The Global Wellness Summit yesterday released its top nine wellness trends for 2021. The 97-page report was authored by wellness industry thought leaders, researchers and trend spotters, and the trends represent the new directions that the GWS feels will have the most meaningful impact on the multitrillion global wellness industry.

Forecasting trends in the fast-evolving wellness space is daunting every year. In 2020, we experienced a global pandemic, economic meltdown, racial injustice, polarizing politics, and a mental wellness crisis that changed every aspect of human life­­. The pandemic made wellness radically more important to people overnight, while the coronavirus exposed the terrible human cost for not controlling chronic, underlying conditions, radically strengthening the case for preventative wellness. At the same time, there was accelerated fatigue with a wellness industry overly focused on elitist, hyper-trendy, evidence-free wellness solutions—which suddenly feel “so 2019.”

Wellness today is at a watershed moment. The trends report reflects how wellness is poised to take a bigger seat at the health care table (see “The Self-Care Revolution” trend). It predicts a future industry that will be more inclusive, accessible and affordable (see “Adding Color to Wellness,” “The Entertainment Industry Jumps into Wellness,” and “Just Breathe!” trends). How it will basically “get real” and more evidence-based (see “The Future of Immune Health: Stop Boosting, Start Balancing”)—and tackle tougher, more crucial human pain-points (see” “Money Out Loud: Financial Wellness Is Finding Its Voice”). And the report also predicts how wellness will continue to rewrite vast industries, from travel, to architecture and design, to the meetings industry.

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