back to top

30 Tips For Coping With A Migraine Hangover

Migraines tear open your head and for sometimes your soul. Here's how some migraine sufferers deal with post-migraine misery.

Posted on
Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us how they deal with migraine hangovers.

And just btw, this post isn't intended to offer medical advice. These are just the tricks and home remedies people have found to soothe them and provide some relief — physically, emotionally, or otherwise — after their migraines have passed. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying anything new for migraine prevention, relief, or recovery.

Here are the things they said help them come back to life after a migraine.

1. Drinking fluids and eating Taco Bell. / Via

What I find best afterwards is to take a nap, drink plenty of fluids (nothing too sugary) and go to Taco Bell. I feel like the large amounts of calories really helps.

—Sara Moyer (Facebook)

2. SO MUCH SLEEP. And then all the junk food.

—Spring Beck Richardson (Facebook)

3. Wearing sunglasses indoors without shame.

In the days after a migraine my head is sore, my eyes tire easily, my brain is usually pretty foggy, and my moods are super-variable, so I try to be extra gentle with my body and mind, take Aleve every morning, take lots of breaks from reading words on screens, and avoid high-stress situations.

I usually also avoid florescent lights and loud noises whenever possible for about 72 hours post-migraine and will shamelessly wear sunglasses indoors if necessary.

—Anna E. Waltman (Facebook)

4. A warm shower followed by a comforting food.

Nap, warm shower in the dark, then chicken soup and a PB&J sandwich.

—Amber Lang (Facebook)

5. Taking a break from screens.

NBC / Via

...Just steering clear of the internet and artificially-lit devices for about three to four hours.

—Catalina Varela (Facebook)

6. Thanking sweet baby jesus that the pain has finally passed.

Grateful prayers and not focusing too much on how the pain is gone (because that can trigger another migraine for me, oddly enough) but making sure to smile each time I realize my head isn't throbbing anymore.

Ginger ale and toast with a little butter. Sleep and be gentle with yourself the next day—drink lots of water, stretch, and go easy on things like climbing stairs, heavy lifting, etc. if you can.

—Amanda Jane (Facebook)

7. Steak with sauteed spinach and a scalp massage.

I discovered a few years ago that sauteed spinach and steak are really effective. Not sure why it works, but it totally does. I also take a nice relaxing shower, use my awesome Aveda shampoo that has peppermint in it, and give myself a scalp massage while the water gives me a back massage.—Heather Achbach (Facebook)
Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed / Via

I discovered a few years ago that sauteed spinach and steak are really effective. Not sure why it works, but it totally does. I also take a nice relaxing shower, use my awesome Aveda shampoo that has peppermint in it, and give myself a scalp massage while the water gives me a back massage.

—Heather Achbach (Facebook)

8. Motrin, water, caffeine, and extra sleep.

The after shock is the worst. I generally repeat the Motrin-water-caffeine regimen twice a day for the next couple days until I'm back to normal, and work to squeeze in a few extra hours of sleep.

—Cassie McMillan (Facebook)

9. Lots of food and a light jog.

Food, lots of food and water, and maybe, just maybe if I'm up to it, a light jog

—Elise Fitness Goura (Facebook)

10. Visiting the chiropractor.

Sleep, water, and a visit to the chiropractor.

—Katie Louise Fox (Facebook)

11. A hot bath and a coke Slurpee.

7 Eleven / Via

—Meja Chosy (Facebook)

12. McDonald's followed by extremely spicy food.

I usually go grab a cheeseburger and a small Sprite from McDonald's. It helps get something relatively bland and greasy into my stomach, the Sprite helps keep my stomach settled without adding any additional caffeine, like the Coke does.

For the next day migraine hangover when I feel sluggish and as if I've been hit by a truck, I try to just take it easy on myself. I do go back to work as soon as the actual pain is gone, but I don't push it. Once I'm feeling more like myself, my last step in coping with migraine aftermath is to go have the spiciest food I can get my hands on. After that, I'm all better. Usually.

—Suzanne Allison (Facebook)

13. Broth-soaked rice and healing music.

Ginger ale and broth-soaked rice usually gets my body up to speed, but my mind and my spirit usually need some music R&R. Check out [classical singer] countertenor Andraes Scholl — it takes a few days of listening, but then I'm back to being 100%.

