, there’s nothing like connecting with others who experience migraine firsthand.
Migraine Healthline is a free app created for people with migraine. The app matches you with others based on migraine type, treatment, and personal interests so you can connect, share, and learn from each other.
“The ability to instantly connect with someone who ‘gets it’ is an absolute gift. It reminds me that I am not alone in what can often feel like a very lonely battle,” says Natalie Sayre, who blogs about living with migraine at Mindful Migraine.
“[The app] helps to normalize the heavy emotional toll that migraine can [bring] and inspires me by connecting me with others who have found ways to live well despite this illness,” she adds.
Danielle Newport Fancher, author of “10: A Memoir of Migraine Survival,” agrees.
“Oftentimes, it’s hard to find people who understand what it’s like being in pain. I appreciate that I can easily connect with other migraine warriors thanks to this app; it makes me feel less alone,” she says.
Each day at 12 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST), the Migraine Healthline app matches you with members from the community. You can also find members you want to connect with by browsing profiles and requesting to match instantly.
If someone wants to match with you, you’re notified right away. Once connected, members can start communicating by messaging one another and sharing photos.
“Receiving a daily match every day shows me that there are more people out there like myself. Although I know I am not the only one who lives with migraine disease, to see a face and profile of someone’s journey makes me feel less alone,” says Jaime Michele Sanders, who writes about her lifelong journey with migraine at Migraine Diva.
Sayre says connecting with others her age is a big help.
“Community is such an important part of our health, and I’m so grateful Healthline is giving the migraine community such a wonderful platform to connect and feel seen. I so appreciate meeting other people my age who are also dealing with chronic migraine. I love that the match feature makes it seamless and easy to reach out to others and start a conversation,” she says.
If you prefer group talk over one-on-one conversation, the app offers group discussions each weekday, initiated by a Migraine Healthline guide.
Topics include managing migraine at work and school, mental health, triggers, family life, social life, relationships, medication and treatments, alternative therapies, lifestyle, navigating healthcare, prodrome and postdrome, inspiration, and more.
“For years, I found myself hopping between different Facebook groups to try to find answers from real people about their experience with migraine. The app makes it easy to jump into conversations that are relevant to you and organizes them in a way that is incredibly user-friendly,” says Sayre.
She particularly likes the group sessions about medication and treatments.
“Migraine disease is so variable and there are so many different treatments available, that learning what has and hasn’t worked for others can be a great place for inspiration and direction in your own migraine care” Sayre says.
“It’s invaluable to have a platform where I can get real-time answers to questions about different treatment protocols from others who are living through the same challenge,” she adds.
She also appreciates the social life group.
“As someone who has lived with severe migraine for most of my twenties, online communities like this have been an absolute lifeline for community and connection,” says Sayre.
Newport Fancher also looks to the social life and family life groups often.
“I really appreciate [these] sections because I want to see how others are managing migraine with their friends and family,” she says.
For Sanders, she turns to the inspiration, mental health, and alternative therapies groups most.
“I have found great use out of the information that has been shared… The groups feature allows for information to flow freely and in a welcoming, nurturing, and non-judgmental space,” she says.
In a designated tab called Discover, you can navigate articles about diagnosis, triggers, and treatment options, all reviewed by Healthline’s medical professionals.
Read up on clinical trials and the latest migraine research. Discover ways to nurture your body through wellness, self-care, and mental health. And best of all, read personal stories and testimonials from those living with migraine.
“The discover section features some really great articles! It’s nice to read the perspectives of other migraine sufferers and the treatments and coping mechanisms that they’re currently trying,” says Newport Fancher.
The relevance and trustworthiness of the stories in the Discover section draw Sayre in.
“It’s a great blend of articles that provide emotional support, educational information, and treatment ideas,” she says.
The Migraine Healthline app was designed to make it easy to immediately navigate and start using.
Newport Fancher says onboarding is user-friendly.
“I can’t imagine a more seamless way to get into the app. I was connecting with other migraine sufferers within minutes of downloading it. Hands down, my favorite part of the app is how easy it is to connect with other migraine sufferers,” she says.
The ability to seamlessly jump into the app and make fast connections impressed Sanders, too.
“Being able to instantly connect with someone who understands the complexities, nuances, and disabling symptoms of migraine is immeasurable,” she says. “This is something that most people do not have access to and to have an app that provides this level of connection and support is greatly needed and appreciated.”
Cathy Cassata is a freelance writer who specializes in stories around health, mental health, and human behavior. She has a knack for writing with emotion and connecting with readers in an insightful and engaging way. Read more of her work here.