Wellness Trends To Watch For In 2019

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Written By: Shannon Sweeney

From being conscious of what’s in our feminine hygiene products to using all-natural therapeutic remedies to help with anxiety and more, 2018 was the year of wellness. People started more conversations surrounding mental health, people embraced their bodies for what they are, and we started understanding how social media really played a role on our health overall.

And 2019 is bound to be no different — 2018 was the year we learned and embraced sexual wellness, personal wellness, and more. 2019 will be the year of practicing these wellness trends. From apps to help us invest our money to understanding what exactly is going into our food, let’s take a look at wellness trends that entered 2019 as strong as they finished in 2018.


Cannabidiol oil will continue to grow

CBD — cannabidiol — exploded on the scene in 2018 as a natural remedy to cure many common ailments and became legal through the 2018 Farm Bill. CBD comes from the cannabis (marijuana) plant, but it won’t get you high. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active ingredient in marijuana that gives you a high feeling — unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.

CBD oil is made my extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. It’s gaining popularity to help treat a variety of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety, and can even alleviate cancer-related symptoms. With more than 18 million people suffering from some sort of anxiety or depression, that leaves a lot of room for potential for CBD.

The CBD market is predicted to hit $22 billion by 2022, outpacing the American marijuana industry by almost $2 billion. The reason? CBD oil treats a numerous amount of ailments — and researchers are discovering more uses for CBD oil every day.

“What we started tracking this year was an explosion — face masks, bug bites, skin care, topicals,” Bethany Gomez, director of research for the Brightfield Group, told the Rolling Stone in an exclusive interview. “It’s being used for everything you can think of — sports, triathlons. People want to buy it for their grandma, for arthritis. Women get it for PMS and endometriosis — common things that people have been using over the counter medications.”


Using technology to improve mental health

In 2018 we found out out that our phones, computers, and tablets are contributing greatly to our mental health — and not in a good way. It’s a major subject of scientific studies, and is being linked to body image disturbance, internet addiction, anxiety, depression, and more. Researchers are studying how exactly parts of the brain react to looking at social media and our phones in general.

On the plus side, we also saw an explosion in ways apps can help us with our mental health. Apps like Simple Habit, Calm, and Headspace give you the option to meditate wherever you are — simply plug in and let go. Other apps provide sources for therapy when you just need to talk to someone immediately, like Talkspace Online Therapy. There are even apps that could help detect depression and monitor teen mental health.

"The biggest hurdle at the moment," University of Orego psychologist Nick Allen said in an interview, "is to learn about what's the signal and what's the noise — what is in this enormous amount of data that people accumulate on their phones that is indicative of a mental health crisis."

These apps turn what seems like a growing health concern into something positive by helping people when they need it right at their fingertips.


Sexual wellness

There’s never been more importance placed on sexual health than last year. Thanks to companies like Maude, the women-run sex line, and Lola, a women-run company that makes trusted products for reproductive health, women are more aware of what their bodies need than ever.

The best part? We’re becoming less afraid to talk about what’s happening to our bodies and our sexual health. And those conversations are becoming increasingly more important, especially with STD rates higher than they’ve ever been.

Lola is disrupting feminine hygiene by telling women what chemicals are in their tampons — and bucking that trend by offering 100% organic cotton tampon options. They also offer other organic feminine care products and gynecologist-approved sexual health products.

Why? Because there are tons of chemicals in most store-bought tampons.

“We are not going to have ‘proof’ that each of these chemicals causes damage when used in feminine-care products, because the FDA doesn’t require that testing for them to be used,” Rachel Carlton Abrams, an integrative medicine practitioner, said in an interview with Fast Company. “That does not, however, mean that they are safe. The U.S. does not require ‘proof of safety’ for the use of chemicals in topical products, even though most chemicals can be absorbed as well from the vagina as they can from the stomach.”  

With new products coming out every day to help promote sexual health and inspire us to embrace sex-positivity, 2019 will be a huge year for sexual wellness.


Probiotics to keep your gut happy and healthy

We not only embraced our outer physical health in 2018, but started caring more about our inner physical health. You can take care of your gut health by taking probiotics, which help promote a well-functioning digestive system.

