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Best Jobs for People with Migraine

table, chairs, and computer to show workspace ideas for best jobs for people with migraines

Finding the right job goes beyond what your passion is or what will pay the bills for the person with migraine. The best jobs for people with migraine are jobs that support their needs, offer empathy, and understand that migraine isn’t anything anyone chooses. The employee or staff member with migraine needs to be seen as a valuable member of the team who brings much to the table despite this invisible illness. 

 However, sometimes things like chronic migraine, repeated absences, or changed plans begin to add up.  When this happens you will start to learn if you are in the best job for you as a person living with migraine or if you need to choose a different path.  So the best jobs for someone with migraine is more of a job description than a comprehensive list. 

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Create a Migraine Friendly Workspace

This Will Reveal the Best Jobs for People with Migraine

desk with computer by window  to show lighting ideas for best jobs for people with migraines

Consider the lighting as one big component. Photophobia or light sensitivity is a challenge for many people with migraine. For some, fluorescent lights can be a trigger. Healthline explains this is due to the pulsing of fluorescent lights.  These can be traded out for alternatives such as lamps or different bulbs. The Relax bulbs have been helpful for me.

Green light is also a new trend, as experts say it causes less pain. I am trying this in my classroom now. Check out my other post Best Lighting for the Office and Beyond for more specific information on types of bulbs and lighting. Dimming your computer light or considering a blue light screen protector or set of blue light glasses are other things to try.

In addition to lighting, sound or noise level should be considered.  For example, if you have chronic migraine and you know you are prone to migraine attacks due to loud noises, this could be a deal breaker in your job choice.  This does not mean that there are jobs that people with migraine cannot do necessarily.  It just means we need to know our limits and make the right choices for our lives. You may consider if there are tweaks you can make to your workplace.  Are there doors you can shut?  Can you take quick breaks?  Can you work in a different space?

desk with computer and lamp

Something else to consider is strong smells.  Some of my worst migraine attacks have been due to strong smells.  Think about your current job or workplace or if you are considering a job at this time. Does it have a smell you will not be able to deal with on a daily basis? If so, it might make you think twice about the job. It may seem drastic, but I have had to leave work and go to the ER due to a strong odor before.

Those visits did not keep me from doing the job I love.  I was able to find a way to cope and you likely can too.  Just remember it is ok to change your mind or job. Sometimes it may be a bit of trial and error to find what works when combating the triggers.

After many years of finding what works for me, I have found a few tricks. Now, I carry a migraine stick with me with essential oils to cancel out some of the strong smells. Read my review of the Migrastil Migraine Stick and how it has saved me from strong and unbearable smells. It is a natural way to aid in healing and/or preventing a migraine attack. This can be used on the temples or neck for pain, as well as, breathing in the essential oils to cancel out the migraine-triggering odors you come in contact with. For me, this is a part of my everyday toolkit.

Be Prepared

You will be thankful you kept things on hand when a migraine does strike or even better when you prevent one from starting! You will feel less stress and your coworkers will appreciate your efforts. This does not mean a migraine attack is your fault. This just means you have some power to be sure you have what you need.

Water can cancel out dehydration and snacks can help ensure you don’t drop in blood sugar or get a migraine due to a skipped meal. Being hydrated should not be overrated and becoming dehydrated is a common way to trigger a migraine attack. I often find making sure I have a balance of protein with other nutrients is also helpful, but this is truly up to the individual. These small steps could save you from a big attack.

In addition to those items is the importance of having your migraine medication with you at all times.  If you are able to keep a portion of it in a safe place at work you could consider that as one option. Or keep it in your purse or other secure location.  I keep my medication at work and home. In my opinion, it is better to be over-prepared than left in a panic because you don’t have what you need.

Most migraine medications that are considered “rescue meds” or those you take when you get a migraine to work best when you take them when the migraine attack starts instead of waiting. The Mayo Clinic explains, “Medications to relieve migraine pain work best at the first sign of the oncoming migraine-as soon as signs and symptoms of the migraine appear.” I have had many conversations with neurologists about the importance of this process. Each one has assured me it is better to take the medicine sooner than later and not play the guessing game of if it is allergies or a migraine.  Just focus on preventing a severe migraine you can’t control or you might hear the term intractable migraine. Talk to your doctor about questions you have.

coffee  and computer  to show workspace ideas for best jobs for people with migraines

Build a Support System

As I told Self Magazine in a recent article, “This migraine life is not easy, but it is better traveled with friends.” Some jobs lend themselves to building relationships and through these, you find the best jobs for people with migraine.  I put my whole heart into what I do and I would feel broken if I lost that part of myself.

Also, remember that sometimes people just don’t have the background knowledge if they don’t have migraine.  So, a conversation could result in empathy and understanding. 

two girls talking  to show the need for conversation in the best jobs for people with migraines

Find those people who will stand beside you, have your back, and encourage you. You need bosses who will be understanding and coworkers willing to drive you to the hospital or home if needed. Or hopefully, you avoid those situations and instead, you need someone to share a diet coke with you, remind you they see you, and provide you with grace while your medicine does its job.

Making Decisions About the Best Jobs for People with Migraine

You may have to choose between a job you want and a job you need.  Hopefully, you can find both! If you are searching for that now, take some time to think about what you need from the space you work in. These are not demands or because you are high maintenance. This is because you care enough about everyone involved to be sure you are in the right place. 

