These Are the Wellness Trends We'll Be Talking About in 2021


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It's no big secret that so many of us are looking forward to 2021. All of our problems won't exactly go away when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, but after this tumultuous year, the possibility of a fresh start seems nice, right?

Twenty-twenty has been a very challenging moment in time for everyone, and that's not an overgeneralization. You probably had some painful moments, became aware of some uncomfortable truths, saw your anxiety skyrocket, felt lonely or depressed, and maybe even faced some awkward interactions with those you love and strangers. But through these tough times, you might have learned a lot about yourself and the world around you. And you most likely had to make some big adjustments to your "normal" way of life.

In thinking about 2020 and looking to the future, I think a lot of us would like to have a crystal ball that will tell us exactly how next year will pan out. While we don't have access to something like that, we did want to get a sneak peek into what's in store wellness-wise in 2021. Will we still be doing at-home workouts? What will be the newest food craze? How will we be prioritizing mental health? What should we keep in mind about our own health in the coming months? So in lieu of a crystal ball, we enlisted the help of wellness experts across the board—in health, fitness, nutrition, mental health, sexual wellness, and more—to get their predictions on what's to come.

See what they had to say below. Spoiler alert: You'll be inspired.

Healthcare and the Wellness Industry

1. More Inclusivity in All Forms


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"We are in a global moment of change. Many people, for the first time, are realizing that life is valuable and quite precious. I believe that the wellness industry has started to listen to the call to action saying wellness is for everyone, not only a select few. The industry is taking steps to be more inclusive with regard to representations of race, gender, body shape, size, and ability. My hope is that it will continue to shift to a focus centering on the individual and what it means for that person to be 'well,' taking into consideration socio-political variables as well as their individual needs and cultural foodways and what is available and accessible to them." — Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition

2. A Holistic View of Health


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"In 2021, I think people are going to take a more holistic view of their health and increase their focus on using food as medicine for better immunity, physical, and mental health. We've already seen a boosted interest in holistic medicine at Parsley Health—our virtual membership grew more than 2000% over the course of the year—and we've found that many of our new patients are coming to us with questions about supplements that support mind and body together, like high-quality methylated B vitamins, Vitamin D3/K2, L-lysine, and magnesium glycinate.

"Going into the New Year, repairing our health and building our resilience for mind and body is top of mind. People are looking for holistic and nutrition-based solutions that can easily fold into their day-to-day routine, and I would bet that even more will be looking for health coaches, like we offer at Parsley, to help them do it, too." — Robin Berzin, MD, founder and CEO of Parsley Health

3. Health from Home

4. Realistic and Practical Wellness


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"I think wellness in 2021 will focus less on the high-end, aspirational side (luxury retreats, wellness cleanses, etc.) and more on the realistic, practical side (basic nutrition, food insecurity, mental health, etc.)." — Lisa Bryan, food blogger and founder of Downshiftology


5. Immune-Boosting Foods


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"In 2021, I think we will continue to see an emphasis on immune-boosting foods and supplements to support the body's natural defense system. Convenient immune-supportive practices, meals, and nutrition will continue to take main stage in most people's health priorities." — Poon

6. Functional and Healthy Beverages

7. Shelf-Stable and Pantry-Friendly Foods

8. Alternative Grains and Wheat Alternatives Taken to New Heights

9. Functional Nutrition


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"The underlying philosophy of my Culinary Alchemy programs is empowering people to understand their unique physical constitution and how foods and mindset affect their energy. I think this method of functional and spiritual nutrition that integrates how food affects our bodies on a physiological and energetic level will become more widely understood and applied. We will see people beginning to have a deeper understanding of how wellness is not one-size-fits-all and will be individualizing their own at-home wellness programs based on their unique needs. Sustainable and preventative wellness is almost certain to take a front seat this year in both wellness and traditional medicine." — Poon

10. Reducing Sugar and Expanding Sugar Alternatives

11. Adaptogenic Ingredients

12. Preserving the Ocean's Biodiversity


13. More Exploration


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"I believe people will start to explore more with fitness—either trying completely new styles or going back in time and picking up old routines they let die. For example, maybe people will start back up dancing or trying rock climbing for the first time." — Ashley Joi, a trainer on Chris Hemsworth's health and fitness app, Centr

