TREND 1: Self-care

This has become legitimized during the time of the coronavirus and is now seen by policy makers, the media and society as a top priority in mental wellness. We are responsible for our own mental wellbeing, and everyone should make this a front-burner priority.

TREND 2: Connection with others

From more family time to time reconnecting as well as prioritizing fitness as a means of making new friends and expanding one’s social circle, connectedness—in this time of safety-driven seclusion—is a huge imperative globally.

TREND 3: Connection with nature

Once again, connecting with our source—nature—emerges in the top three trends in mental wellness. Perhaps more than ever, as people focus on their personal wellbeing, exercising in parks and woodland and by the beach has become a vital means of restoring wellbeing and stepping out of the sense of confinement and stress that has accompanied the necessary public health measures of the pandemic.

TREND 4: Cultural inclusivity and connectedness

The focus on this in the US has rippled around the world with the recognition that the mental health and wellness of minority groups, and individual members of these, and of the wider society, are based on the requirement for society to take steps to embrace diversity and ensure safety for all sectors of society.

TREND 5: Corporate recognition

Of the importance of mental wellness, from the burgeoning business of mental wellness apps to investors moving significantly into the mental wellness space, corporate mental wellness programs becoming mainstream, and pharmacy chains such as CVS offering mental wellness services at the pharmacy level. Everywhere, the world of business recognizes the importance of mental wellness and is investing, innovating and reaching out.

TREND 6: Safety and security

Safety from COVID transmission, safety from violence/harm, safety to be seen/heard, including the security needs of minority populations exposed to violence stemming from racial, religious or ethnic affiliations.

TREND 7: Faith

Belief in a higher power and purpose and the assurance of a divine presence that reframes meaning and meaning-making—a central premise to having a sense of belonging.

TREND 8: Accessibility of mental health and wellness intel and therapy

(CVS) and a reduction in stigma toward mental health and illness issues. This includes digital, a sizeable expansion in mental telehealth and wellness investment and a start-up boom.

TREND 9: Plant-based nutrition

The global pandemic and lockdowns have resulted in many consumers reassessing what they eat and their impact on the planet as well as recognizing that healthy nutrition and mental wellness are closely linked. By the summer of 2020, plant-based food sales in the US had more than doubled. If researchers are right, there will be a 98 percent rise in vegans compared to this time last year.

TREND 10: “Sawubona”

A greeting used in Zulu culture that means “I see you” as a practice of recognizing and acknowledging the value and worth in others, promoting inclusion and acceptance.

TREND 1: Bringing mental wellness to the workplace

Bringing mental wellness to the workplace: policies, purpose, pathways and profitability. This is where the world’s adult population spends most of its waking hours, and feedback on the GWI’s Mental Wellness White Paper indicates that the workplace is where mental wellness action is gaining early traction.


TREND 2: Breakthroughs in the brain science of mental wellness

· Brain plasticity: The brain can rewire, forge new pathways, and grow new grey and white matter with a range of wellness modalities, including meditation, yoga and dance.
· Emotional wellbeing: A revolutionary new understanding of emotions offers research showing that our brains are constantly predicting how we will experience and navigate through any future event based on our past experiences and expectations.
· Microbiome and the brain: The Gut-Brain Axis. Nutritional psychiatry first establishes optimal nutrition as the foundation for mental wellbeing and then asks “what are the remaining problems?”


TREND 3: Youth and mental wellness

Youth and mental wellness: lifelong mental wellness strategies starting in youth, including reducing digital addiction, peer-to-peer prevention strategies, nutrition for mental wellness, and early intervention strategies.


TREND 4: Re-connecting with one another

Re-connecting with one another: through touch, shared wellness activities (meditation, movement, laughter yoga, nutrition for mental wellness, etc.), nonpolitical social exchange, and learning/sharing new mental pathways for positive engagement with life.


TREND 5: Connecting with nature

Connecting with nature: as an elemental grounding and healing force—forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku), gardening, beach walking, thermal bathing, etc. Expect more science on the healing and mental wellness benefits of this.


The Global Wellness Institute serves as an umbrella organization for numerous Initiatives, that are independently chaired and run. The resources, editorial, research and opinions presented by the Initiatives do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Global Wellness Institute.