—Alana Pinsler (Facebook)

14. Getting back into physical activity very slowly.

My migraines typically last days so once I'm done I try to slowly get back into my normal routine. My job requires intense physical activity but if I do too much at once I risk triggering another attack. I usually start with long walks and then slowly add in more and more until I'm back where I started. It usually takes three to four days to get back to normal.

—Lydia Jackson (Facebook)

15. A doting partner. (With chocolate.)

Migraine hangovers are real. My boyfriend tends to bring me Smart Water and chocolate to help me get out of my funk.


16. Canceling plans.

After I get a full-blown migraine and the symptoms subside, I try to "treat myself" with lots of caffeine and try to get out of obligations. Sometimes that means going into work late or rescheduling dinner with friends, but I've found taking an hour or so after the migraine is completely gone to heal really decreases the chance of relapse.


17. Thanking loved ones for helping you cope.

Something to eat, wash my face or take a shower, and hug family and friends for the love, support, and help since I'm not fun when I have one! I usually feel 110% better after sleep so I'm a happier human!—katherinem465a3365c

Something to eat, wash my face or take a shower, and hug family and friends for the love, support, and help since I'm not fun when I have one! I usually feel 110% better after sleep so I'm a happier human!


18. Walking the dog.

To get myself out of the funk and depression afterwards I take my dog out to play or I listen to music and go for a walk. Luckily, I am on prophylactic migraine meds; so while this used to happen about three times a week, now only happens about once a month. This has improved my depression and anxiety by amazing amounts.


19. Essential oils and prescription muscle relaxers.

Keep hydrated, go back to normal caffeine intake, too much can cause a rebound headache. I have prescribed muscle relaxers for tension migraines that are particularly bad. Keeping an essential oil mister by your bed with peppermint oil can also help.


20. Mexican Coca-Cola.

One of the best things I've found is drinking a regular or Mexican Coca-Cola. Between the sugar, the caffeine, and the bubbles for an upset stomach, it works miracles. But, don't forget to drink LOTS of water too!


21. A mother's love.

Discovery Channel / Via


It doesn't do anything but I feel secure and she works me through.


22. A sweet drink and a puppy to cuddle with.

Mainly sleep, hydration, and a sweet drink. And puppy cuddles.


23. Coconut water popsicles.

...When I finally feel normal I pound water with lemon and eat coconut water Popsicles! Migraines are the worst, but finally recovering from one is one of the greatest feelings in the world!


24. Tea tree oil hair treatment.

Tea tree oil treatments for my hair. Seriously. My hair stylist digs her fingers into my scalp, forcing all those muscles loose while the shampoo adds that minty tingle, with a hot towel over my face... It honestly helps cut the recovery time afterwards.


25. A lavender bubble bath.

I like to follow up particularly bad migraines by taking a warm bath with a lavender bubble bath. The combination of the warm water and lavender helps reduce stress and physical aches that I have after being stuck in bed.


26. Sadness-curing ice cream and Dr. Pepper.

Day or two after I always feel depressed and want to cry at any and everything. Must have for after the migraine is gone is a Dr. Pepper and a bowl of ice cream…helps ease the depression for a little bit.


27. Practicing self-forgiveness and eating Chex Mix.

I forgive myself for the things I didn't do while I was laid out sick. I tend to crave salty things after a migraine like saltine crackers or Chex Mix. I then try to eat something healthy that sounds good, hydrate myself, and go to bed early.


28. A blanket fort and green tea.

Undisturbed sleep for as long as circumstances will allow, utter and complete darkness, air conditioning (I live in a tropical country), blankets and pillows to burrow into if I can get them, and unsweetened green tea and orange juice to chug (in that order) as cold as I can get them when the worst is over.


29. Dark chocolate and a mile run.

Must haves: dark chocolate and Diet Coke. Only things that cure mine! Naps galore and then a mile run once it starts to go away. Can't rush back into the routine too quickly!


30. Remembering that you have to let yourself get better.

It mentally helps to think about the fact that you have to let yourself get better. You can't try to power through a migraine. You need to let yourself relax, regardless of how long it takes or what you might be missing out on while recovering, because you will feel that much better once it is finally gone.

Sarah Spiro

Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!