Talking Head Pain: A Podcast About Life With Migraine
In heartfelt, insightful interviews with people who live with migraine, Talking Head Pain, a new podcast from the Global Healthy Living Foundation, takes us inside other people’s stories to show us we’re not alone. The episodes are short—about 15-20 minutes long—yet get deep into issues that people with migraine face.
After devouring the first season, I spoke with Joe Coe, the host of Talking Head Pain, about the podcast and his goals for it.1
Letting people know they aren’t alone
Although 12% of the population has migraine, those who live with it often feel like those around us don’t understand what we’re going through.2 Joe’s primary goal is to alleviate that sense of isolation. “I don't want people to feel alone. As many of us who live with migraines know, it’s a very isolating disease that’s hard for people to understand,” he said. “I hope that this podcast allows people to consume information in an accessible way and also know that their story is unique to them. But it's not unique to the collective experience of people that live with migraine.”
Migraine stories that speak to many
Each episode focuses on one person’s story, yet each illustrates the ways in which many people with migraine are connected. Joe encourages, “As you're listening to these episodes, think about how many people are reflected by the story. So as you're listening to Sean's episode, countless people live his experience that we’ll never hear from; same with Sarah and everyone else on the show. There are so many people that are living with the same disease. While we may navigate the world in different ways, and we may have very different challenges, we’re united through this common enemy — migraine.”
Stories of people we don't hear from
Joe sought to tell the stories of people whose experiences aren’t commonly shared in the migraine community. The first season’s episodes include men with migraine, veterans, someone from a working-class background, LGBTQ and Black migraine patients, and millennials. Episodes also address less commonly covered topics, including migraine in the workplace and relationships and migraine.
By telling these stories, “This podcast is an attempt to reach folks — men, people of color, millennials, some groups that sometimes feel not connected to traditional advocacy — to amplify their voices and to bring them into the fold,” Joe said.
Hoping to reach everyone
Joe hopes the podcast will reach people who are actively seeking migraine information and those who aren’t. “I want to reach people who don't know that there are options, that there are ways to treat this disease,” Joe said. He also wants people to know that “there's a community and there are people that can support you. We will do whatever it takes to reach those folks.”
How to listen to Talking Head Pain
You can find and subscribe to Talking Head Pain in any podcast app. The first season is out in its entirety and a second season is in the works. They also plan to publish informative bonus content between seasons.
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?