14. Back to Basics

15. Hybrid Workouts

16. Getting Creative


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"In 2021, my prediction is that we're all going to be working out from home and outside a lot more (depending on where you live of course!). Luckily for us in Atlanta, the warmer climate allows us to utilize the outdoors during the colder seasons, which means we’re still able to do SoulOutside! We're seeing everyone get really creative and offering many safe options for everyone to participate in, and it has been fun seeing all the new ways of taking workout classes." — Savannah Butler, senior SoulCycle instructor in Atlanta

17. Shorter Online Classes


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"We're getting a lot of feedback that it's difficult to do one-hour classes online. Shorter, snackable classes are more accessible for people's schedules and online attention spans." — Jones

18. An Emphasis on Community


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"The workouts I see gaining popularity would be less of a specific type of workout and more so workouts that bring the community feel to life. With everyone working out from home, people really want to have that sense of community—a team that is supportive, an instructor that is leading and motivating, and results you see via your own home. There's still a stigma around working out over the computer, but without them, we would've never experienced just how effective workouts from home are!" — Butler

"One thing that online classes and Zooms have allowed for is people to practice with us who might never have had the chance because of geographical location. Even when the world opens back up, we foresee students wanting to continue to practice with teachers they love who don't live near them." — Chloe Kernaghan, co-founder of Sky Ting

19. Family Fitness


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"We're seeing a lot of people practicing with their parents, kids, and even grandparents! I think we'll be seeing a lot more classes online geared toward the whole family." — Jones

20. Audio Classes

21. Accessible Price Points


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"Online monthly subscriptions are much more affordable than the cost of brick-and-mortar studio classes (at least in NYC!). This means more people can access and commit to a regular practice. We've been playing with tiered pricing in our higher-ticket items like trainings and courses to continue to make offerings more accessible. We hope to see this mindset across the board with wellness platforms." — Kernaghan

22. New Goals and Perspectives


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"I think workout culture is becoming less about obsessing over making your body look a certain way and more about personal health and wellness. People are more curious and open to trying new types of movement and learning about how different workouts leave your body in different states. And for a lot of us, we don't need to add more stress into our routines but actually feel better when we allow ourselves to restore." — Kernaghan

Women's and Sexual Health

23. Focus on Hormonal Health


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"With the pandemic and massive change in day-to-day living adding a huge stress burden to everyone's lives, women, in particular, have been experiencing an increase in severity of hormonal health issues. Increased cortisol from stress and dysregulated insulin from changes in diet create an internal environment where ovulation, menstruation, fertility, libido, and mood all become more disrupted and symptomatic. And with everyone staying at home, women have had more time to observe their symptoms and truly want to do something about it. In addition, there has been an explosion in the conversation around the long-term issues with hormonal birth control as a 'fix' for hormone issues. I think in 2021 we'll see a shift in the conversation around women's hormonal issues away from the historical 'confused and accepting suffering' narrative to a new normal of 'informed and taking action.' One way to get started on becoming informed and to take actions around your symptoms is to track your cycle." — Alisa Vitti, founder of FloLiving (a modern hormone healthcare company) and author of WomanCode and In the Flo

24. Cycle Syncing

25. Acknowledging Gender Bias


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"Acknowledging and disclosing gender bias in medical, fitness, and nutrition research is a growing conversation that, when continuously addressed, will change women's health for the better. As we have come to understand the enormous and pervasive gender bias in medical, fitness, and nutrition research, women will finally understand why nothing has ever worked for them in the past because their biology was not factored in and, as a default, ask about who was studied regarding any emerging research and its claims of efficacy."

