Here we are... at the beginning of 2022. I don't know about you, but the thought of a new year is both exciting and daunting. My mind seems to race every time January 1 rolls around. Where did 2021 go? What are my goals and aspirations for 2022? Can I take a nap already?
But there's something so freeing about a fresh start. The start of the new year is like a "choose your own adventure" game. You get to decide how you want to begin the year and which things you want to try to enrich your life. From a wellness angle, that can mean a variety of things: trying new workouts, incorporating buzzy foods and ingredients into your meal plans, testing out new methods of self-care, and just finding new ways to improve your life.
To help you explore which wellness trends to try in the new year, I reached out to a bunch of experts in the space to get their trend predictions. They shared their thoughts on what will be big this year and what they're looking forward to across all facets of the wellness world: fitness, diet, sexual health, mental health, and more. Take a look at their predictions below for the inside scoop.
1. More Access to Care
"I think the pandemic has put a magnifying glass on the cracks in the American healthcare space and in turn accelerated the development of solutions. In 2022, I think we will continue to see a rise in products and services that allow for greater access through telehealth and digital tools and a more personalized approach to healthcare—particularly for women. You may not realize it, but women disproportionately suffer from common chronic conditions like depression, autoimmune conditions, and gastrointestinal disorders. And yet few medical services are designed around how women both need and want to engage with their care.
"At Parsley, we are doubling down on our holistic medical services for women in 2022, where our patients can address the full spectrum of their health concerns with one doctor rather than needing multiple specialists and services. We treat conditions including PCOS, mental health, and gastrointestinal concerns all in one place while also reducing prescription drug use by 30% and reducing or resolving symptoms for 80% of people. In 2022, we're excited to see even more services in the healthcare space that are purpose-built for their specific patients' needs." — Robin Berzin, founder of Parsley Health and author of State Change
2. Full-Body Approach to Wellness
"After spending so much time in isolation the past two years, many have taken the time to really lean into their health and how they are taking care of themselves. While fad and quick-fix diets will always be a thing, I believe many are trading in the crash diet methods for a more sustainable, wholesome path. Now more than ever, people are looking for weight loss and healthy lifestyle approaches that put wellness at the forefront. The full-body approach, including mind, body, and soul, digs deeper into the 'why' behind it all and leads to making stronger connections between your health and your habits." — Chesley Foxworth, MA, health coach at Noom
3. Emphasis on Sleep
"While the importance of sleep has long been talked about as necessary for our health, I hope that in 2022 (after living through two years of a pandemic), we all start taking our sleep hygiene seriously. Lack of sleep can make you more vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease, mental and emotional instability, and poor decision-making. In a nutshell, our physical and mental health suffer if we don't get the optimal eight to nine hours a night. As part of ensuring we get quality sleep, I think we'll see a rise in magnesium-rich foods—magnesium is sometimes known as nature's Xanax and is found in foods like black beans and pumpkin seeds—along with supplements that support both our physical and mental well-being." — Berzin
4. New Sleep and Energy Innovations
"In what I call the 'Disordered Sleep Universe' (issues that aren't diagnosable as a sleep disorder but still cause people to feel like they aren't getting enough sleep), there has also been quite a bit of activity. Thermoregulation (keeping your body temperature consistent with good sleep) has been a big push in many mattress, pillow, and technology companies. But far and away the world of performance sleep and energy has been on fire.
