Michelle Crouch

Freelance Writer - health, parenting, personal finance and more

United States

I'm an award-winning writer and a former newspaper reporter with more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the nation's top publications. I have a special interest in writing about health care, but editors also turn to me when they need someone who can dig deep for surprising insight or advice on any subject.

My national credits include: Reader’s Digest, Parents, Real Simple, Prevention, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Parenting, AARP, More, CreditCards.com, The Washington Post and The New York Times. As a long-time contributing editor at Reader’s Digest, I authored dozens of so-called “secrets” stories covering subjects ranging from airline pilots to convicted burglars. Two favorites: “50 secrets a surgeon won’t tell you” and “50 secrets a waiter won’t tell you.”

I write regularly for North Carolina Health News and The Charlotte Ledger. I also contribute to several Scholastic classroom magazines and to Wells Fargo's consumer-facing publications. Other corporate clients have included TIAA, Fidelity, Brighthouse Financial, USAA, Honda, WalMart and Harris Teeter.


Recent favorites

Scholastic Choices magazine
"I survived the Lahaina fire"

Kini, 12, lived through the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than 100 years. This is the story of how her family survived—and what life looks like after a natural disaster.

North Carolina Health News
When the ER is the only option

Three families share their real-life experiences of going to the hospital for help with mental health emergencies.

NC Health News/The Charlotte Ledger
Hospitals get millions in property tax breaks

As Charlotte leaders discuss a tax increase, Mecklenburg County hospitals avoid $23 million per year in property taxes, a Charlotte Ledger/N.C. Health News analysis shows. Some say it's time to ask North Carolina hospitals to pay up.

The #1 Exercise to Do as You Get Older

As you age, you start to lose muscle mass, so it's important to strength train to stay strong. Learn why squats are the best exercise for your health.

Consumer Health

10 Nutrition Myths, Debunked

From calories in, calories out promoting weight loss to detox diets eliminating toxins, here are nutrition myths experts want you to know about.

The danger of taking too many prescriptions

Over the past two decades, the percentage of older adults taking five or more prescriptions has tripled, from 14 to 42 percent. The more medications you take, the higher your risk for an interaction or side effect.

Reader's Digest
What Exactly Is Meatless Meat?

Plant-based meats are coming soon to a dinner table near you, but what's actually inside those burgers, meatballs, nuggets, and crumbles, and do they deserve a spot on your plate?

Reader's Digest
How to Survive Your Next Trip to the Hospital

As many as 440,000 Americans die every year from medical errors and infections contracted in the hospital. Your best defense? Take charge of your care as much as possible.

Reader's Digest
45 Things Police Officers Want You to Know

Get a glimpse into the highs and lows officers experience, including the causes of and fallouts from high-profile shootings of unarmed African Americans.


If you're among the 164 million Americans who struggle with sleep, a friendly "Good night!" is cold comfort. It's especially galling if you've already done the obvious-cut out afternoon caffeine, closed the blinds, and put away your screens-and you still can't doze off.

Health news and trends

The Charlotte Ledger
The case of the $10,000 colonoscopy

Dan Hurst’s medical procedure cost thousands more than he was quoted. Despite a push for more transparency, medical pricing remains hopelessly complicated. Here's what you can do to lower your medical costs and be a smarter patient.

The Charlotte Ledger
The doctor won't see your newborn now

When you go to the hospital to have a baby, you might assume that a doctor will carefully examine your newborn after you deliver. But that's not always the case.

AARP Health Stories

Are you too old to shovel snow?

Every year, people die of a heart attack during or just after shoveling snow. Some experts say any adult over age 45 should think twice before tackling the winter chore.

Innovations Help Imperfect Organs Work For Transplants

Chuck Boetsch was desperate for a new pair of lungs. A rare disease was causing the set he had carried for 72 years to harden and scar. He could barely breathe. Finally, after 10 weeks on the waiting list, Boetsch got a call that a lung was available - but there was a catch.

Reader's Digest "Secrets" stories


Personal Finance

Scholastic classroom magazines

Scholastic Action
TikTok's Secret Star

Her Renegade dance got famous. Why didn't she? Jalaiah Harmon's quest for the credit she deserved.

Scholastic Choices
Generation Zzzzzzzz

Teens are getting less sleep than ever before, and experts are calling it a national health crisis. Read on to learn the shocking consequences—and real strategies for getting the rest you so desperately need.

Scholastic Action
My illness makes me stronger

McKenzie, 17, has a serious disease called Type 1 diabetes, but she hasn't let it hold her back.

Flying High, Landing Hard

Whether you're a cheerleader or a soccer star, the pressure to perform could be putting you in serious danger.

Scholastic Action
"I take care of my abuela"

More than 1 million teens in the U.S. are caregivers. Daniel, 17, is one of them.

Scholastic Action
Changed by fire

They watched a wildfire destroy their home.