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7 weird and wonderful wellness trends we want to try in 2021

We're ditching diet culture and focusing on these well-rounded wellness trends in 2021

Written by
Sarah Medina

Let's get this out of the way: we're not trying to get you to try some fancy new workout or diet. Frankly, fitness-focused resolutions are a little tired, right? Instead, we're focusing on whole-body wellness in 2021, whether that means reading more, going on hikes, finally going to therapy, or trying one of these on-the-up-and-up practices that we're excited to incorporate into our 2021 routine (when it's safe, of course). Instead of tracking our steps, we're going to try tracking our stress (and learn new breathing exercises for when the inevitable stress descends) and instead of focusing on fitness goals, we're going to try stretching more—with the help of a fascial stretch therapy practitioner. Intrigued? Read on for more of our favorite wellness trends of the new year.

RECOMMENDED: The complete guide to wellness in the United States 

Best wellness trends for 2021

Streeeeeetch (with some help)
Photograph: Courtesy Maiden Lane Studios

1. Streeeeeetch (with some help)

Stretching is one of the easiest and best things you can do for your body and yet most of us don't do it often enough. If you're so tight you require professional attention, consider Fascial Stretch Therapy. Fascia are the spiderweb-like connective tissues found in, around and between the joints, muscles and ligaments. Once you find a practice near you, all you have to do is lay down (clothes on) and try your best to relax, breathe and listen to directions. The FST instructor will swing, bend, twist, and twirl your ligaments into all kinds of positions generally suited for pretzels and circus performers. You'll leave the table feeling ten pounds lighter and 3 inches taller. 

Text your therapist
Photo: Yura Fresh/Unsplash

2. Text your therapist

If mental health wasn't a priority for you before 2020, a global pandemic probably made it one. Luckily, the pandemic also forced traditonal couch therapy to innovate and broaden its reach, leading to one of the biggest trends of the year: texting your therapist. While we can't say that texting will or should replace in-person visits, more affordable and easy access to mental health professionals is always a good thing. Want to give it a go? Ginger, Calmerry, and TalkSpace are just a few platforms that offer texting plans.   

Get a full chart reading
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Get a full chart reading

Scoff all you want, but astrology is here to stay (its been around since pre-colonial times after all), and a full chart reading can give you powerful insight into your personality, driving forces and emotional reactions. We encourage you to support your local BIPOC astrologer, but since we're still in a pandemic, another great option is the new app from LA-based author and astrologer Chani Nicholas, which includes a full-chart reading, guided meditations based on mood and need, and altar suggestions for each new and full moon as well as real-time, daily updates on how the planets are impacting you personally. 

Sync your life with your cycle
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Sync your life with your cycle

Planning around your period that doesn't have anything to do with fertility? We're intrigued. Coined by In the Flow author Alisa Vitti, cycle syncing is the practice of tailoring your daily life—including everything from diet to exercise to hobbies—to be in alignment with your menstrual cycle and the fluctuations in hormone and energy levels that happen over the course of 28 days(ish). The purported benefits of being in sync? You’ll avoid exercise-induced burnout, help to prevent injury and see results faster, according to Vittu's My Flo app, which helps you learn what foods, exercise, work, social activities, and love are best at each phase of your cycle. 

Find utter stillness in a float spa
Photograph: Courtesy Float Spa

5. Find utter stillness in a float spa

Known to pamper sore muscles, help one relax, and even boost creativity, float spas have been around for a while, but if you've been stuck in the house with kids for the past year, maybe stillness is what you crave in 2021. We know we do.  The futuristic-looking pods are filled with body-temperature water and 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt. If you can manage to clear your mind (claustrophobic people should probably leave the lid open), then you're in for a peaceful, quiet hour of true rest. 

Track stress, not steps
Photograph: Shutterstock

6. Track stress, not steps

Wearable technology allows us to track everything from our steps to our sleep cycle, but this year's fitness trackers are taking it one step further by tracking the wearer's stress level. From the new Apple Watch, which uses a blood oxygen monitor to sense quick and shallow breathing, to the new Fitbit Sense, which will track stress through electrodermal activity (a.k.a. how well skin conducts electricity), stress tracking is the tech trend of the year. Luckily, these devices don't just track stress, they also help calm you: Recently launched Cove, a device that wraps around the back of the head, silently vibrates behind the ears to soothe the wearer while others prompt you with guided meditation or breathing exercises. 

Soothe your mind with a sound bath
Photograph: Shutterstock/Stefan Malloch

7. Soothe your mind with a sound bath

Sound baths have been trendy for a while (and have existed for centuries) and can be especially helpful for those who have trouble turning off their minds to meditate. So if the float pod sounded horrible, maybe a sound bath is more your style. Sounds baths are basically meditation classes that help you reach a deep meditative state with ambient sound, using repetitive notes at different frequencies to help bring your focus away from your thoughts. You'll leave feeling refreshed and relaxed. 

More things we want to do in 2021


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