"Napjitsu takes the old idea of a caffeine nap to the next level. In the past, I would often recommend that people drink a cup of black coffee then take a 20-minute nap. This would provide them with an increased level of energy for a few hours after ingestion. But Napjitsu is on an entirely different level. They have put this idea in pill form and added several unique performance variables that are impressive. My favorite is that they added known nootropics with your caffeine, so you don't just wake up, you wake focused, attentive, and ready to go. ( I use it. it's awesome.)" — Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., double board-certified clinical psychologist and clinical sleep specialist
5. Importance of Immunity
"Immunity is going to continue to be a huge trend in 2022. We see immunity through gut health—rather than just vitamins C, D, zinc, and elderberry—becoming a larger trend. At Sakara, the gut microbiome and building a strong immune system through the gut has always been the main focus for us with our ready-to-eat, delivered Nutrition Programs. We don't believe you have to be vegan to be healthy, but consuming enough plants is essential to optimizing your gut microbiome and strengthening your immune system. Our plant-based program delivers six cups of leafy greens to your body daily, plus an array of fruits and vegetables to help keep you at your healthiest all year long." — Whitney Tingle, co-founder of Sakara Life
6. Focus on Gut Health and Fiber
"Our gut is the epicenter for our wellness—mind, body, and spirit. It's in charge of functions from energy production and hormone balance to skin and mental health. 70–80% of the body's immune cells are concentrated in the gut, and 95% of the body's total serotonin and hundreds of neurochemicals directly connect to the brain through the vagus nerve, regulating mood, satiety, pain, and memory. People are waking up to the fact that everything is connected, and for true health transformations to happen, we must prioritize gut health. With so much focus on gut health, I predict 2022 will be the year fiber makes a major comeback. Fiber is key for a healthy microbiome, yet only 5% of Americans get enough of it on a regular basis." — Danielle DuBoise, co-founder of Sakara Life
7. Body Intelligence
"Finally, I see a 2022 focus on body intelligence, one of Sakara's Proprietary Nutrition Pillars. Your body is incredibly intelligent—it knows when it needs more or less of certain nutrients and how to heal itself if given the right environment and support. Our bodies are also completely unique. No two are the same. Rather than relying on general guidelines for calories, macros, serving size, or point systems to tell us what we should eat, we're seeing a shift for people to start tapping into their intuition and listening to their own body's needs." — DuBoise
8. Personalized Holistic Treatments
"Many people want to avoid generic advice and one-size-fits-all tips. Instead, they seek out sources that offer more personalized experiences where they can learn more about themselves and determine practices that benefit their own holistic healing. Elix is geared towards a holistic, personalized approach through our technology and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices. We've combined ancient wisdom with modern science to offer individualized solutions for our customers. In fact, over 100,000 people have completed the Elix Online Health Assessment to learn more about their menstrual cycles and the custom herbal blends used to recognize and target their specific issues at the root." — Lulu Ge, founder and CEO of Elix
9. Looking at Uric Acid Levels
"Without question, the most exciting news that will make its way onto the stage in early 2022 is the incredibly important role of elevated uric acid in threatening our metabolic health. In recent years, we've witnessed the explosive popularity of dietary programs from keto to Mediterranean to plant-based. And the promise of these approaches ultimately focuses on improving our metabolic health. This includes things like better body weight, blood sugar control, and normalized blood pressure. The headline for 2022 will spotlight the central role of uric acid elevation in causing metabolic mayhem. Our food choices play the most important role as they relate to our uric acid levels. Uric acid is derived from just three sources—alcohol, purines (the breakdown product of DNA and RNA), and most importantly, sugar fructose. What we are now seeing, and what will gain a lot of traction over the coming months, are dietary strategies geared at lowering uric acid. That means avoiding foods with added fructose, avoiding high-purine foods like organ and game meats, and making better choices with alcohol." — David Perlmutter, MD, board-certified neurologist, board member and fellow of the American College of Nutrition
