These book recommendations are for migraineurs, people who love and take care of us, and anyone curious about migraine. I’ve also added some of my favorite reads on pursuing your dreams and not giving up. So much of the migraine journey mimics life – it’s all about persistence and not being too hard on yourself when you experience failure.
The Migraine Brain by Carolyn Bernstein, MD and Elaine McArdle
The Migraine Brain changed my life. I took comfort in knowing there was an entire book that helped me understand migraine. While reading The Migraine Brain, I went through a series of emotions. I was ecstatic to learn more about migraine. I cried when I read about the extremely low percentage of people like me with hemiplegic migraine – a rare form of migraine that presents with stroke-like systems. The once comforting feelings I had when I started the book, quickly went away. I felt so alone reading that less than 0.01% of the population had hemiplegic migraine. But, I kept reading, and I was encouraged. Maybe me having this rare disease will help me to impact others who also feel alone in their disease.
The main point is, the book is enlightening and informative. It explains all types of migraine, how the migraine brain is different, how to manage migraine, personal wellness, and much more. I recommend The Migraine Brain for anyone close to migraine─those who experience it personally and those who love and take care of migraineurs. Truthfully, it may be a little hard to get through for those without migraine, but give it a try! I gave this book to my husband in hopes he could read it and better understand my disease. It was a tough read for him, but I think he understands the primary underpinnings of the disease and what I was trying to help him further understand, which is what migraine is and how it affects EVERYDAY of my life.
Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Headaches and Migraines by Elaine Magee
Tell Me What to Eat is a fun book. It’s an interesting read about food and migraine. If I’ve learned anything about migraine, it’s that there are common triggers, but we don’t all have the same reactions to food. Our triggers are actually more commonly, extremely specific and a unique blend of food, smells, weather, intense exercise, you name it. Nevertheless, Elaine Magee’s insights on food have been extremely helpful in my migraine journey. Many books will suggest a diet overhaul, not Tell Me What to Eat. In reading this book, I didn’t feel like I was doing everything wrong and had to cut out all the foods I love. There is detailed information on what foods may trigger migraines and why and simple, tasty recipes without those ingredients. Tell Me What to Eat was one of the first migraine books I read. It was a wonderful introduction to the disease and helped me take steps to modify my eating to reduce headaches, and it worked! Of course, over time, I’ve intensified my eating plan and have more food restrictions. I recommend this book for all migraineurs, especially those of you just starting out in your migraine journey, trying to figure out what migraine is and how to best manage it for your lifestyle.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my top recommended books for creative people. (Yes, it’s by Elizabeth Gilbert! That should be reason enough to read it, right?) Did you know Gilbert had many literary “fails”? Albeit encouraging that an accomplished author and influencer (i.e., Eat Pray Love) fails just like the rest of us, Big Magic is definitely not one of those failures.
Gilbert does an excellent job of inspiring creatives with a realistic, straightforward, and relatable style. I was particularly encouraged by Part IV: Persistence. The book inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing. Stay in your creative space and don’t give up. Creativity doesn’t have to be your “day job.” You can work on your art, whatever it is, early in the morning, late at night, during your lunch break, or on Sunday afternoons…just keep it up. This also helps to take the pressure off. You don’t have to force your creativity to provide for you financially. If eventually it does, then great – it will be more reason to celebrate. Truthfully, it’s more than a creatives book, it’s for anyone pursuing what they love. This book inspired me to start this blog. (So, of course, I HAD to add it to the list.)
Hormones, Health, and Happiness by Steven F. Hotze, MD
Hormones are central to bodily function. Hormonal imbalances can affect migraine and migraine symptoms. Hormones, Health, and Happiness provides background, explanations, and advice on hormones and how we can live a healthier, happier life. The premise of the book is a natural medical formula for aging; however, the content is much more than that. Learning about hormones has helped me to prevent headaches, learn the best way to manage a headache, and live an overall more relaxed and pain-reduced life.
I Can’t Accept Not Trying by Michael Jordan
Think what you will about Michael Jordan. Some of us may argue about whether he is the greatest of all time…what I do know for sure about Jordan is he is a multi-talented man who kept trying and didn’t give up in pursuit of his dreams. I Can’t Accept Not Trying was a gift to me. It was also a gift to the person who gave the book to me. That gift exchange may be what I love most about the book. It has been passed down to several people during times when the giver thought the book would influence and enhance the receiver’s life. What better way to share a book?
Keep trying, keep trying different migraine prevention methods, keep working through headache remedies, and most important, keep working towards your dreams.