2020 was filled with anxiety and fear, about health and economics, of course, but polarizing politics and a reckoning of racial justice also left their imprints. In the midst of 2021, those poignant issues remain at the forefront and are reshaping the role that wellness plays in everyday lives.
During a virtual event for the Global Wellness Summit, the conference founded by a group of spa and wellness industry leaders in the early 2000s (the in-person 2021 summit is planned for November in Tel Aviv), the organization unveiled its 97-page 2021 Wellness Trends Report. Incorporating input from hundreds of top wellness executives, economists, doctors, investors, academics, and technologists, it identified these nine industry shifts making headway in 2021:
- Deeper collaborations between the wellness community and big media and entertainment brands
- A replacement of immunity-boosting supplements and therapies in favor of evidence-backed approaches that truly enhance immunity
- A focus on spiritual and numinous built environments that are expressly conceived to stir the soul
- The rise of therapeutic breathwork, which benefits overall health and helps treat conditions like hypertension
- Wellness practices will continue to sprout within healthcare settings
- Wellness ventures of the future are prioritizing diversity and equitable access, placing high value on Black consumers and wellness professionals and how they experience such offerings and spaces
- Well beyond the pandemic, hybrid events that balance in-person and virtual components are essential to reaching widespread communities
- An increasing openness to discuss personal finance issues is expected to support a larger mental health awakening based on research that financial stress is greatly tied to such health concerns as anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems
- Travel will take a more meaningful turn, with consumers considering the need to minimize overtourism while seeking out more rejuvenating experiences anchored in nature and self-actualization
A version of this article was originally published by Hospitality Design.