2020 wellness trend report

last year, in lieu of a trend report, we shared this: F*ck Trends: Wellness Rituals We’ll Never Quit. Maybe it was a bit bold, but also on point — and we think we got our point across.

Since we can’t re-publish our classic health rituals every January and, since we are genuinely enthused to share so much breakthrough wellness content with you this year, we though we’d pause to share the below list of leading trends in health and wellness as we enter a new decade.

Trend reports have become a tricky thing for us. We, like our readers, often find our favorite wellness habits at the top of the trend reports years down the line. Maybe that’s just what happens when you live in Los Angeles, frequent the smoothie bar at Erewhon or the tonic bar at Dragon Herbs, join a moon circle and spend your commute listening to the best holistic podcasts.

On one hand, it can be fun to have what feels like early access, but on the other hand, we get anxious for some of the health protocols we believe in to reach a broader audience. Unlike fashion, where trends trickle down similarly, from New York street style to big box retail, we see adaptogens and charcoal tabs as having more potent potential for the population than plaid blazers and prairie dresses.

With fashion, it’s possible you almost hope that a look doesn’t catch on so you can keep your unique look intact. With wellness, the hope is the that trends catch on hard and become part of folk’s everyday lifestyles. There’s really no glory in keeping adaptogens or celery juice or paraben-free lipsticks niche. The goal is for healthy habits to catch on.

With that in mind, here are a few key wellness trends we think are up to bat for major growth in 2020…

Our 2020 Wellness Trend Report

Healthy Travel | And we’re not just talking about yoga retreats (although those kinds of experiences are trending too.)

According to stats from ClassPass, more professionals are prioritizing exercise during travel with 18% working out in a city other than their hometown during 2019 (up from 14% in 2018).

Historically speaking, business travel and vacations have provided the ultimate excuses for our worst health behaviors. Healthy options were far and few between and room service or mini bars were within arms reach. We welcome the growing trend among hotels and other travel entities who are including modern, healthy options on their menus, eco-friendly options in their housekeeping schedules, and gyms that rival the lobby bar in luxe amenities.

It’s quite possible we could blame this whole trend on kale. Once the humble green veggie began trending years ago, it was all too easy and affordable for restaurants around the world to add to their menus. Perhaps it has led to the easy implementation of many health trends since? We’re looking at you, avocado toast. Learn more

wellness trend report 2020

Consumers Take the Lead | The burst in wellness interest over the last decade and the swirl of products and services around it have shaped the food, beauty and personal care industries profoundly. There’s much more change to come, but consumers should relish their power to ‘vote with their dollar’. Huge changes in our economy have occurred beyond just the surge in health-conscious buying behaviors, but consumers should take note of the way brands have responded to the demand for cleaner products and more transparent business practices.

Naturally, convenience still rules, but there’s a tipping point at which convenience loses out to a better quality of life. Learn more

Emotional HealthCare | We’re not talking about doctors with feelings, we’re talking about the growing belief that our emotional health is deeply tied to our physical state of well-being. From the re-integration of ancient medicines like Ayurveda and TCM (that have always kept emotional states in mind) to emerging science on brain health, psychology and beyond, many of us are becoming more holistic in our view of what it means to be ‘well’.

As we often say, no amount of supplements or green smoothies can make us well if we’re unhappy or overstressed. We’ve seen the deepened shift in our own readers’ interests, we’ve seen it in the health and wellness publishing industry overall and, in 2019, ClassPass shared that Meditation became the most popular wellness activity booking. Many of us are dealing with stress we struggle to manage and we predict that the thoughtleaders and tools we use to manage this will continue to grow in popularity in 2020. Learn more

Feminism starts within | Of course, wellness trends often mirror larger social and political trends. In part due to changes in business and cultural standards stemming from the Me Too movement, discussions around the continually changing role of women in culture are at a recent high.

Inevitably, these issues have led to a re-examination of many women’s health standards that needed a shake up — and many of those changes are being led by women themselves. In wellness, this is occurring in two ways: an increased transparency in women’s health education and a shift in the way we celebrate the female body. Key topics include period coaching, holistic pelvic healthcare and body positivity. Learn more

healthy period

Modern Beauty treatments | With the swelling interest in clean beauty and self-care, the spa industry has risen to the occasion. Once upon a time, it was only ‘ladies who lunch’ who frequented the spa. And while classic old-fashioned spa days are surely still a thing, more consumers are waking up to the health benefits of straight-forward spa and beauty appointments at a slew of new boutique spas.

These days, easy access, results-driven spas are popping up like Starbucks stores in the year 2000. There are infrared sauna bars, subscription massage services  and beauty treatment boutiques that cut down on our morning prep time. There are also more holistic treatments than ever before offered inside  traditional spas — from reiki to acupuncture to crystal readings. Learn more

a plant-based diet | Add good habits to your diet and you may just find that they crowd out most of the bad habits without much thought or effort. That’s a good way to create behavior change — and big reason that a plant-based diet works too.

While very few carnivores warm to the idea of veganism, the power of the plant-based diet is that it simply involves crowed your plate with more veggies and less meat. It fits just about every diet, from the Mediterranean to the Paleo and creates a little wiggle room between the never-ending debate between carnivores and vegans.

Most importantly, it simply get more of us eating more plants more often — a habit with great promise for our health, as well as the environment. Learn more

Personalized wellness | Triathalons, colonics, pilates, cryotherapy…there are a million potent tools in the world of wellness that are simply not for all. Keto is not for everyone, neither is veganism. Your roommate may thrive on boot camp and keto, while you crave yoga and macrobiotics. There is truly no one-size-fits-all lifestyle for peak health and wellness.

Most importantly, personalized wellness is finding it’s way into healthcare services. While you may visit an alternative health practitioner who knows full well how individual health and wellness truly is, we’re excited to see brands like Parsley Health, Liquid IV and Forward Healthcare pioneering preventative health offerings for a new age. Most of these services are still quite pricey, since you’ll still need to have traditional health insurance apart from their services or fees, however, we’re hopeful these kinds of brands grow and become more accessible. Learn more

Hot Then You’re Cold | It’s a simple mention, but hot and cold therapies from infrared spas to cryo facials and ice bath therapies are continuing to grow in popularity and with good reason. Learn more

intermittent fasting + cyclical keto | Ketogenic diets have gained massive popularity over the last couple of years, but we’re guessing the trend will only last if more people learn to cycle in and out of a ketogenic state. According to Bulletproof, when we “keep restricting carbs for a long time can create problems like fatigue, thyroid issues, insomnia, and dry eyes and sinuses.” Cyclical keto and intermittent fasting are two dietary protocols on the rise in 2020. Learn more

Astronomical Interests | From space travel to understand moon cycles, our interest in our connection to what is beyond the planet is peaking in a new way. While women are learning the power of syncing with their moon cycles, all of us are gaining interest in astrology whether through horoscopes, human design or learning about phenomenons like sun flares that can interrupt technology here on earth, as well as have an effect on our moods and health issues. Learn more

What about you? What is peaking your interest in health and wellness as we start 2020?

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