Also, remember your talents far outweigh your illness. This is often very hard to keep in mind when we have migraine guilt or feel we have let others down. However, it is so important to remember you are strong and see hope in your story.  Then others will see this and be encouraged too. 


Migraine may feel like a big part of your life, but don’t let it become your whole story.  You have much to offer the world and perhaps there is strength in your journey.  Let that be your story.  More to come on that topic.

Some Favorite Products for Work

These lights could be used in multiple places. They also allow me the choice to use LED lights or my choice of bulb. In addition to this, I can select the green light which is becoming more popular for people with migraine. I will be writing more on this soon. Another green light option that can be used for even thirty minutes to reduce pain or help prevent is this Hooga Lamp. There are some great options to help you live the life you want.

Girl thinking

Don’t Miss These

You can also read about the Best Lighting in the Office for Migraine.

Check out this recent article I was interviewed in with Self Magazine.


Digre, K. (2023, February 9). What is photophobia & can it be treated?: AMF. American Migraine Foundation.

Silver, N. (2022, August 18). The best lighting for chronic migraine. Healthline.

Starling, A. (2021, July 2). Migraine. Mayo Clinic.,Pain%20relievers.


Although we strive to provide accurate general information, the information presented here is not a substitute for any kind of professional advice, and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in the medical and health area for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any medical or health related decisions. For your health related questions, please seek the advice of a licensed physician or any other qualified health care provider immediately.

47 thoughts on “Best Jobs for People with Migraine”

  1. Pingback: Migraine Brain Fog: No Joke - Migraine Road

  2. Thank you for sharing! I’ve had migraines a few times and they are no joke. A lot of times people don’t realize how serious they can be and accommodations that would need to be made.

  3. This is such a helpful post on the best job for people with migraines since it can be such a painful medical condition that someone has to live with. I appreciate the suggestions about light, noise, and smell since all of those can trigger or exacerbate a migraine. In addition, I recommend getting medical accommodations in place through FMLA since it protects your job and your employer will not be permitted to discriminate against you or cause you challenges if you need to take time off work for your health condition.

  4. You always provide wonderful information for those that suffer from migraines. The tip on water is such a simple one that can be so helpful! Also, while I knew lighting was something to consider, I did not realize there are so many options to help with that…such as the Relax bulb or Relief green bulb.

  5. We have an employee that suffers with migraines. I am glad to see that we as a company do these things to help her out.

  6. I love that you always provide such great information. I really appreciated the tips on creating a migraine-friendly workspace. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Pingback: Migraine Patient Thank You Letter - Migraine Road

  8. Charlie-Elizabeth Nadeau

    Great article! Looking for signs of empathy and potential for accommodation is a great tip. I love the tips you provide to create the appropriate work environment. Lighting makes all the difference!

  9. This is such a great post with a lot of good suggestions for people with migraines. I have a coworker that suffers from really bad migraines, I will direct her to this blog post as I’m sure it will greatly help her.

  10. I like that you mentioned the importance of staying hydrated and keeping a snack handy. I know many times people get so busy that eating and drinking can fall by the wayside. Very helpful information!

  11. The migraine stick is such a great idea, especially to have with you at all times. And I agree – supportiveness is key. I think workplaces should be really mindful of having good strategies in place to support those with migraines. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thank you for sharing this informative read. I think that all workplaces should be sensitive to people living with migraine. As you said having a conversation with staff members about one’s migraine promotes empathy and understanding.

  13. I suffer from migraines also. I’ve found mine are almost always due to lack of sleep, lack of hydration, or certain weather shifts. I do what I can to control what I can. Thanks for sharing all these great tips! I might have to give the migraine stick a try for those bad weather days!

  14. As a life-long migraine sufferer, I feel like you’ve covered everything with this comprehensive list of tips. I especially second the comment about natural light vs fluorescent. That made SUCH a big difference for me back when I worked in an office. (Thank goodness I now work from home full-time where I have complete control over my workplace environment.)

  15. Really great post with helpful tips. I think it’s important to work with your employer too and talk to them and get support too. Makes things a lot easier when lines of communication are open.

  16. These are wonderful tips! I have a few people in my life who suffer from migraines & I will be passing along this blog to them. Thank you for the information!

  17. Some great tips and strategies to help create a better environment for those who struggle with migraines in the workplace

  18. The article has very helpful tips. It’s not easy to work and focus when you regularly suffer migraines. Having a support system can definitely make your life and suffering way easier.

  19. I love your opening sentence. Finding the right job definitely goes beyond what your passion is. Many times pursuing our passions can cause us more harm than good.

  20. Great post, especially with some really practical advice. The water tip is so critical, I love having water next to me to help relax. Thanks for making this post!

  21. Charlie-Elizabeth Nadeau

    These are some great tips and it’s important to be sensitive to individuals facing migraines. I’ve know many and especially in the workplace. Great read, hope it helps many!

  22. Incredibly helpful post and such a great support for those suffering from migraines. It’s my first time to hear of a migraine stick and I find it such a neat product.

  23. Great post and more great ideas I need to trial. Never heard of a migraine stick but I’ll be on the look out for one now. Also my reminder to get some glasses!

    1. Hi Liv, thank you for your thoughts!! I realized that I had not included the information for the migraine stick in the article. I have added that because I am passionate about giving people any resources I can to help them on this migraine journey. You can now see that in the post. Please reach out with questions. I got my blue light glasses at Costco and will work on getting that linked as well or at least a reference for it:). I wish you the best!!

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