While the rolling around of yet another year always leads to (some soon-to-be broken) new year’s resolutions, there are always few promises you can make to yourself to enhance your general wellbeing. We’ve asked the experts what they reckon will be big in 2024, and which wellness trends will rule the roost for the next 12 months.
The Biggest Wellness Trends Of 2024
It’s shaping up to be a big year for detoxing – mentally, internally and digitally. The great cleanse will see us reconnecting with ourselves through meditation, nurturing our microbiome for tip-top gut health and ditching our phones for long weekends of quiet. Sound like movement you can get onboard with? These are the wellness trends to seek out in 2024:
Top Trends At A Glance
- Natural Energy
- Flexible Hydration
- Period Positivity
- Mushroom Nootropics
- Blood Sugar Balance
- Microbiome Cleansing
- Burnout Breaks
- Sound Bathing
- CBD Health
1. Natural Energy
Noticed your energy levels dipping over the last year? You’re not the only one. In 2024, it’s predicted that we’ll be looking for energy boosters – and following on from 2023’s matcha revolution, we won’t be searching for it in coffee cups. ‘In a world where increased workload and digital fatigue cause us to feel tired constantly, raising our energy IQ has never been more important. Enter the new age of “natural energy,”‘ says health and wellness retailer Holland & Barrett. ‘This trend sees natural rituals and ingredients key to boosting energy levels that free us from our reliance on coffee and sugar-filled energy drinks grow in popularity. We will see caffeine show up in new formats, such as caffeine infused toothpastes, supplements and even in stick-form (which can be stirred into hot drinks).’
2. Flexible Hydration
Ditch the dehydration in 2024: water is about to become your new best friend. ‘Water is not simply water anymore. With 90 percent of the UK saying they have experienced signs of dehydration, we are seeing a sharp rise in innovative products to aid H20 intake,’ explains Holland & Barrett. ‘Adaptogen-enriched kombuchas combining both hydration and functionality, and water with added collagen and fibre will be the liquid on everyone’s lips in 2024. We can also expect to see consumers adopt “micro-drinking”, a form of topping up water consumption in the form of sachets, edible drops and gummies.’
3. Period Positivity
The conversation surrounding periods is more open than ever, and Holland & Barrett predicts that the wellness market will cater more greatly to the individual’s menstrual cycle. ‘The period conversation will take the spotlight in 2024, with more money and knowledge invested into sustainable and effective solutions to support women at each stage of their cycle,’ confirms the retailer. ‘Look out for regulation of hormonal activity supporting foods such as menopause chocolate, as well as CBD-infused tampons and pads, and a greater choice in leak-proof clothing as bigger sports brands launch in this space.’ See our roundup of sustainable menstrual products and brands here.
4. Mushroom Nootropics
The fungi revolution also shows no signs of stopping over the next 12 months, as it’s predicted we’ll take a greater interest in the benefits on our mental and physical health. ‘Medicinal mushrooms have had their fair share of exposure over the years, but this year we’ll see a closer focus on their benefits to the brain, as well as the gut-brain axis,’ highlights Rhian Stephenson, a nutritionist, naturopath and founder of ARTAH. ‘Lion’s mane is one the most exciting mushrooms with its powerful nootropic activity. With benefits that span across depression, anxiety, fatigue, Alzheimer’s and improvement in longevity, it’s a hot ingredients to watch.
‘Lion’s mane has a unique benefit to the microbiome, which may be one of the mechanisms that delivers neurological benefits because of the bidirectional activity between the gut-brain axis,’ she continues. ‘It has been shown to protect the gut from pathogenic bacteria (such as E.Coli), promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and improve the host’s immunity.’
5. Blood Sugar Balance
Following in the same vein as energy monitoring, Rhian tells us that we’ll also be reconsidering the impact of our blood sugar on our mental wellbeing – and thinking about how we can find a healthy balance for optimum health. ‘Fresh off the Ozempic-hype of 2023, blood sugar and its effect on metabolic health will continue to be all the rage throughout 2024,’ she says. ‘Healthy blood sugar control is key to good health; when it is dysregulated, we can experience impaired immunity, anxiety, fluctuating energy levels, headaches, brain fog, cravings, visceral weight gain and more. It plays a role in several conditions, from PCOS and metabolic syndrome to type 2 diabetes and cancer, so understanding what contributes to, and can remedy, poor blood sugar control is essential for short- and long-term health outcomes. While glucose monitors can deliver valuable insight into foods and habits that elicit swings in blood sugar, for most, they are prohibitively expensive. In 2024, we will see consumers proactively seek out supplements, lifestyle hacks, targeted exercise and nutritional solutions to help manage blood sugar.’
