Peoplehood 1

In 2006, the concept of a dark room full of bikes was a tough sell for Soulcycle co-founders, Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice. Ten years later, their popular studios defined the wellness space.

Elizabeth and Julie first served as guest editors here on The Chalkboard in 2015. One year later, they sold their blazingly-successful fitness venture and began dreaming up new ways to meet people’s modern wellness needs.

Their latest undertaking is called PEOPLEHOOD and mirrors the big shift toward mental health happening in wellness now. Currently in beta, PEOPLEHOOD launches in 2023 with a vibrant physical space in NYC and digital offerings around the country.

As Elizabeth and Julie prepare to launch, we asked the women to share everything we should know about the community they hope to build and the relational health tool they hope to equip so many with…

Names: Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice

You might know us from: SoulCycle and our new venture, PEOPLEHOOD.

Julie Rice and Elizabeth CutlerOur goal with Peoplehood in brief: At PEOPLEHOOD, we spend time listening to ourselves and each other. It’s that simple. We empower you with skills, space and support to build new habits, change communication patterns and create high quality human connections.

The vibe, in 3 words: Communal. Fun. Habit-changing.

How did the pandemic impact the new brand? Pre-pandemic, the overuse of digital devices and social media had already begun to cause increases in loneliness, isolation and social disconnection. Three years of a global pandemic exacerbated this trend and now we find ourselves in a world that needs PEOPLEHOOD more than ever.

What should people expect from a session?

We have two ways to Gather:
+ Peoplehood: come solo, meet new people, make time to process life & hear yourself think.
+ Couplehood: come with your partner; enjoy intentional time with the person that matters most to you.

Our 60-minute guided group conversations are called PEOPLEHOOD Gathers. In those sessions each of us gets a chance to talk freely and listen deeply, and are led by trained Guides who are connection superstars.

PEOPLEHOOD Gathers take place in our digital (or NYC) sanctuary and are filled with feel-good music, de-stressing breathwork, thought provoking prompts and many “aha moments”. Together, we create high quality human connections.

drop some compelling stats on mental health and social connection for us? We believe that healthy relationships are the key factor in achieving both mental and physical health.

While you’ll come away from PEOPLEHOOD feeling good, this isn’t just a feel-good experience — our Gathers are based on the modern science of connection and infused with ancient global traditions to provide an antidote to today’s social climate crisis.

Healthy relationships are better indicators of long and happy lives than social class, IQ or genes; on the flip side, loneliness kills: it’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism (Harvard Study of Adult Development).

4 in 10 American adults agree with the statement “I feel that I do not have close personal relationships with other people.” (CIGNA Loneliness Survey) This survey happened in 2020, before the pandemic!

How do you expect people to engage peoplehood? We’ve done a lot of thinking about how users will engage with experiences in a post-Covid world.

We’re building both an IRL space as well as a digital product so Members can engage with the product anytime, anywhere depending on what they’re in the mood for.

PEOPLEHOOD is a Practice. Joining our Gathers on a weekly basis will help you change old patterns, build healthier relationships and create long term habitual change.

Our physical space will have a coffee shop, retail, special events and the opportunity to meet and mingle with other members. Our digital space will feature our same amazing Guides with great music, and a differentiated digital atmosphere.

How is this different from traditional talk therapy? We love therapy, but that’s not what we do. PEOPLEHOOD offers peer-to-peer support with no advice, opinions or solutions. We learn and practice tangible skills people can take into their daily lives.

Drop some perspective for those who are hesitant to speak candidly with a group… First, before you enter the PEOPLEHOOD space Participants will see and agree to our People Pledge (rules and guidelines) that everyone must commit to. There is no judgment and everyone is welcome.

Our People Pledge is this:
Confidentiality is a promise we make to each other.
Everyone belongs here.
Our job is to listen and just be there for each other.
Interrupting, advice, and opinions are left at the door.

Second, our amazing Guides always share first, warming up the room and permissioning people to feel more comfortable in the space before it even gets to their turn.

And finally, each week we create prompts for members to answer and they have the ability to answer them in whatever way they’d like. There’s no pressure to bear your soul or break down and cry. Sometimes we simply share something good that happened to us. PEOPLEHOOD meets you where you’re at.

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