"Simultaneously, I think that wellness outlets reporting on emerging research in fitness and nutrition will start making transparent the details of the gender of study participants so readers can be properly informed on whether or not to try incorporating something new into their wellness practice. For example, so many women were led astray in 2019 with intermittent fasting, which was studied on men and postmenopausal women, who it benefits greatly. Women in their reproductive years, however, do not derive the same benefits from IF, and that should have been disclosed from the beginning before many women derailed their thyroid, fertility, and menstrual cycle from trying it." — Vitti

26. A Holistic Approach to Sexual Health

27. Open Discussions About Sex

Mental Health

28. Working Mental Health Into Your Schedule

29. More Openness


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"Twenty–Twenty-one will be the year we're more open than we've ever been in talking about what we're struggling with, talking openly about our mental health, and being real with what we're going through. That openness is coming from the collective pain we experienced in 2020: We were all grieving something. And that grief prompted more conversations, helping to break the stigma around talking about your mental health. In fact, when we surveyed our community, we found that 52% of people said they're talking about their mental health more with others because of the pandemic, citing the fact of knowing 'other people are also struggling' as the top reason why. And people who reported talking with others about their mental health more during the pandemic reported a 49% higher rate of practicing self-compassion than people who weren't talking about their mental health. The takeaway: The more we talk openly about what we're going through, the more compassionate we can be with ourselves and, in turn, the more we heal. That's something I think we're all ready for in 2021." — Naomi Hirabayashi, co-founder of Shine

30. Exploring Mental Health Support


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"This year was an intense year on many levels, and it has impacted people's mental health. Similarly to self-care, I think we will see a rise in tools and techniques that support people in nurturing their mental wellness from home. This could be anything from mindfulness practices to resilience exercises to individualized self-care to energy work to help maintain balance in the brain, emotions, and nervous system. I think that we will see more devices and technology designed to support and help us monitor and self-regulate the neurological benefits of meditation and mindfulness." — Poon

31. Going Back to Nature


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"COVID-19 closures have sent many of us to seek out activity outside, which is a good thing, as it relates to healing. Spending your free time outdoors has the power to decrease symptoms of stress and anxiety, improve sleep, increase feelings of happiness, improve immune function, and so much more. I find that cultivating a connection to nature also helps encourage people to take care of the environment and global community." — Poon

32. More Energy for Virtual Gatherings


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"Given that Zoom fatigue and screen burnout have largely been in full effect during these last two months of the year, I anticipate people will come out of the holidays with a little more capacity to join Zoom meetings, workshops, and classes (especially because COVID-19 rates still may be high and winter will keep folks more indoors). Therefore, I see another increase in online workshop and class participation. While we are still encouraged to practice physical distance, I predict there to be a continuation and even increase in online wellness programming." — Chetna Mehta, a mixed-media artist, wellness consultant, and the creator behind Mosaiceye


33. A Focus on the Earth


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"I also think there will be a huge focus on Mother Nature and not taking the world we live in for granted. Twenty-twenty taught us how much we missed the simple things in life, such as going for nature walks and enjoying outdoor spaces such as parks and beaches—not only for physical health but mental health. The data has also shown the positive impact on the environment, in many ways, with humans not out destroying it. So I think there will be an increased focus on sustainability, recycling, composting, planting gardens, beach cleanups, and generally just trying to leave the world in a better place." — Bryan

34. Sustainable Swaps

35. Simple Packaging


36. Creating Daily Rituals

37. Taking Self-Care Seriously

38. Energy Healing

39. Meditation and Breath Work

40. More CBD

41. Compassion Practices


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"Given that the suffering is continuing socially, racially, emotionally, and physically, compassion (to suffer with) is essential. More people are opening up to compassion practices. It's becoming trendy even. Though, I believe there will be more accessible and tangible practices to cultivate compassion in the face of our human struggles." — Mehta

42. An Emphasis on Sleep

43. A Rise in Sleep Tools

44. More Introspection


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"Though isolation can be difficult for people, perhaps more so for some people than others depending on your personality, the good news is that deep healing is something that occurs internally. As we settle into a longer social isolation period than many of us expected, it has given people the opportunity for deeper introspection and self-care based on intuitive needs and desires. The wonderful news is that this kind of work lends itself to really transformational growth. I definitely see these trends growing and expanding into the New Year." — Poon

Next up: Hands Down, These Were Our Favorite Wellness Products of 2020


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.

Managing Editor

Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019.

In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot).

She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.