Over the last few years wellness and living well has taken on a much greater importance and more significant meaning to us all.
Prevention is the key to the decisions we are making and what wellness experiences we are seeking now. No longer are we ignoring our body signals or bad routines, making positive decisions to change our behaviours is at the top of our personal agenda.
Based on what is happening in 2022 and research for 2023, we present here the biggest trends in wellness experiences around the world. Here are summary points before a more in-depth analysis.
Top Wellness Trends in Activities
Nutrition, supplementation and alternative therapies are in high demand, there is a surge of interest in quality of sleep and in the body’s immune system. Support for mental health through healing therapies is in high demand. All types of guided meditation classes are being booked out, on weekend retreats too.
Outdoor activities are the top choice, amongst green nature – for accommodation (think treehouses), treatments, group sessions and wellness experiences of all types.
This is especially true for Millennials and Gen Z, meaning those up to 41 years of age, although there is a strong movement in the Gen X too, so up to the age of 50 we see all these trends. The Global Wellness Institute reviewed changing Generations’ Wellness trends in this report.
Top Wellness Trends in Travel (Destination Spas and Retreats)
Solo wellness travel is booming. For retreats and wellness spas domestic and regional guests will be key with shorter, more sustainable travel preferred. For residential retreat centers, Burnout and Sleep Retreats, Digital Detox Retreats and those with programs supporting emotional and mental health are the most popular.
Top Wellness Trends in Business
Business is now considering Wellness in more of it’s decisions. It can always do better. Investors and consumers are making mindful decisions about how they spend their money and this is creating the market forces for the change in perspective.
On a macro-level there is responsibility to consider the sustainability of business operations in every respect. Business has a duty to consider people and the planet in all it’s actions. Business is at last realizing that the wellness of their staff is paramount- not only a duty of care but businesses are facilitating wellness through organized activities and flexible, inclusive policies such as rostered work-from-home(WFH).
The Top Wellness Trend of 2023 is Mindfulness
Thoughts and behaviors are being decided through Mindfulness, a meditative practice. This form of Meditation is a part of our every living moment – our decisions about what we drink and eat, how we spend our time on our leisure and wellness pursuits, where and how we travel. We are being mindful about our decisions for our wellness, and the planet’s too.
Mindfulness has likely become the most important factor in holistic wellness. Our wellness goes hand in hand with the wellness of the planet. All decisions are becoming mindful decisions, of where and what we are doing, such as the choice of diet and it’s effect on our planet. We are aware of our thoughts and environment, we prefer to go slower, the slow movement has extended to nearly everything and has implications on our mind, body, environment and the planet.
We want to travel nearer too, travel’s form of slow, saving ourselves and the world the effects of mass movement. All of these behavior changes emanate in mindfulness.
These 2022 wellness trends have exploded and taken the idea of wellness and ourselves by storm. We are reinterpreting all our decisions and behaviours based on mindful awareness. There will be a huge surge in growth in this wellness movement in 2023.
Here are the top 10 trends so far in 2022 and ready to surge even more as the Top Wellness trends for 2023 –
1. Mental Health Wellness
We have become more conscious of supporting and nurturing our mental health following the stresses of recent years. We are acting to preserve and improve our mental health, our relationships and consider how we spend our time.
It is nothing new that being physically active or spending time on self-care of our bodies and mind help us to feel better mentally. Physical activity is the most popular and accessible pursuit that everybody knows has a direct positive correlation with mental health. More people these days are heading to the gym or a yoga studio to their benefit.
There is no longer a taboo around mental health issues, we are identifying and talking about them, seeking answers and solutions to burnout. Mental health retreats have sprung up, offering a complete immersion in a supportive program.
2022 and 2023 will see businesses at last taking seriously the issue of employee mental health. Holistic wellness does not stop with the regimes that your yoga studio or personal trainer oversee on zoom or in-person consults, businesses are realizing that wellness is a positive feedback loop and it’s one they should be proud to be part of and facilitate by work-from-home and a flexible approach.