10. Skin Health From the Inside
"[One trend is] the continued understanding that skin health is also an inside job. (i.e. The skin is a reflection of what is going on inside of the body and may require support through hormone balance and liver optimization, not just a topical approach.) Our bodies are interconnected, so what's going on with one [organ] is directly tied to what's going on with the other." — Shizu Okusa, founder of Apothékary
11. Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy
"Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy will become the go-to form of self-care and make up for lost time. In the '80s, they thought SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) would cure mental illness—however, they didn't. At the tail end of 2020, a slim majority of Oregonians voted to allow the use of psilocybin when used for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. With all the work organizations like Field Trip Health (the largest provider of psychedelic-assisted therapy), Johns Hopkins, and more are doing with mainstream adoption and awareness, the majority of Americans will finally approve of ketamine's transformative properties and accept these treatments as the most important depression breakthrough in decades." — Mike Dow, Ph.D., PsyD, Field Trip Health psychotherapist
12. Creating a Sanctuary Within
"How can we feel good in our daily lives? By creating sanctuaries and spaces of comfort in our homes. Last year, a big theme was decluttering and minimalism. While that will continue, I also believe that people will be intentional about how they bring healing and joy into their spaces. External uncertainties like new COVID-19 variants, returning to the office, school closures, and more encourage us to create our own inner balance and allow us the opportunity to practice finding our way back to center repeatedly throughout the day in a soothing home environment." — Ge
13. Emphasis on Nutrition and Eating Patterns
"We are seeing a shift away from discussing or pointing out the health benefits of stand-alone nutrients and moving toward discussing and emphasizing nutrition patterns—patterns of eating. This is great because we don't consume single nutrients, and health is developed over time, not generally defined by a stand-alone moment." — Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian nutritionist
14. Moving Away From Fad Diets
"In 2022, there will be options for nearly every person to find what speaks to them and create habits that truly stick. Health will continue to be promoted as a way of life—we are so moving away from associating health with a restrictive diet mentality. I really think that punitive fad diets will continue on the trajectory of being crowded out of the picture." — Rachel Brief, MS, RD, dietitian at Culina Health
"Now more than ever, people are aware of how nutrition impacts their health either positively or negatively. Rather than concentrating on trends or fads, people are focusing on longevity and wanting to learn how to nourish their minds and bodies properly. More clients have come to me wanting to learn how to eat for the rest of their lives versus leaning into crash diets or food trends. As we know, the diet industry is a multi-billion–dollar industry, so there is a reason why diet culture exists. As a dietitian, I love that my clients care about their long-term health more than ever before. Although the diet industry won't go away, I am hopeful that people are realizing how harmful yo-yo dieting is and how learning to eat and live well can help people live longer, fuller, healthier lives." — Alli Magier, RDN, LDN, dietitian at Rooted Wellness
"Much attention in recent years has gone to the therapeutic benefits of mushrooms, and in 2022, I expect the use of medicinal mushrooms like reishi, lion's mane, and oyster mushrooms to become more common. You can find these mushrooms at the supermarket, but unlike the portobellos and white button mushrooms you ate as a kid, these medicinal mushrooms have been shown in studies to support our brains and our overall health.
"Medicinal mushrooms like lion's mane help reduce neuroinflammation, which can result in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and mood disorders like depression, anxiety, brain fog, and poor sleep. While reishi, a mushroom often dried into a powder and added to teas, has been shown to reduce fatigue and depression and slow the spread of cancer cells.
