Kristin Chenoweth's Advice For Anyone Who Lives With Chronic Migraines - Exclusive

Kristin Chenoweth has had an incredibly successful career as a singer and actor on Broadway and on screen. Though she's perhaps best known for her roles in "Wicked" and "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," she's also been in TV shows like "The West Wing" and "Pushing Daisies." With such an impressive and prolific career, it's hard to believe that she's been dealing with chronic migrainesthroughout that time. Chenoweth had her first migraine when she was 25 years old, and since then, she's been one of the 3.3 million Americans with chronic migraine — a disease associated with 15 or more headache days a month.

For years, the Broadway star tried to find a treatment for her migraines, but none of them worked to lessen her frequent migraines. It wasn't until her doctor recommended Botox for chronic migraine that Chenoweth found a way to reduce her days with migraines. Since discovering an effective treatment, Chenoweth has partnered with AbbVie on the Center Stage with Chronic Migraine program to share her story. During an exclusive interview, she gave her advice to others living with chronic migraines.

Don't be scared to share your experience

For most of her career, Kristin Chenoweth kept quiet about her struggle with chronic migraine. Although her close friends knew, for the most part, she didn't share her migraines at work. "We're learning a lot from your generation about not shrinking when there's pain or injury but talking about it. I didn't. I kept quiet because I didn't want to be viewed as weak," she said. But since finding a helpful treatment with Botox for chronic migraine and partnering with AbbVie, Chenoweth has started opening up and sharing her story. "This has been a real-life thing. [I'm] able to now be free to talk with you about it and not shrink," she said.

For anyone suffering from chronic migraine or any other kind of chronic pain, Chenoweth advised sharing the problem instead of minimizing or hiding it. "Talk to your doctor," she said. "Get to the doctor and talk to your doctor and find out a treatment that works for you. This works for me. I happen to think that it works for a lot of people ... But I would get with your doctor and healthcare provider and start talking through some treatment options."

Pursuing a competitive career with chronic migraines

Kristin Chenoweth is the first to admit there are much easier career paths than going into entertainment. "This life is challenging, hard, wonderful, amazing, [and it] can be a bummer," Chenoweth said. With the added challenge of living with chronic migraines, a competitive field like entertainment can be especially difficult. The star shared several occasions when she had to perform on stage with a migraine, and for a while, she considered retiring due to the problem. 

With those challenges in mind, Chenoweth advised anyone looking into a similar career, "If you can see yourself doing anything else and being happy — because that's really the key to life — then go do that other thing." For her, performing is the thing she loves the most, so finding another path didn't feel like an option. In that case, she said, "Go for it, pain or no pain, because you're going to have [the pain] anyway."

Even for those pursuing a specific goal, Chenoweth advised being open to other opportunities. Although not everyone may end up in front of the camera as Chenoweth has, they may find happiness in a variety of ways. "There are kids I mentor that were going to be singers no matter what, and they're technicians now, and they love it, so don't put yourself in a box," she said.

For more information on Center Stage with Chronic Migraine, visit