2. Body Immunity
Many of us are now consciously aware of our body’s immune system strength and our need to support and rely on it to protect us. We have realised we have a life-force protection shield and it’s down to us to keep it upgraded!
This is a key change in the way we are thinking and behind the surge in the wellness trends that we are all seeking. Top trends to support and increase our immunity are lymphatic drainage, intermittent fasting, infrared saunas, and alternative therapies like acupuncture, supplementation and superfoods.
The focus is on longevity and a balanced approach, on lifestyle and routine changes that support an ongoing strength and barrier to disease. There is nothing like having to wear a mask for two years to focus the mind on an issue.
People are seeking evidence-supported treatments and products, such as the mainstream arrival of the use of CBD.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical in the Cannabis plant, also known as cannabis or hemp. CBD products and treatments are now common, with oils being used for a large range of issues, from mental to the physical. In wellness spas there are massages and sprays for skin-care and drinks for general health promotion. There are proven benefits to the musculoskeletal system function, supporting a healthy ageing process.
3. Alternative Therapies
Practitioners are seeing huge interest in alternative healing therapies – sound baths, crystal and other energy healing
and healing therapies like Meditation and Acupuncture. All of these therapies balance the chakras and enhance inner-peace, supporting balance and harmony in our bodily energy.
There is strong interest in learning Breathing techniques in group sessions of guided meditations, or even attending a bespoke retreat offering classes and workshops. Breathwork is called pranayama in yoga
, it is also a part of different forms of meditation.
Deep productive breathing is key to good health and a long life, the renewed focus on breathwork is an important and beneficial exercise, supporting a relaxed state of body and mind. The benefits are huge, lower and stable blood pressure and bodily functions work better, along with our cognition, perspective and relationships.
Alternative therapies’ wellness trend is not just for the travelling spiritual seeker who has never stopped believing in them, wellness retreats
are including these type of therapies on their extensive spa menus.
4. Sleep Help
Sleep work is a growing trend, covering a focus on Meditation, relaxation exercises and therapeutic healing work.
These experiences can be alternative therapies of many different types – aromatherapy, acupuncture, crystal and other forms of energy healing – a participant can usually choose from the different activities and therapies on offer to aid them in resolving a poor sleep cycle.
Both Magnesium and CBD are commonly used natural ingredients for help with sleep in the West, also Ayurveda involves a wide range of herbs with good effect. Sleep is one of the most important parts of a wellness-focused healthy lifestyle. Just as important as the exercise we should do.
If travel is back
on your agenda you will find sleep retreats at destination wellness spas, in locations like Asia
, which offer a completely new immersive environment to focus on the issue.
5. Plant-Based Diet
Plant-based consumption and products are huge. Those who do not cater for vegans should not expect many people to attend their wellness venue. Environmental concerns and preventative health measures is driving the continual growth of a plant based diet, now significantly mainstream from the continual growth it has seen over the last few years.
Veganism is seen as a minimum requirement for positive change in a healthy lifestyle, moving from trend to mainstay of a wellness regime.
Diet decisions go further than plants alone, people are exploring personal nutrition by consulting nutritionists for advice on their body type, identifying unknown low level allergies that are causing inflammation, and finding vitamin and mineral supplementation to improve overall health.
For drinks, alcohol and hangovers are out, non-alcoholic beers and spirits are in, and freshly cold-pressed juices are yummy treats that have no bad side whatsoever so you can have as many as you like. But less attractive now are the water-only detoxes and juice fasts, there is not much evidence that hunger fasting like this has great benefits compared with mixing your juices with hight protein meals and healthy fat snacks like nuts and avocado.
The ever-growing focus on a plant based diet is leading to changes in the home too. Kitchens are being redesigned to sustain healthy habits like growing plants and herbs, natural eco-friendly cleaning products are the first choice now and focusing on the sustainability of their packaging just as much as the product inside.
These are important factors in purchasing decisions these days.