"As we look to new wellness trends in 2022, I expect consumption of these medicinal mushrooms to rise as people both become more attuned to how their physical health shapes their mental health and look to how we can use food as medicine." — Berzin
16. Thinking About Soil Health
"Food is medicine, and the closer we get to the source, the more we will find healing solutions that benefit both our bodies and Mother Nature, creating a harmonious balance between us. Soil health plays a large part in that healing, and at Sakara, we source ingredients primarily from organic or biodynamic farms. We hope that the increased interest in gut health will spread awareness around soil health and the importance of eating organic, leading to new efforts to support our environment, which in turn benefits our own health." — DuBoise
17. Plant-Based Diets
"You'll definitely see the plant-based movement become more mainstream in 2022, as well as a continued focus on foods that aim to support us, like adaptogens, herbs, and spices." — Brief
18. Medicinal Mocktails
"Over the last two years, sales of alcohol have skyrocketed, and we've all felt the collective hangover of indulging. Now more than ever, consumers want to know how they can enjoy themselves and feel good in the moment and afterward. One solution, which we offer at Elix, is flavor-forward and functional beverage recipes with healing botanicals, medicinal mushrooms, and antivirals, which help us unwind and feel good mentally and physically. In fact, Elix's organic ginger extract sold out three times and was often used in functional mocktail mixes as an anti-inflammatory boost, which serves as a proving point that the demand in this category is growing." — Ge
"Adaptogens will continue to peak, though as understanding about these plants grows, brands that mis-market their products and those that misuse the term will be held to the task of correcting, clarifying, and being accurate. In years to come, people will want to know just as much about carminatives and nervines as adaptogens." — Rachelle Robinett, RH (AHG), founder of Supernatural
20. Herbs and Plant-Based Alternatives
"Demand for herbs and plant-based solutions to common health complaints will continue to increase exponentially. Alternatives to over-the-counter medications, pharmaceuticals, and alcohol are trends we'll see gain momentum for many years to come. And I'm so glad!" — Robinett
21. Intuitive Movement
"I predict intuitive movement and mental health–based exercise regimens to become increasingly more popular in 2022. Working out is shifting from being a way to obtain a specific body type into something that fuels our mental health and wellness." — Dani Schenone, RYT, ACSM-CPT, holistic wellness specialist at Mindbody
22. Neuroscience and Fitness
"Neuroscience will become more accessible. Consumer-friendly assessment tools paired with actionable insights will usher in a new era of optimized performance through improved brain function." — Matt Delaney, director of programming and innovation at Equinox
23. Shorter Workouts
"I love the rise of 'snackable' or 'micro' workouts, and those should continue in 2022. We are starting to see an anything-works mentality with these types of workouts, which I love!" — Schenone
24. Bodyweight Training
"I'm also seeing a lot in the industry revolving around bodyweight training. It's a sort of back-to-basics trend that makes exercise more accessible to folks with different abilities and financial means. I really love that for our industry." — Schenone
25. Accessible Sexual Wellness
"We're watching it happen in real time, but sexual wellness will continue to become a more and more visible part of holistic mental and physical health, and you'll start to find these products where you shop for beauty. In the same realm, I think stress and sleep management, bathing rituals, and skincare from head to toe will continue to dominate the discussions around overall wellness and care." — Éva Goicochea, founder and CEO of Maude
26. More Probiotics for Women
"Every year, I attend a show called Supply Side West, which is the largest nutraceutical supplier show in the world. This show dictates what the trends for the next couple of years will be, and luckily, we were able to attend this year. We saw so many innovative ingredients and applications, like probiotic strains for other areas of the body and life stages, which include probiotic strains specifically for pregnant women, for women who are not giving natural birth, for menopausal women, and probiotics that improve sleep. Bacteriophagic prebiotics are going to be the most important thing to happen to the microbiome in 2022 and beyond. The idea of the bacteriophagic prebiotic is that it's not derived from carbs or plants—although this is counterintuitive, it means that the bad bacteria won't have a source of energy from fiber-based prebiotics. Instead, bacteriophages actually target bad bacteria and destroy them from within, allowing probiotics to thrive and not have to compete." — Daniella Levy, CEO and founder of Happy V
27. Rise of Horomone Hacking
"When it comes to women's health, 2021 was the year of expanded hormone health offerings to support everything from menstruation to menopause. Looking ahead to 2022, beyond soothing symptoms, consumers want to know how they can harness the power of their hormones to support their natural hormonal balance, which in turn can increase energy levels, boost mood, reduce stress related to menstrual symptoms, and much more." — Ge
28. Openness About Menopause
"The conversation about menopause will open up even more in 2022—as it should. It's no longer about shame or stigma. The UK is leading the movement (see here and here) with retailers, brands, and companies offering services, educational content, and products to help women going through menopause." — Sally Mueller and Michelle Jacobs, co-founders of Womaness
29. Emphasis on Community
"In the 1980s, around the time of the jazzercise craze, group fitness classes became mainstream, memberships at health clubs boomed, and celebrity fitness instructors began to appear frequently in pop culture. The same boom is happening in 2022—only this time, it's for mental health gyms. Group emotional-fitness classes are growing in popularity, while community memberships for mental health services and one-on-one therapy are in high demand. And mirroring the rise of fitness celebs like Jane Fonda in the 1980s, celebrities, athletes, and therapists are quickly becoming social-media influencers as they speak out more on mental health.
