Are mushrooms the future of wellness?New York Times, September 18, 2020
No, not another article on the booming magic mushroom research and market, but rather how that vast “other” world of fungi—whether reishi, lion’s mane or chaga—is one of the biggest trends in wellness. Eastern cultures and medical systems (including TCM and Ayurveda) have long used mushrooms to boost health, and this looks at key benefits (immune defense, mental focus and energy, skin and gut health, and stress relief and sleep) and where to find the best blends to target those issues.

Grief therapy: To address a deluge of cultural traumas, wellness practices are incorporating grief management as a component of overall healthWunderman Thompson Intelligence, September 18, 2020
Anguish is seizing society: Pandemic-inflicted limits on social engagement are taking their toll, exacerbated by recent strife and civil unrest. For many, especially Black Americans, finding ways to process all of this is more important than ever. In response, forward-thinking wellness practitioners are incorporating grief management into their overall wellbeing offerings.

The elite needs to give up its G.D.P. fetishNew York Times, August 27, 2020
This article is all the more interesting because it comes from a prominent American conservative thinker. Oren Cass, executive director of American Compass, makes the seemingly obvious point that “material living standards” are not the same thing as “quality of life.” In his words: “What good does G.D.P. do if people we love are falling seriously ill and dying in unprecedented numbers; if the rhythms of daily life vital to our happiness have gone haywire and our social connections have atrophied?” This is another sign that policymakers are at an inflection point. Wellbeing policies are gaining momentum, and even thinkers in the temple of consumerism say so!

Femtech poised for growth beyond fertilityTechCrunch, August 28, 2020
The market for woman-focused health products (aka “femtech”) is set for growth across new categories, according to Pitchbook analysts, broadening beyond its traditional focus on fertility. This new analysis argues that Femtech remains a “significantly underdeveloped” slice of health-tech, given the disparity between how much women spend annually on medical expenses—an estimated $500 billion—versus how little healthcare R&D is targeted at women’s health issues (a paltry 4%). Future growth markets identified: endometriosis solutions; “personalized, female-oriented approaches to general health and disease management,” including heart health, pain management, and diabetes; and the life-stage transition of menopause.

Oliver Burkeman’s last column: the eight secrets to a (fairly) fulfilled life­Guardian, September 4, 2020 
After more than a decade of writing life-changing advice, the health and wellbeing columnist of the Guardian shares the most important lessons he has learned. A few: (1) There will always be too much to do—and this realization is liberating; (2) When stumped by a life choice, choose “enlargement” over happiness; (3) The capacity to tolerate minor discomfort is a superpower; (4) The advice you don’t want to hear is usually the advice you need; (5) The future will never provide the reassurance you seek from it. Read on!

A Striking Stat:

Wildlife Populations Have Plummeted Almost 70% Since 1970
Humans are having a catastrophic impact on the world’s mammals, amphibians, birds, fish and reptiles, according to the new World Wildlife Fund Report. More than two-thirds (68%) of vertebrate species numbers have been wiped off Earth in the last 50 years. (And, they argue, this strain on biodiversity is likely behind COVID-19.)

Read this sobering report.

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