5 wellness trends that will dominate in 2020

The wellness industry is booming, and there are no signs of it slowing down in 2020.

Consumers are turning to the industry to feel their best, both physically and mentally. While in 2019 we saw a surge of functional mushrooms, chickpea and cauliflower everything, gut health, and at-home workouts, in this new decade we have new trends to look forward to. Here’s what you can count on for wellness in 2020.

Drinking gets a lot less boozy, and a whole lot more functional

We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in 2019 as far as functional beverages go— the industry is bordering on a $100 billion dollar market and growing at a rapid rate, alongside the sober curious movement, brought to fame in 2019 by Ruby Warrington’s namesake book.

In 2020 we will continue to see a proliferation of alcohol-alternatives as well as functional beverages. Brooklyn Brewery is releasing its first line of alcohol-free beer,  Special Effects, in early 2020. Several brands are going beyond just alcohol-free alternatives, infusing beneficial herbs and bitters into their mixes for health-boosting properties. Booze-free spirit lines such as  Kin Euphorics, which features brain-boosting nootropics,  Seedlip, which includes natural botanical extracts,  Curious Elixirs, and Three Spirit all have health-boosting benefits, so consumers are not only avoiding alcohol but drinking something health-supportive as an alternative.

Our day to day beverages are getting more health-supportive as well. While Kombucha has been popular for the past several years, we are starting to see brands like  OLIPOP ,  Goldthread,  Dram Apothecary, and others offering drinks that are supportive of our gut health, our stress levels, and beyond. CBD-infused soda and sparkling water are on the rise as well, with brands like  Weller and  Recess at the helm. Wellness-seekers are also favoring functional beverages over coffee, with coffee alternatives such as  Rasa adaptogenic coffee and matcha growing in popularity. 2020 will show consumers the many ways to drink your way to
health benefits.

Disconnecting digitally to connect IRL

While influencers may be the ones to thank for helping the wellness industry break into the mainstream over the past decade, consumers are now craving in person, offline experiences. In 2020 we will see an increase in digital detoxes and a focus on spending more time connecting to the community. Programs like The Broad Place’s High Vibrational Challenge support mindful consumers in evaluating their lives holistically, cutting down on digital time in favor of “high vibrational” activities such as spending time with loved ones and connecting to the food they are eating. The online program actively encourages you to get offline to connect deeper to yourself and others.

Aligned with this is the growing wellness retreat industry, with programs spanning from yoga to spiritual alignments, such as  Mama Medicine’s Element Retreat. Wellness-inclined individuals are connecting locally through the emergence of several wellness-based community spaces, such as  The Well in New York City, and  Archipelago in Denver, and wellness driven cafes such as  Supernatural Cafe in Brooklyn, NY.

Nature will be the new medicine

While wellness is becoming more and more commoditized, in 2020 we will see the rise of using nature as a form of self-care. Doctors in Scotland are now allowed to prescribe nature as medicine to patients for conditions such as diabetes, stress, heart disease, mental illness, and more. We’re also seeing the rise of forest bathing, a Japanese-created exercise that encourages people to get out into nature (even if it’s a park in an urban setting) and use their senses to connect to the trees around them. The activity has shown documented benefits in its stress reduction as well as even the ability to increase “natural killer” (NK) cells that fight off diseases such as cancer.

Individuals are turning within for self-healing

While individuals are still entrusting practitioners to guide them in their healing journeys, they are also taking healing into their own hands. In 2020 we will continue to see the rise of self- healing, with individuals turning to courses such as  Inner Alchemy by healing coach Hilary Pearlson which teaches you how to be your own healer through a variety of healing modalities, and activities such as kundalini yoga, qi gong, and more. Breathwork is also on the rise, a free, do-from-anywhere tool, though some prefer to be guided through the modality through the use of an online course, guided workshop, or one-on-one session.

This trend goes hand-in-hand with a growing focus on stress-reduction and mindfulness to support both physical and emotional wellness. Instead of a focus on treating symptoms, we are seeing a movement to address the root causes of stress using tools such as meditation, journaling, breathwork, inner child and shadow work, and more. In 2019 we saw the boom of holistic mental health support— for example, psychologist  Dr. Nicole LaPera, who goes by @the.holistic.psychologist  on Instagram, grew from 50,000 followers to 1.5 million followers on Instagram in 2019 by spreading her advice for self-healing. In 2020, we will see this market expand, offering a variety of tools, courses, and content regarding self-healing and self-

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Wellness and sustainability are teaming up

We’re seeing a developing awareness about how our health and the health of the planet are inextricably tied, and 2020 will be the year that the wellness industry starts taking sustainability to a new level. From the health of our soil to low waste packaging, sustainability will play a leading role in the wellness industry in 2020, with a rising awareness that the health of our planet is fundamental to our individual health.

We saw the rise of the wellness industry’s focus on gut health in 2019, and in 2020 consumers and brands alike will be exploring how our soil impacts our health as well as the planet. Organizations like  Kiss The Ground are emphasizing the importance of regenerative agriculture for our soil— and healthier soil means more nutritious, healthier food as well as a healthier planet. They provide leadership training to help individuals become soil advocates, as well as training for farmers and ranchers to help to reverse the effects of climate change. Brands are integrating soil health into their priorities as well.

Supplement company MegaFood recently launched its  Healthy Farm Standard Initiative, which is “aimed at improving our agricultural system by building carbon-rich soil and increasing the nutrient density of food.” Malk, a natural and organic nut milk brand, was recently certified glyphosate free  by The Detox Project joining MegaFood,  WedderspoonChosen Foods, and a handful of other health food products
committed to safe products and protecting the environment.

As far as waste-reduction goes, we are seeing movement in the wellness space as well.  Rebbl, a B Corp certified super herb elixir drink, is transitioning 100% post-consumer waste recycled bottles in 2020.  Veles, launching in 2020, offers a cleaning product made of food waste, dubbing themselves the “first closed-loop cleaning product”.  Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs is piloting a program in New Hampshire and Vermont to sell their eggs in a reusable egg carton. 2020 will see an insurgence of these types of initiatives in the wellness industry, with consumers demanding that what we put in our bodies and on our bodies is as important as the impact of the product themselves.