"In 2022, mental health will become more community-based and social as people lean into programs that help them stay motivated and accountable to their health goals. People will be looking for more programs that give them a sense of community, like Peloton but for their emotional well-being, and mental health gyms are going to surge." — Alexa Meyer, co-founder and CEO of Coa
30. Workplace Wellness
"Nearly 80% of employers have embraced the mental-health space with full commitment, increasing their investments in bringing daily meditation, emotional-fitness classes, or subsidized mental healthcare to their staff. Given that burnout is the workplace injury of the 21st century and so many people feel like they need to choose between work and wellness, this is a life-changing shift that will shake up workplace culture and help people become more resilient." — Emily Anhalt, PsyD, co-founder and chief clinical officer of Coa
31. Body-Based Therapies
"From a therapy perspective, I think body-based and somatic healing approaches will be much more prevalent in 2022. Therapies such as somatic experiencing, EMDR, sensorimotor psychotherapy, and others will become more mainstream and accessible. Embodiment and connection with the physical experience of trauma, distress, and pain is a powerful source of mental wellness and healing that I've seen many clients turn to after feeling disenchanted by traditional cognitive therapies." — Meghan Watson, MA, RP, therapist and managing director at Bloom Psychology & Wellness
32. Digital Mental Health Programs
"I predict that more people will utilize digital psychological services. Currently, we are seeing individuals who identify as Gen Z experience increased stress. Due to this and to the increase in digital offerings, these individuals will seek out assistance. Mental wellness has also risen in prominence as we continue to normalize these conversations." — Andreas Michaelides, Ph.D., chief of psychology at Noom
"This is an exciting—and a little nerve-wracking—time for the field of mental health as treatment is being transformed by technology. Telehealth, which is now much more popularly used, has made treatment more attainable for people in remote areas that may not be near the type of therapist or specialist that they need to see. With increasing ways to access therapy and efforts to normalize mental health challenges, I believe more people will be encouraged to seek help. Other intersections of mental health and technology are also popping up, as well as alternative treatments that offer promising results. With that said, I believe that education about therapy is still very needed so that clients can make informed decisions. That's what we do with our educational content on Frame. As with any time of crisis, we have to be cautious of companies that look to exploit people in need." — Sage Grazer, LCSW, co-founder of Frame
33. Mental Fitness
"We are encouraged by the increased awareness around mental fitness and are excited to see it evolve from being predominantly focused on the physical and regenerative drivers like cardiovascular activity and meditation (the latter of which is the second most popular modality for our members both physically in our clubs and digitally via the Equinox+ app) to new areas of interest like actively managing stress levels and the therapeutic use of psychedelics." — Delaney
34. Mental Resilience as a Daily Practice
"For most people, work is one of the greatest sources of stress, but now that many people have switched roles or even changed career paths during the Great Resignation of 2021, they're on a mission to find more intentionality, purpose, and passion toward how they work. The answer to finding this greater purpose is to build in micro-moments of mindfulness throughout the day in order to work in more sustainable ways every day. It could be something as simple as pausing for 30 seconds to take deep breaths between Zoom meetings, increasing blood circulation by stretching or practicing Tai Chi for a few minutes, or even intuitive eating." — Ge
35. Destigmatizing Mental Health for Men
"Mental health is increasingly becoming a priority for men's wellness. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 28% of UK men admitted that they had not sought medical help for mental health problems compared to 19% of women. Studies have also shown that men are three times more likely to die by suicide in Australia, three and a half times more likely in the US, and over four times more likely in Russia and Argentina." — Dow
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.
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.