The US$4.2-trillion wellness industry is snowballing beyond anyone’s imagination and shows no signs of slowing down.

Yoga is now well and truly mainstream and the wellness tourism industry is growing at double the rate of regular tourism. So what’s next for wellness?

We’ve been trend-spotting over the past the year to see which fads fade and which ones persist.

Check out which wellness trends in 2019 we will be watching.


Mental health will be priority No 1

A growing awareness about mental health has helped to bring it into the public eye, but understanding is still on the lower end of the scale.

However, with it listed as the No 1 priority in Compare Retreats’ wellness travellers survey report in 2018, we expect to see both consumers and businesses placing a greater emphasis on mental health in 2019.

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Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

This year, sleep has been sneaking into the wellness conversation and from dedicated sleep retreats, to sleep supplements such as magnesium and melatonin, to observing circadian rhythms to naturalised sleep cycles, we can see sleep getting a big wellness makeover this year.

Wellness in the corporate workspace

While we don’t see corporate retreats being the new “in” thing any time soon, we do anticipate a rise in workplace wellness as employers try to combat poor mental health and sedentary lifestyles: we’re thinking that lunchtime yoga, mid-afternoon meditation, and health-conscious food provisions are a great place to start.

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CBD will hog the spotlight

The US’ Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018 was a game-changer last year, and the American market is currently flooded with the latest cannabinoid (CBD) wellness products. Expect to see hemp and CBD products exploding in 2019, from facials to body oils to lip balms.

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Meditation will go mainstream

Long an alternative and oft-misunderstood practice, apps such as Headspace and Calm have made meditation far less mysterious and much more accessible. We’re looking at meditation as the new go-to wellness habit – especially in light of the emphasis on good mental health.

Ayurveda everywhere

Can something be a trend when it’s more than 5,000 years old? The ancient medicinal practice, which has historical roots in the Indian subcontinent, is going to take off big time in 2019, with a surge of popularity for Ayurvedic retreats, and Ayurvedic principles and practices popping up into day-to-day wellness around the globe. Get ready to balance your doshas this year.


Transformational travel is the new holiday dream

Forget lounging by the pool and getting some rest and relaxation – transformational travel is where it’s at in 2019.

Increasingly, travellers are looking for experiences that will change them emotionally, physically and spiritually, giving them more than a couple of cute photos and tourist souvenir.

Wellness retreats with unique locations, cultural activities or extreme programmes will benefit as travellers pursue these once-in-a-lifetime experiences that give them a brand new outlook.

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Wellness will still be women-led, but men want in, too

The girlfriend getaway hasn’t reached its heyday yet as far as wellness travel is concerned, and women will continue to dominate and lead the wellness space for 2019.

However, men are becoming more wellness-aware, and we expect to see a rise in the number of treatments, therapies and spaces catering to men’s wellness too.

Multigenerational travel is in

There was a time when anyone older than 14 shunned the idea of travelling with their parents and the phrase “family holiday” elicited a family-wide groan – such times are, thankfully, in the past.

Families, from toddlers to great-grandparents, are now travelling together looking for quality time in a wellness-oriented space.

Diverse programming is essential for this: a comprehensive mix of cultural excursions, relaxing spa treatments and adventurous activities are a must, with varied food options to suit everyone.

Eco-conscious travel isn’t alternative any more

We’ve been talking about eco trends for long enough that maybe it’s time to accept this isn’t a passing fad, but a new collective consciousness about our impact on the natural world – and after last year’s growing ban on the use of plastic straws, we’re predicting 2019 will be the year when eco becomes the default mode rather than the alternative.

We found that nine out of 10 people would choose a wellness resort based on its plastic-free policy – we look forward to everyone stepping up their game in the sustainability department this year.

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Alternative proteins and dairy will increase

Last year saw the rise of the alternative protein, from Oatly’s oat milk takeover (which included the company increasing production by 1,250 per cent to meet demand) to BeyondBurger and Impossible Meats expanding across the US, Hong Kong and Singapore.

With an ever-expanding range of products, such as lab-grown chicken and fish, we have a feeling we’ve barely seen the beginning of the alternative proteins movement.

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Gut health is tipped to be even bigger this year and, with a multitude of benefits including improved digestion and improved brain function, it’s a trend we can embrace full heartedly.

Expect to see alternative wellness tonics popping up everywhere in 2019, with iterations of apple cider vinegar, kefir and kombucha becoming more readily available.

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This article originally appeared on Compare Retreats .

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