You can choose different probiotics based on what you’re looking to help with — whether it’s weight gain, chronic inflammatory diseases, fatigue, and skin conditions. Gut imbalances contribute greatly to these ailments, and a daily probiotic will keep you in balance.

“When I say gut flora, I’m talking about the over 500 different species—trillions of microorganisms altogether—residing in your gut, whose delicate balance influences gut function, your metabolism, hormone balance, and overall health,” Gut Health Specialist Dr. Vincent M. Pedre, said in a written article.

Probiotic bacteria compete against unfriendly bacteria, and one way you can do this is through foods that support a healthy gut. These include fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, pickled vegetables, kimchi, and beverages like kombucha. If you’re looking for a daily capsule to take, try finding ones with Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii (each have various functions to help keep your gut in check).

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The farm-to-table movement will continue to grow

We’ve increasingly become more conscious about where our food comes from, including the treatment of labor workers who farm our food and the humane treatment of the animals we eat. More and more restaurants are touting grass-fed and pasture-raised meat, in addition to sourcing local, organic vegetables to support local farmers.

Knowing exactly where our food comes from will continue to be a huge part of 2019 and beyond, challenging the entire food industry as we know it (it’ll even go into the wine industry).

Google “farm to table” and localized search results will show restaurants that tout locally grown food, and some restaurants are going as far as overseeing the farming themselves to ensure they get the best food.

Farm-to-table food is even making its way to online grocery shopping, making locally grown food even more accessible. Why? Because people are starting to genuinely care where their food is grown and what exactly goes into growing it.


Boutique fitness makes it easy for anyone to work out

If you don’t like going to the gym to run or lift, that’s no excuse to not exercise — stretching studios, pure barre, and other boutique fitness studios are making it so everyone can find something they truly enjoy doing.

Stretching studios are the next big thing in fitness, according to Fast Company. Stretching improves blood circulation, mobility, and flexibility — and it greatly decreases your risk of injury. Stretching studios are popping up around New York City and they’ll definitely pop up other places, too.

Other boutique fitness studios teach pole dancing, aerial yoga, and more — there’s even a yoga studio designed for people who hate yoga in New York City. So why are these fitness trends becoming more popular than your average brick and mortar gym? Because exercising is not one size fits all.

These boutique trends pop up to inspire more people to get off their feet and to do something they enjoy while also reaping physical benefits — and since 80% of people don’t get enough exercise, this is a way to decrease that percentage. So if you don’t like running on a treadmill or lifting weights, there are literally hundreds of other options!


Investment apps and talking about money will be more common

It’s always said that money can’t buy happiness, but money certainly causes stress. Financial stress takes a major toll on our overall wellness — a recent study from Psychosomatic Medicine found that adults with financial stress in their lives reported more psychological distress and lower levels of psychological health.

“It’s difficult for people to discuss money because there’s no real agreed upon standard of measurement for financial metrics,” said Shannon McLay, who launched The Financial Gym in Manhattan, told the New York Times. “We all know physical health numbers, like BMI, weight and clothing sizes, so we can assess where we fall on that spectrum. Because of a lack of agreed upon financial metrics, people feel fear or shame around what their finances look like.”

It certainly doesn’t help that 25% of people between 25 and 70 don’t know how to measure their financial health — they tend to think they’re either in better or worse shape than they actually are, according to Prudential’s 2018 Financial Wellness Census. Women, minorities, and millennials are the ones that feel the most financial worry.

One way to combat this? Financial programs and online platforms. Financial institutions like Prudential, Chase Bank, and Visa now offer programs that help consumers improve their financial health and therefore, their overall health. They offer savings accounts, 401(k) accounts, and more. Banks are now advertising on social media to reach different demographics with messaging about changing money conversations and making it easy to take control of your finances.

Additionally, mobile apps like Robinhood (free stock trades), Acorns (automated investing), Stash (to learn about investing), and Vault (for retirement) make the idea of investing way less intimidating. It makes it easier for people to get involved in the stock market and to keep track of their money.

No matter if you’re looking to improve your mental health, your physical health, or your financial health in 2019, pay attention to these trends and try a few new things that you think could help benefit you. After all, new year, new you, right?