As the almighty world of wellness has taken off in recent years, growing to the $4.2 trillion behemoth it is today, it seems the field has infiltrated every facet of life, from the way we eat and workout to the how we organize our calendars. While the industry has spread its influence across the globe, however, adopting plenty of questionable trends along the way, it has notoriously and consistently left the Black community out of the discussion—even as its most popular trends have been rooted in Black traditions.
In the last two months, in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the subsequent anti-racism awakening, the wellness arena, like so many others, has finally had a reckoning, and countless Black wellness leaders and influencers are at last getting their due. As we head into August, the official Wellness Month, check out these amazing women, who are driving change in the wellness industry and beyond.
With nearly three million Instagram followers, acclaimed health coach, vegan supplement entrepreneur, and mom Massy Arias will not only motivate you to run that extra mile or squeeze in that extra sit-up, but she’ll also give you the necessary inspiration to succeed. Arias has always been incredibly open about her life in and outside of the gym, candidly sharing how much fitness improved her mental health and helped her combat depression. It might be hard to believe after her spotting her six-pack abs or toned biceps, but the exercise expert has never worked out to look a certain way and insists that doing so will actually hinder results. Instead, she encourages focusing on performance and achieving goals over time, and following her on Instagram will certainly have you well on the way.
Jessamyn Stanley has been having a moment for some time now, but take a quick glance at her Instagram, and you’ll instantly understand why. The body-positivity activist and founder of Underbelly Yoga regularly shows her nearly half-a-million followers the best ways to master their practice whilst rejecting the antiquated stereotypes associated with the fitness industry. As we now know, anybody can be a wellness guru, and Stanley is proof of that.
Wellness educator and author of the bestselling “Vibrate Higher Daily, Live Your Power” Lalah Delia is the queen of self-care. Delia is a pioneer of spiritual health and believes that being in balance with a higher vibrational self is the way to achieve it. In practicing what she calls “soul medicine,” the writer encourages her 372 thousand Instagram followers to do the things that remind them remember who they are—be it going for a walk, taking a bath, or listening to Earth, Wind & Fire.
Even if you don’t follow Ally Love on Instagram, she might have already appeared in your living room. The Peloton instructor and founder of Love Squad is all about helping people live their healthiest lives, and whether you’re tuning into one of her cycling classes or following her sustainable lifestyle tips, her buzzy energy will undoubtedly motivate you to do you best in every aspect of your life.
Nedra Glover Tawwab
One of the best trends to come with the wellness industry’s rise has been the destigmatizaiton of therapy and mental health, and therapist and content creator Nedra Glover Tawwab is a champion of that cause. Her posts regularly challenge her more than 500 thousand followers to dive deep into themselves and reflect on their thoughts and feelings. From sharing seven signs of healing to a guide on how burnout can occur, Tawwab doesn’t see her work as a replacement for therapy but rather an accessible complement to it.
Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts
As a meditation and yoga instructor for Peloton and the founder of Yoga, Literature and Art Camp at Spelman College, Chelsea Jackson Roberts boasts an impressive list of accomplishments, but as her 97 thousand Instagram followers know, she’s humble as can be. Check out her feed for the sense of light that we all need so desperately right now, and get ready to build a powerful connection with yourself.
Dr. Jessica Clemons
Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Jess is on a mission to make mental health a normalized part of the cultural landscape, especially in the Black community. In sharing her work and personal life (including photos of her adorable baby!) on Instagram, she aims to educate her 77 thousand followers on the importance of therapy, and her platform serves as a place for her people to come to together to support one another and discuss the mental health landscape.
Britteny Floyd Mayo
Britteny Floyd Mayo, AKA Yoga Bae is the woman and genius behind Trap Yoga Bae, a Vinyasa-style yoga experience set to trap music from a live DJ, but she’s also responsible for one of the most inspiring Instagram pages around. In creating a safe space for people of any color, age, shape, or background to breathe and reflect, she offers a modern, fun, and approachable take on the age-old art of yoga practice, and her more than 64 thousand followers trust her guidance to not only perfect their downward dogs but also their lives.