The Global Wellness Summit's Top 10 Wellness Trends of 2020

The top 2020 wellness trends from GWS. // Photo credit: MStudioImages/Royalty-free/E+/Getty Images

As the first month of 2020 came to an end, the Global Wellness Summit released its in-depth trend report, titled “The Future of Wellness 2020.” Within the report, 550 experts from across 50 nations worked together to identify the top 10 wellness trends they anticipate growing this year, from the focus shifting from sleep to true circadian health, aging getting a cool rebrand, a surge in fertility, mental wellness and technology, the rise of wellness music, and the wellness sabbatical, and more.

Check out the trends below:
 

  1. Circadian Health: Consumers and the wellness industry alike are focusing less on solutions targeting sleep and fatigue and more on circadian health optimization, not only to promote sleep but to boost the brain and body systems controlled by the circadian clock—the body’s internal way to determine day from night.
     
  2. Aging Rebranded: Seniors are living longer and healthier, and the market can no longer afford to ignore them. As perceptions around aging continue to change, the wellness market is finally beginning to catch up to consumer ideals around aging. Businesses are beginning to invest resources targeted towards the senior market, adding new products and experiences to attest to the vibrancy of the aging baby boomer demographic.
     
  3. J-Wellness: Japan is the longevity nation, containing more centenarians per capita than any country on earth. All eyes will be on Japan this summer as they host the Olympics, which will spur a fascination with J-Wellness, an ever-evolving culture of ancient-meets-hyper-modern approaches, products, and solutions for wellbeing.
     
  4. Mental Wellness and Technology: Awareness of the need to address mental health has grown significantly in the last few years. Mental health tech will move into the mainstream as cultural norms continue to shift. Industry analysts predict the next year will see a big spike in the adoption of telehealth, both in the mental healthcare space as well as primary care. Consumers’ embrace of convenient treatment as well as interest in self-care will transform how employers, universities, and local governments offer subsidized mental wellness care.
     
  5. Energy Medicine: Scientific researchers are discovering that the human body is indeed a complex biofield of electromagnetic frequencies and light waves that serve as control central for our physical and mental functioning—and that we’re also immersed in other complex environmental electromagnetic fields that change human cells. The future is the medical and wellness worlds innovating new tools and technologies to optimize human energy fields to prevent illness and boost health. Frequency therapies are crucial here: electromagnetic, light and sound interventions.
     
  6. Organized Religion Enters Wellness: More and more, faith is incorporating the latest wellness trends, signifying a shift away from viewing bodywork as vanity. While the bulk of this trend depends on independent churches and start-ups, we’ll start to see megachurches, national religious organizations, and more influential leaders further embrace this trend. Many institutions now start to see health and wellness initiatives as a crucial part of tending to parishioners’ wellbeing.
     
  7. The Wellness Sabbatical: Transformation comes from longer wellness experiences, but most of us have jobs. That’s the heartbeat of the wellness sabbatical, a concept slated to hit hundreds of destinations and could shake up the future of travel, wellness, and work. More people desperately need a profound wellness break, but they need to keep working. Enter a new travel concept, the wellness sabbatical, where days of work and wellness are intentionally blended, at destinations that actively, creatively make this possible.
     
  8. The Fertility Boom: Fertility is no longer a taboo topic hushed about in doctor’s offices. The last few years saw incredible progress in this space on multiple fronts. Celebrities and newsmakers shared their personal experiences; numerous countries expanded their health coverage to include IVF; while Silicon Valley funded a number of start-ups attempting to solve every issue impacting fertility—for both men and women. So far, women’s health start-ups are believed to have secured over $1 billion in investment, and of that, 60 percent is focused on fertility or pregnancy. It’s just the start of what many see as a fem-tech revolution.
     
  9. Wellness Music: Humans are hardwired for music; no other stimulus positively activates so many brain regions; and stringent studies show its dramatic impact on mood, anxiety and pain. The mainstream music industry is pivoting to “wellness music.” There’s an explosion of wellbeing playlists (stress-reducing, sleep-focused, etc.) at the big streaming sites such as Spotify. Full-blown audio-wellness festivals are rising. “Wellness” is becoming a new mode of listening—beyond the artist or genre.
     
  10. Science-Backed Wellness: There are tens of thousands of medical studies on wellness approaches, despite the fact that the wellness world isn’t on an even playing field, lacking the deep pockets of Big Pharma to conduct big trials among large populations over long periods of time. But there are resources to help you explore all the hard science. We’re in a wider cultural crisis now over fact and fiction; science and belief; and shrill opinion versus collective, consensual notions of reality and truth. In 2020, the truth makes a comeback, and in wellness, more watchdogs will help.
     

The full report can be downloaded here.

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