Predictions for the Biggest Wellness Trends of 2019

When I polled my Instagram community recently, 95% of the voters were interested in a post about my top predicted wellness trends of 2019. I could talk about this stuff all day, so it was fun to hear that many of you are into it too!

But here’s something important to keep in mind as you’re reading: if you’re dedicated to living your Forever Plan, or a fitness and food routine that you can picture doing indefinitely, spend time getting the basics down first and try not to get overwhelmed by bells and whistles. That is to say make sure you’re doing the simple things like eating whole foods, moving your body, and drinking water. Those alone will get you much further than chasing the latest and greatest trends without having a solid foundation underneath you.

So, let’s get to it. Here are my top predicted wellness trends of 2019.

1. CBD blows up, in part thanks to new federal legislation

Drinking coffee with drops of CBD oil in it at a cafe in Portland, Maine.

Drinking coffee with drops of CBD oil in it at a cafe in Portland, Maine.

Whether you’re at the grocery store, scrolling through Instagram, or watching the news, you’ll see a lot more about CBD – especially since the Farm Bill passed this month, making hemp legal at the federal level.

In fact, let’s put a number on that increase: according to market analysts, the American CBD market is expected to hit $20 billion by 2022. (!!)

In case you’re unfamiliar, CBD’s a compound that shows up in many forms, including oils, capsules, and gummies, and has been linked to decreased anxiety, decreased chronic pain, better sleep, and other pros. Though it may be extracted from cannabis or hemp, CBD isn’t marijuana and it doesn’t make you high.

CBD’s gotten buzz – and will in an even bigger way going forward – for a few reasons.

For one, CBD is wrapped up in a fairly new scientific discovery: that of the endocannabinoid system. This system helps regulate all different processes in the body and its discovery has sparked buzz about the potential for more successful treatment of issues like anxiety, depression, poor sleep, chronic pain, epilepsy, and even schizophrenia.

Personally, I think CBD is a breath of fresh air. For many people, it’s a reminder that these issues aren’t personal shortcomings and that, in many cases, the symptoms can be improved.

So, CBD can be a low effort way to see potentially significant results. Which is dope – unless you’re only looking for a shortcut :)

My take: CBD can be wonderful, but if your goal is to be healthier, stick to CBD oil instead of the zillions of offshoots you’ll see like gummies, cookies, and lotions. (Where there’s money to be made, there’ll be gimmicks and spinoffs galore!) Eating gummies to take CBD, for example, is like eating fruit tart to get the health benefits of fruit – for the most part, it’s healthiest to just eat the fruit itself. Also, buy from a reputable brand! This is critical since the CBD industry is under-regulated.

To learn more about CBD, check out “The ABCs of CBD Oil.”

2. At-home workouts continue to spread, fueled by our busy lifestyles and advancements in technology

In our busy culture, life is full – so sometimes it’s smarter to skip the drive to the gym and work out right in your living room.

And technology advancements are making it easier to do just that. The Peloton at-home spin bike which launched last year, complete with streaming and on-demand video-based spin classes, was one big example of how workouts are moving out of the gym/studio and into the home.

My take: At-home workout solutions, especially pricier ones, are best suited for four main categories of people. 1) Parents, whose time is usually the most strapped, 2) workout beginners, who want to ease into a routine, 3) people dedicated to their fitness who don’t necessarily enjoy working out and therefore wouldn’t miss the feeling of working out in a gym or studio, and 4) busy professionals who don’t have convenient access to a gym. If you’re not in one of these categories, I’d personally think hard about whether spending significant money on at-home workout equipment is the best use of your dollars. It usually takes just as much devotion to rally yourself to get moving at home as it does to get in your car and drive to the gym.

3. Dry infrared saunas – particularly the ones you can keep at home – have a moment

Infrared saunas use heaters to warm up your body from the inside rather than at the skin’s surface like with regular saunas and steam rooms. The goal is to sweat, which some people say helps lower blood pressure, hasten weight loss, improve skin problems, detoxify, reduce chronic pain, increase circulation, and boost cell health – although the science in many of these areas is still early. Infrared saunas have similar benefits to steam rooms, but because they create a dry environment, most people are able to stay in them longer and thus might see more benefits.

These days, for about $2,000, you can have a solo infrared sauna delivered to your door!

Why are these things getting more popular? Well, for one, who wouldn’t want to have a relaxing, spa-like experience right at home? Also, infrared saunas are part of a movement towards using newer technologies to remove harmful chemicals from the body and boost overall health.

