Keeping a Headache Journal

Keeping a headache journal is a great way to track the location and severity of the pain, the duration of the pain, any medications taken and any possible headache triggers. The information you provide will help your doctor determine the kind of headache you have as well as ways to prevent your headaches or treat them once they occur.

Your headache journal should include:

  • The days and times your headaches occur
  • How long the headaches last
  • What you were doing before each headache began
  • What you ate or drank before each headache began
  • Any treatments you've used, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies or other treatments
  • The severity and location of the pain
  • Other symptoms, such as nausea or stomach upset, auras or other visual symptoms
  • The impact the headaches have had on your life, such as days lost from work, missed family events, etc.


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Headache Center
2330 Post St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353-8393
Fax: (415) 353-9539