6. Microbiome Cleansing
The microbiome – AKA, the trillions of microorganisms that live in our digestive system – has been crucial in helping us better understand the gut-brain connection. ‘In the last few years, our understanding of the microbiome has increased dramatically, and we have seen the breadth of systemic benefits associated with a healthy, diverse and robust microbiome,’ she highlights. ‘Our microbiome is a community of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi, which play a major role in metabolic processes, hormone balance, immunity and inflammation.’
Rhian predicts that we’ll lean into cleansing our microbiome more regularly, in order to avoid prolonged disturbances in the gut. ‘Dysbiosis refers to an imbalance in bacterial composition, changes in bacterial metabolic activities, or changes in bacterial distribution, and is at the root of many functional gut disorders (FGID),’ she explains. ‘The global prevalence of FGIDs is approximately 40 percent (based on a recent survey using the Rome IV diagnostic criteria), and they include symptoms like IBS, altered bowel movements, nausea and bloating. It’s now believed that up to 70 percent of functional gut disorders have dysbiosis at their root. Microbiome cleansing looks to restore this balance, and uses natural antimicrobials to reduce pathogenic bacteria and promote beneficial bacteria.
‘For example, berberine, known for its metabolic benefits, has been shown to have selective antimicrobial activity, increasing some keystone species whilst reducing opportunistic species,’ Rhian continues. ‘Other key botanicals and phytonutrients include grapefruit seed extract, clove, black garlic, and capryllic acid.’
This wellness buzzword has been making the rounds throughout 2023, with the term racking up over 1.1 billion views on TikTok – but what actually is it? Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that grows in Asia and Africa, and it’s commonly used to treat stress. ‘I have recently become obsessed with the benefits of botanical herbs and the different ways you can incorporate them in your diet. They not only come direct from mother nature, but also have incredible natural medicinal effects, helping you heal your body from the inside out,’ says Leila Marytn, founder of MyOva. ‘Ashwagandha is no exception. An incredible ancient herb, it was my go-to ingredient to be included in our Balance supplement. When combined with other vitamins and minerals, it reduces chronic inflammation, improves sleep, and enhances overall mood, which is beneficial to most women during every life stage.’
8. Burnout Breaks
Let’s face it, 2023 was the year of the burnout for many of us – and it’s looking like 2024 will follow the same path if we don’t do something about it. Burnout has become commonplace in most workplaces, with 80 percent of Londoners admitting to suffering from burnout mainly caused by workplace stress. Screen time has also greatly helped the uptick in burnout, with the easy access to work leading more frequent checks of inboxes while away from the office. The solution? Wellness breaks with a focus on digital detoxing.
‘With more than 50 percent of our guests stating burnout as a motivation to escape, it’s clear that work stresses and the need to be “always on” is pushing people to look for solutions such as a digital detox,’ says Hector Hughes, co-founder at Hector Hughes, co-founder of off-grid retreat provider Unplugged. ‘We provide a space for people to intentionally go offline and spend time in nature, which is an antidote to stress. Of course people can implement better habits at home, but intentionally going off-grid removes the temptations to check work emails, or scroll on social media. We’ve had 83 percent of our guests plan on implementing better digital habits after their detox, such as setting screen time limits or having a phone free evening once a week.’
9. Sound Bathing
Over the last year, we’ve noticed the emergence of sound bathing (or sound healing) in the wellness space – and we predict it will hit the same levels of popularity as yoga. It’s estimated that 275 million people around the world practice meditation daily, and sound has become a powerful tool to help create the perfect environment for deeper meditation. ‘Sound bathing sees that participants are surrounded by sound that is produced by instruments that are tuned in to specific frequencies,’ explains Danielle Pates, a health practitioner at Specscart. ‘This stimulates both the alpha brainwaves, which encourage creativity, and theta brainwaves, which work with our learning and memory. The practice of sound bathing is gaining traction, with studios opening all over the UK, making it set to become a surefire wellness trend of 2024.’ You can read more about sound healing in our guide here.
10. CBD Health
And while it’s not necessarily a new trend, we’re also expected to lean more heavily into a CBD-focused wellness routine in 2024. ‘The idea of incorporating CBD into a wellness routine has been rising in recent years, with celebrity endorsements and mainstream beauty brands integrating it into their products,’ says Danielle. For those still insure, she explains how: ‘Cannabidiol is extracted from the cannabis plant and diluted with oils such as hemp seed or coconut oil. CBD doesn’t contain THC, the cannabinoid found in cannabis that creates the sensation of getting high. Therefore, it’s in no way psycho active.’
Outlining the the health benefits of CBD, Danielle says: ‘Recent studies have shown that CBD may reduce chronic pain as it targets the endocannabinoid system in the brain that influences biological functions such as eating, memory, anxiety, and growth. CBD has been found to hold several soothing properties, seeing that people use it for skin conditions such as Eczema and Psoriasis. Although the research behind CBD may be limited, its growth in the mainstream market makes it no surprise that it’s set to be one of the biggest wellness trends of 2024.’
Featured image: Yoann Boyer, Unsplash