My take: If you have expendable income, using an infrared sauna could be a nice way to relax – but if you’re on a tighter budget, don’t sweat it (pun intended). As for the other supposed health benefits, the science hasn’t quite caught up to the hype yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually does, but research takes time and until there’s a little more info, I’ll personally be spending my money in more proven areas.

4. Healthy food becomes more geographically accessible

Healthier food options are going to become increasingly available in gas stations, big box retailers, and grocery store chains. The focus on eating healthy has (finally!) become so popular, big brands are responding to the demand.

Here are some examples: in the past couple years, Starbucks started carrying Perfect Bars, Spindrift drinks, and sous vide egg bites, to name a few. Walmart launched Whole30-compliant frozen meals. Many gas stations now stock grass-fed beef jerky in addition to the typical grain-fed options. And this pattern will only continue for now.

My take: Obviously, I’m thrilled about this. As I think many of us know, healthy food becoming more geographically accessible is a huge step in the right direction – but making it financially more accessible is critical too. Also, bear in mind that most of it isn’t exactly farmer’s market quality, but in a pinch, is better than the alternative.

5. Indie healthy food brands continue getting snapped up by big food conglomerates

In the past few years, a handful of smaller health food companies like EPIC Bar and Primal Kitchen have been acquired by big food conglomerates like General Mills and Kraft. Since the healthy food industry is only growing and big food is very aware that consumers are increasingly trying to avoid their junk, they’re buying truly healthy food companies as a way to maintain their overall market share. Sometimes, the product integrity ends up suffering (which is obviously disappointing), and other times it doesn’t. I predict we’ll see at least a couple major healthy food company acquisitions in 2019.

My take: As long as product integrity is upheld, I’m fine with these acquisitions. If I can’t have a world without big food, I want a world where big food is desperate to make genuinely healthy brands widely successful.

6. Clean beauty gains traction

This year, I got a makeup lesson from an incredible clean makeup artist. I wanted to learn how to do a quick look that would go with my casual style and that I could wear to the gym on a busy day. This is what we came up with – I feel like myself in it and love that I can sweat during a workout with peace of mind that the ingredients on my skin are top-notch.

This year, I got a makeup lesson from an incredible clean makeup artist. I wanted to learn how to do a quick look that would go with my casual style and that I could wear to the gym on a busy day. This is what we came up with – I feel like myself in it and love that I can sweat during a workout with peace of mind that the ingredients on my skin are top-notch.

We know that what we put in our bodies should be healthy – but what about what we put on our skin? Enter clean beauty. If you’re unfamiliar, clean beauty refers to beauty products made without harmful chemicals. It’s kind of like eating whole, organic foods versus processed ones with pesticides. And it’s one of the fastest growing categories in the entire beauty industry.

We’ll see more Instagrammers plugging clean beauty products and media exploring the clean movement. Just a few weeks ago, Keeping Up With the Kardashians aired an episode that discussed clean beauty products. In a few years, I predict there will be popular awareness of clean beauty.

My take: I wasn’t a makeup person until I found clean beauty, and after falling in love with the ingredients and passionate companies making these amazing products, I’m hooked. So much so that as many of you guys know, I even blog for a clean makeup company called NakedPoppy. NakedPoppy makes it easy to buy clean beauty online by matching you with clean makeup tailored to your skin tone, coloring, and preferences. If you’re interested in making the switch to clean makeup, head to NakedPoppy.com and take the 3-min quiz.

This goes without saying, but I only recommend companies and products I’m obsessed with and am very particular about what makes the cut. This isn’t a sponsored post.

7. Mental health takes center stage alongside health and fitness

Thanks to the hard work of some brave activists, the stigma surrounding mental health is starting to lift. And given recent world events, I think everyone here is on the same page that tending to our mental health is a necessity, not a bonus.

I predict we’ll see more conversations about mental health in the national media, including how mental and physical health are deeply interwoven. A few years down the line, I particularly think there will be widespread awareness of the ways gut health impacts depression.

My take: Super excited about this development. I hope it continues to make seeking support easier and safer.

Excited to hear your thoughts! Leave any questions and reactions in the comments below.

References:

  1. CBD market value is expected to skyrocket by 2022: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidcarpenter/2018/12/20/legal-hemp-in-2019-may-be-a-boon-for-stressed-out-american-farmers/#370146568f3b

  2. Further reading on the functions of the endocannabinoid system: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17369778

  3. Further reading on the potential benefits of infrared light therapy: https://www.healthline.com/health/red-light-therapy

  4. Clean beauty is one of the fastest growing categories in the beauty industry:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/richardkestenbaum/2018/09/09/beauty-industry-biggest-trends-skin-care-loreal-shiseido-lauder/#47d50bf06982

  5. Further reading on the connection between gut health and depression:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641835/

    https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection