As 2019 winds down, we’re looking forward to all the ways the wellness world will continue to grow, evolve, and change lives in 2020. We’ve seen so much positive change post-Farm Bill, with the embracing of cannabis medicine by the mainstream, and the destigmatization of not just Hemp and CBD, but the things it may be able to treat — chronic physical and mental illnesses that people have kept quiet about for centuries.
So, what’s on deck for 2020? A whole lot of good things, that’s what! We have a feeling you’re going to be on board with all seven of these predicted trends… and that they’ll last longer than the Gucci belt-bag trend. Just a thought. Onward!
1. Savvy Supplement Shopping
A fantastic side effect of CBD? Not talking about an improved mood. Savvier shoppers! Herbal supplements like turmeric, arnica, and lavender can be amazing additions to your health and wellness regimen, but the FDA doesn’t regulate supplement companies (yes, that includes CBD).
Thanks to years of cannabis stigma and propaganda (nearly a century, to be specific), CBD has been a “scarier” supplement, so people have shown a greater interest in researching what exactly is in their supplement products. In addition, CBD has taken off with such force, it can be hard to know which companies are legit and which should be best left to the dark web.
Consider this a cue for customers to get “woke” in a sense; instead of mindlessly ingesting what a friend or Instagram influencer told them to, they’re looking for COAs (certificate of analysis), researching ingredients, and contacting customer service. This is pretty incredible! And honestly, super useful for taking the best care of your body. Mindful hemp consumption has paved the way for smarter, more thoroughly considered health choices.
2. East-Meets-West Wellness
Perhaps one of our favorite trends of the year (of all time?) is the embracing of east-meets-west wellness. What does that mean? Well, just like we’re praying for purple people in politics (love a good alliteration), we’re hoping that the wellness world becomes less polarized, and it seems highly likely given the way things have been headed.
In days of yore (like, maybe 2015), if you liked anything from Goop, you were branded a psycho. By some people, at least! And if you were into natural wellness, you absolutely did not get vaccines or take prescription medication. Sure, there were exceptions to this rule, but typically you fell into one camp or another; you were into naturopathic doctors, energy work, and dry brushing, or you strictly adhered to a clinically-backed approach to medicine.
You can do yoga for anxiety and still take your doctor-prescribed Ativan. You can get a physical from your MD and still like to get reiki and acupuncture done monthly. You can meditate and fill your home with crystals and get blood work when necessary. You can see a psychiatrist and a life coach. These things don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and it seems as though both sides are softening their approach to the other — particularly that stringent sciency side. Things they once considered “woo woo” and “granola” are now being embraced.
CBD, of course, falls squarely in the middle of the two; perhaps a rallying point for both parties. With early clinical evidence that CBD may help heal a number of ailments, MDs the world over are on board with this approach to medicine, and big pharma is even looking into how the isolated compound can be applied. And since it’s plant-based, those who use natural medicine are thrilled that the mainstream has adopted this healing plant.
“What it comes down to is what works for you,” said Heather Tynan, ND. “This is different for different people. Get familiar with all your options; be informed so you can be empowered to utilize exactly the treatments or combination of treatments that best appeal and apply to you as an individual.”
Her take on this is the same as ours: “Don’t be afraid to schedule your regular mammogram, while also loading up on antioxidants because you’re well aware of not just the risks of radiation but also the ways you can naturally help mitigate it. Don’t hesitate to add adaptogenic herbs and flower remedies to your supplement regime, but then seek out prescription anxiety relief if they’re just not lifting the stress burden or your mood. There’s no shame in taking biologic medication for your autoimmune condition, while you also work to heal your gut and boost your microbiome. You can head straight from your MD visit, to a visit with your acupuncturist or craniosacral therapist. These healing modalities are not mutually exclusive.” (Our thoughts exactly). “You can definitely have the best of both worlds — and your health will be that much better for it!”
3. Recovery Is Key
In my opinion, the HIIT (high intensity interval training) craze has gone on long enough. Does HIIT serve a purpose? Yes. Do two-a-days and intense bootcamps without breaks serve your health goals? No. But for years, the fitness boom has had people obsessed with pushing themselves harder than ever — with little rest.
Finally, the trend is shifting toward balance with an emphasis on recovery, regeneration, and restoration. I’ve been doing a rain dance praying to the wellness gods in hopes of this happening for the past two years, and I feel that it’s finally starting to take off.
Boutique wellness studios are cropping up, offering recovery in lieu of Spin and kickboxing. LIVKRAFT in La Jolla has rooms for cryotherapy, sensory deprivation (float) tanks, Normatec, infrared saunas, and more. Chill in Chicago has guided meditation, massages, yoga, and reiki. ReCOVER in New York offers Normatec, hydromassage, PEMF, and NuCalm (an anti-stress, sleep-promoting system). And this is all just the beginning.
Recovery is on the rise, which yes — makes even more room for CBD. You’ll notice that these topicals are on shelves at traditional pharmacies, on displays at stores like Paper Source (I know, right? What?) and stocked at your favorite fashion stores and fitness boutiques. The recovery trend within the wellness industry will hopefully get more people — regardless of their exercise routine — to treat their bodies with a little more TLC.
4. Mindfulness for Everyone
We’ve been seeing a steady rise in meditation, in part thanks to accessible, trendy apps like Headspace and Calm. In 2020, expect to see a whole lot more of that. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon just yet, now’s the time!
Even major brands like lululemon are emphasizing mindful workouts and athletics — the brand recently hosted a local running event in San Diego, yet instead of emphasizing on whittling down mile time and perfecting gait, the global run ambassador Charlie Dark encouraged mindful, present running. He hammed home the importance of being in the present moment and using this physical activity as a mindfulness tool to improve mental health and mood.
Different forms of meditation are starting to take off, now that the general public has become more curious. Transcendental Meditation, hypnotic meditation (hypnotherapy) and more are all on the rise.
5. Going to Therapy
The Google search phrase “therapists near me” has been on a steady rise for the past five years, with a particularly dramatic jump within the past year. This means that more and more people are proactively beginning to seek the necessary healthcare that has been culturally neglected for decades, if not centuries… and it’s all starting with a search bar.
People are talking more openly about mental illness and mood disorders now, breaking the stigma and taboos that seem to have been cemented within our society. And with cannabis destigmatization, there’s mental health destigmatization — they’re running parallel. So, the more we talk about it, the more people become comfortable with it, and the more people are comfortable with the idea of therapy, the more people go to therapy. There’s an understanding now: it’s not “for crazy people” and it doesn’t mean you’re insane or unwell. You aren’t broken, messed up, or a weirdo to need (or want) therapy. It’s necessary, proactive, and preventative healthcare.
And though therapy has been historically inaccessible, particularly to minority groups (and again, our societal structure and insurance in the US separating mental and physical healthcare, despite the brain being a part of the physical body… I digress) it’s now easier than ever to find a therapist on the fly, regardless of your insurance coverage, with apps and tele-doc services.
Thanks to Michael Phelps’ Talkspace ad and celebs like Selena Gomez, Shailene Woodley, Lili Reinhart, even Justin Bieber advocating for therapy via their own experiences, the younger generations will grow up in a world in which therapy is as normal as eating dinner and playing after school sports. With Gwyneth Paltrow and Chrissy Teigen openly sharing their experiences with postpartum depression therapy, older generations will get that message as well.
6. Workouts Slowing Down
Along the lines of all of the above trends, we see workouts slowing down. The cardio-only craze is on the outs, and fitness enthusiasts are looking for mellower ways to whip themselves into shape. Of course, running, Spin, boxing, and HIIT won’t go away — and they’re all still great, effective workouts to incorporate — but we’ll see a shift toward fusion types of yoga, traditional yoga, reformer and mat Pilates, megaformer, and more in 2020. In fact, MindBody data from surveys and research has shown Pilates and Yoga as the two top workout trends for the next year. See you on a mat!
7. Self-Care Steps It Up
Expect to see lots of people taking self-care beyond bubble baths and face masks in 2020. Think: the aforementioned sensory deprivation float tank sessions for an hour, infrared sauna meditation for 70 minutes, hypno-reiki energy work, CBD deep tissue massages, consistent Normatec treatments, and regular acupuncture. Luxury cannabis products will play a major role in this category as well. One leader in the space is Lord Jones, creator of the iconic gumdrops (they’re SO fancy) and CBD bath salts.
The approach to self-care will be different this coming year too; we anticipate it will finally be seen as fundamental preventative healthcare, and less of a trivial indulgence. Make space for yourself and set boundaries around your new-and-improved self-care routine. It’s time to get serious about guaranteeing your good health and wellbeing before shit hits the fan. And all of the above trends (therapy! slow workouts! recovery! mindfulness!) feed into this pivotal umbrella category of us taking much, much better care of ourselves in 2020.
Written By: Dominique Michelle Astorino, a wellness and fitness editor, CBD aficionado, and author (currently working on her first book). She graduated from the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California and has written nearly 5000 articles on how to live a happier, healthier life.