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Health & Wellness Coaching Trends

Updated: Oct 23, 2022

For many of us, this time will be about regaining what we lost this year and finding new ways to take care of ourselves and our communities. A collection of deeper, more accessible wellness experiences are emerging. No doubt, next year will change the way we approach our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Here are the top wellness trends this year

Self-care for the community

A big wellness trend for this year is a shift from self-care to community care. The pandemic has exposed many of the systemic inequalities and flaws in our society, and we will start to recognize that we have a responsibility to do something within our power to address them.

We’ll start to see wellness reframed from something that is ‘for me’ and see it positioned as something that is ‘for all.’

A growing awareness that helping other people is actually the greatest pathway to happiness, as proven by scientific research, will emerge, with people prioritizing giving back, donating their time and skills, and using their power to address systemic issues that are present in their own lives, workplaces, and communities.

Mindful and intuitive eating

There will be a continued rise in mindful eating and intuitive eating. People will continue to turn away from restrictive diets, especially those that completely demonize a certain macronutrient, such as carbohydrates.

I also believe there will be an increase in people embracing food in all its forms through the trend of upcycling food, which means that ugly vegetables and wasted food scraps can be turned into meals and snacks.

It is a step toward a healthier, more sustainable, and more conscious future.

Digital detoxes

There is so much negative energy in social media, the news, and on TV right now. One of our major learnings from 2020 is that we individually have the power to decide what we take in and we can set boundaries around our digital consumption..

Going into 2021, we think the idea of digital detoxes will be top of mind in our collective consciousness. A digital detox can be devoting a week, weekend, or even just a day (Sundays are great for this!) to living without your phone, social media, and TV.

Instead, take more time with yourself, go for long walks in nature, meditate, read, or work on a creative project. It will help you disconnect from all the noise around you so you can reconnect with yourself and figure out what you’re really feeling,

Simpler skincare routines

Say goodbye to 12-step skincare routines in 2021. Staying at home has shifted our budgets away from makeup, clothes, and spa services, and left us with more time to buy and try all the at-home skincare trends.

But after a year of trying it all, people will have realized that most of these products are either redundant or too much for them to handle, leaving a lot of confused and cynical people with damaged moisture barriers.

Plus, we're all broke. We'll be happy and confident settling into a simple, consistent skincare routine that will save us from the damage we may have done in 2020, and will save our wallets, as well.

Flexible goal setting

Setting more realistic resolutions, or micro-goals, will be a wellness trend for 2021. Our perspective on goals has changed due to the pandemic. Knowing the world can throw a wrench in our gears, we realize it's important to remain open and flexible.

Having a long list of micro-goals to choose from, rather than one big all-or-nothing resolution, can be beneficial for overall wellness. We’ve already started seeing this trend take hold during the pandemic as many people set new, realistic health goals for themselves.

In turn, these goals made them more pragmatic about their New Year’s resolutions—instead of weight loss, people are focusing on weight management and maintenance, for example. Ultimately, micro-goals will end up being ones that people feel fully confident they can achieve—and of greater benefit to their health and wellness journey.

Talk (and walk) therapy

Forget the couch —we are heading outdoors for our therapy sessions. Since the onset of the pandemic, many therapists have stopped seeing clients in the office due to safety concerns and are doing teletherapy as a safer alternative.

While telehealth will continue to be a very viable and safe way to deliver therapy services, many therapists and clients miss seeing each other in person.

I have been doing walk-and-talk sessions with clients on nature trails, roads, and beaches, and expect eco-therapy to become more popular in 2021. With walk-and-talk therapy, clients and therapists are moving together in nature and feel connected.

Intention-focused wellness travel

At Canyon Ranch, we increasingly see guests coming to our properties for an intention-focused stay, not just a vacation.

Like so many people, they have struggled this past year to gain a foothold on their mental and emotional well-being. The challenging and traumatic events of 2020 have left us all feeling untethered from our normal routines.

Travellers are seeking out experts, experiences, and places that will help them regain a feeling of stability. For some, it means getting back on a regular exercise program and returning to healthier eating habits.

Others will look to the wisdom and guidance of a therapist, life coach, or spiritual teacher for clarity and understanding. And when they are ready to travel, wellness retreats and outdoor adventure experiences will be the destinations of choice.

In these places, people will have an opportunity to reconnect with themselves, to others, to nature, and to their sense of purpose and joy,

Touchless spa services

Gone are the days when you could pop into the spa for a massage without worry. Touchless services, like cryotherapy, compression therapy, salt caves, infrared saunas, IV drips, hyperbaric chambers, and float tanks, offer a way for people to relax and recover—without any additional contact.

