Say hello to the wellness trends for 2022. This is not going to be more of your grandma’s cod liver oil or your mama’s green juice. This is wellness like you’ve never seen before.
We’re all ready for a New Year, likely in more ways than one. And 2022 is waiting in the wings with some great surprises in store, especially when it comes to our wellness. While 2021 saw us try to regain some semblance of normalcy in a pandemic-addled world, we let a lot of things fall off the priorities list (hello, self-care). Even though we’re still in the throes of Covid, get ready for the wellness return in a bigger, better, and more sustainable way. From non-toxic ingredients, cookware, and cleaning, to taking healing trips—some without going anywhere—these are the trends you can expect to see across physical, mental, and spiritual wellness categories.
The psychedelic medicine renaissance has been underway for several years, but it’s really only just getting started. There are already a number of ketamine treatment centers across the U.S., and 2022 will see Oregon fully embrace its legalized psilocybin therapy for issues like depression and PTSD. As states and municipalities continue to decriminalize psychedelics, there will be more access for therapists and treatment specialists to administer psychedelics “trips” for a range of mental wellness benefits. It doesn’t hurt that celebrities from Megan Fox to Will Smith have come out of the psychedelic closet, too. There’s even new music by world-renowned musician Jon Hopkins to help promote psychedelic healing. One of the biggest benefits of psychedelics is a little goes a long way, and they may help where conventional drug therapies fail. They also often impart a deep sense of connection with the natural world, something all of us could use a bit more of after two years of watching The Office reruns.
2. Functional Mushrooms
Not quite the psychedelic kind, but mushrooms are indeed one of the hottest wellness trends expected to continue into 2022. They bring along a whole host of benefits from immune and brain health to reducing stress and inflammation—not to mention their benefits to the planet, too. Brands like Forage Hyperfoods and Four Sigmatic are blending mushrooms into coffee so you can carry on with your normal morning ritual while adding a healthy dose of, well, healthy. And as Covid variants keep us all in a Purell-induced haze, giving the immune system a bit of extra support can’t hurt (but only after you’ve been vaxxed, of course).
3. Natural Fragrances
Aromatherapy has a long history of benefits, but it’s been forever connected to health food store hippies or multi-level marketing schemes. It’s time to let all of that go. In 2022, we’re going to see a whole lot of fragrant goodness. You no longer have to buy the little bottles of essential oils and drop them into an oil diffuser at home. Natural fragrances are free of harmful chemicals that are bad for our bodies and the planet. Plus, pure botanical-based fragrances really do have mood-boosting benefits that can help us navigate through the good and the bad and everything in between.
Menopause is practically a four-letter word. Men don’t seem to know how to respond to it and people with ovaries are more often than not completely terrified of it—a shocking 73 percent of people experiencing peri-menopause or menopause don’t even treat their symptoms, according to a recent survey. But, guess what? That’s all about to change (thanks in no small part to mid-fifties Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda returning to our televisions). Globally, more than one billion people will experience menopause symptoms by 2025. Gen-Xers are now in the throes of it, with Millennials starting to experience perimenopause symptoms as young as age 40. And a growing number of companies are working to address it. There are even psychedelic companies focused on this issue. Get ready for a new wave of sustainable, natural, and hormone-replacement-free alternatives to help make this transition easier and stigma-free.
5. Clean Cleaning
If you haven’t swapped out those cleaning products under your sink yet, 2022 promises to be the year that you do. Maybe you DIY your own vinegar floor soap or baking soda bath scrub, but millions of Americans still use toxic home cleaning products bad for their bodies and the planet. Fortunately, there’s a swell of eco-minded cleaning, laundry, and personal care brands innovating in this space. Whether that’s a monthly subscription, new cleaning innovations like microbes, or better price points, consumers are going to be swapping out the toxic cleaning products for healthier alternatives.
Certainly not a new trend, but meditation and mindfulness are about to see big resurgences. The pandemic has ticked everyone’s stress levels up to 11. For kids and adults, meditation is proving to be a valuable tool not only in processing the weight of the last two years, but also the stresses of returning to normal and the anxiety that can bring. The good news is that meditation connects us to, well, everything, in the most compassionate of ways. This could help to bring more healing and harmony to a planet that sorely needs it.
7. Garden Therapy
Did you garden during lockdown? Has your interest waned? There’s good reason to get those green thumbs flexing again. Gardening is great for our health, our food system, and our ecosystems. And it’s poised to be one of the key trends for 2022—whether that’s a backyard, a balcony, or even a kitchen garden operation. We need that connection to nature, and it needs us, too. Don’t have a sprouting kit or a windowsill herb garden just yet? It’s not too late to ask Santa for one.
8. Wellness Tourism
With millions of people avoiding travel over the last few years, future travel plans are going to be more selective. The priority is going to be on wellness, restoration, and sustainability. Get ready for more eco-tourism packages, sustainable, luxury wellness retreats, and hotels prioritizing nature-based tourism, farm-to-fork dining, holistic spa services, and a whole lot of self-care. One thing is for sure: any travel plans in the next year are going to be seriously worth the wait.
Start your New Year with one of the hottest 2022 wellness trends: the nonalcoholic market. Products like Kin, Optimist, and Three Spirit are changing the way we view cocktails. Don’t call these mocktails, though. These are real botanical-based products aimed to deliver mental and physical wellness benefits without the problems alcohol brings. Many of the brands in the trend are using sustainably sourced ingredients, recycled packaging, and supporting great causes.
10. Nontoxic Cookware
Are you still using that scraped-up old Teflon pan? Did you know cookware can be extremely toxic to your health and the planet? (Seriously, the downstream impact of Teflon will kind of blow your mind.) It’s time to ditch it—for your health, your planet, and anyone who cringes when they see it in your kitchen. The good news is there are so many sustainable and clean cookware brands out there that you can seamlessly make the switch without as much as a second thought. From cast iron and enamel to carbon steel and copper, the right cookware is out there, just in time for you to do Veganuary the right way.