Clothes like food have all the same influences on our wellness, along with the world that we live in. Second hand fashion is the consumers first choice, cutting waste and stopping the fast one-click purchasing, which is taking that pressure directly out of the planet. These are all practices of mindfulness, taking decisions to act slowly and
6. Facial Wellness
More people are turning to spas for treatments, education and group sessions on their self-care routines and one of the fasting growing areas in this is face yoga or similar regimens. Face yoga is exactly what it says, yoga for the face, face yoga exercises
to tone face muscles. Studios are popping up all over the world like Facegym in the UK and USA, and routines can be booked in destination wellness spas too.
7. Wellness Spas – Location and Design
Spas have historically focused on quiet private rooms only, not around interaction of guests together.
This is turning on it’s head, guests are looking for a social element, a shared wellness experience, inside and outside of the spa. At the same time wellness spas need to keep hygiene and disease prevention in mind too.
Open spaces are becoming an attractive and well-used offering, often outside, which allow for group sessions and interaction.
The outdoors has become primary in guests’ desires, in every aspect of wellness.
Indoor wellness still exists but is fast being replaced by the desire to be outside or integrated with green natural surroundings. Even treatments like massage and body work is preferred in an outdoor setting.
Nature supports relaxation and meditative practices, and so people are making a beeline for the forest, lakeside and outdoor nature, to participate in group activities like wild swimming, foraging, forest bathing and guided group meditation sessions.
Excursions and time in nature outdoors has real physiological and psychological benefits, reducing stress and improving mood. The materials and design of accommodations is following this trend, with treehouses of all shapes and sizes popping up in untouched land, made from natural material, sustainable and local.
8. Solo Wellness Travel
Taking our health seriously is resulting in a surge in solo wellness travel, people are prioritising their health of mind-body, rather than wait for a friend-group collective decision we are putting our needs first – booking, flying and participating as quickly as desired. With some research cost is not a barrier either, there are many affordable wellness programs to choose from, available worldwide.
Retreats in Bali
are very popular destinations in South East Asia, because of safety and the welcoming and compassionate nature of the people.
If it is more convenient for your travel then Spain
has been a mainstay for health and well-being holidays for years now.
In the same way we have all turned to ‘work from home’ (WFH) using Zoom and WhatsApp, wellness has not been left behind in the trend of technology solutions.
There are a multitude of apps that people use for support and content to organize their health and wellness activities in their everyday lives. From meditation apps like headspace to new entrants like Moodtracker and Mytherapy, all help with the routine and content of guided meditations, monitor mood through bodily vitals, plus offer coaching through mantras, affirmations and other techniques. The dominant tech companies and their wearables are encorporating health apps into their proprietary offerings in their ecosystems now. Headspace is on Netflix.
People are training in groups online, in their houses with zoom screens for yoga classes and even yoga teacher trainings, virtual cycling tracks have become a mainstay of the in-house fitness regime. You can hire a personal trainer to join your work-out at home on your large smart tv.
There can be a watershed to the volume of all this technology that we tolerate in our lives.
Sometimes people feel the need to switch off and tune out, hence the popularity of digital detoxes.
10. The Digital Detox
More and more people are seeking the experience of putting away their addictive phones and tablets and opting for an immersive wellness experience. This is often in a retreat format where a group join together to focus on their retreat schedule and classes without the intrusion of technology.
Disconnecting from technology can have a lot of psychological benefits by breaking the addictive behavioural cycle that app algorithms attempt to cement into our daily lives. If you are going to make the effort to attend a wellness spa, then there is good argument to focus 100% on the experience and make the very most of the treatments, activities and environment.
One theme that underpins all of these top 10 trends in wellness is the foundational principle of knowing the effect of how money is spent. The consumer or traveling guest is interested in supporting the planet’s health and longevity as well as their own, caring for the environment we all share, and having awareness of the local environment that they live in and travel to. The wellness seeker prefers to go slower and nearer, with mindfulness. Life and living is wellness.