A wellness spa found that 31 per cent of Americans were interested in trying a new no-touch service in the midst of COVID. People need a way to decompress now more than ever, and no-touch spa services provide no-worry wellness as we head into 2021.

Cold therapy

Cold showers and cold water immersion. With the rise in cold exposure therapy led by people like Wim Hof and embraced by biohackers, performance coaches, and recovery specialists around the world, we are starting to see this trend become part of the mainstream.

More and more experts are discussing the benefits of cold exposure and cold showers, which are cheap and available to nearly everyone. This trend will no doubt balloon in 2021 and make its way to most people’s social media feeds and maybe even their daily wellness practice.

The global health and wellness industry is booming.

Already a top priority for many consumers pre-Covid, health and wellness have come into even sharper focus as a result of the pandemic.

Four key health and wellness trends

These are:

  1. My health on my terms. Advances in tracking and testing are facilitating personalized health and nutrition recommendations on demand.

  2. Mental fitness. Consumers will take a more proactive and preventative approach to mental health.

  3. The science of sleep. The global sleep economy shows no signs of slowing down, but innovation in the category will be driven by a new focus on circadian health.

  4. Function at the fore. No longer limited to just physical health, brands are focusing on products to better the body and the mind.

My health on my terms

One of the most significant developments in health and wellness has been the rapid advances in tracking and testing, which are facilitating personalized health and wellness recommendations on demand.

Wearables are becoming ever more sophisticated. The models on the market now allow consumers to track more granular metrics than ever before.

Not only are wearables collecting a wider range of data, but they’re also using this to better empower their users. Oura, for instance, the world’s first wearable ring, provides a “readiness score” to help users understand when they are at their best – both mentally and physically – as well as when they should focus on recovery.

Similar developments are happening in the world of testing, with companies springing up that allow users to complete a series of tests at home, and then personalize their recommendations based on this.

In the past, in-home testing has been a barrier to personalized health and nutrition, but now, greater familiarity with the concept as a result of the pandemic could open the door to new services which combine tracking with testing to create hyper-personalized recommendations at speed.

Mental fitness

Over the last decade, mental health has become an increasingly important part of the conversation when it comes to health and wellness. This has come into even sharper focus as a result of the pandemic. The impact of the virus and the resulting lockdowns have seen anxiety and depression skyrocket and, in line with this, mental health has become a key focus. In China, for instance, 87% of consumers are focused on taking care of their mental health, according to research by PWC conducted after the onset of the pandemic.

This isn’t a short-term trend. Research we conducted to determine which of the behaviors adopted during the pandemic will persist in the long term found that undertaking activities to support mental health is one of the areas with the greatest sticking power.

Businesses are increasingly prioritizing mental health too. Recent research we conducted in partnership with Bloomberg found that 66% of companies are engaging an external vendor to provide healthcare/wellbeing training for their employees and half are looking to support employees with mental health and stress management.

In line with this growing recognition of the importance of mental health, we see the concept of mental fitness coming to the fore.

What do we mean by this?

This is a move towards taking a more proactive and preventative approach to mental health, where consumers manage their mental health in the same way that they manage their physical health. The US is a market that’s really leading the way here.

The science of sleep

Sleep is big business – with the industry set to be worth a massive $585 billion by 2024 according to Statistica. The impact of the pandemic is fueling growth in this sector – with consumers placing an increasing emphasis on quality sleep against a backdrop of anxiety and stress.

This is leading to a more scientific approach to sleep. The Global Wellness Summit predicts that a new focus on circadian health will shape the products and services we see in the category. (A number of these – from a smart mattress to connected lighting – are profiled in our report.) Circadian health relates to aligning behaviors with our natural circadian rhythms – 24-hour cycles such as the sleep-wake cycle, which are influenced by external factors like natural light and temperature.

Shifting the way we think about sleep to place greater emphasis on circadian rhythms could have broader implications when it comes to other behaviors, for instance, disconnecting from devices before bed or the way we care for our skin, making this an interesting space to watch.

Function at the fore

The fourth and final big trend we see is a growing interest in functional food and beverages that support better physical and mental health.

The most evident application of this is in the field of immunity-boosting food and drink. According to re­search from Innova Market Insights, 60% of consumers globally are seeking out food and beverage products that support immune health and we’ve seen a slew of product launches in this space as brands seek to capitalize on this trend.

Increasingly, we’re seeing innovation extending beyond this to food and beverage products that support the mind.

For brands looking to tap into this trend, this is a relatively nascent category so there’s real potential here, as well as for cross-over products to improve both physical and mental health.


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