It is widely recognised that loneliness is on the rise and has detrimental effects on both health and happiness, with research indicating that strong relationships are the most significant predictor of well-being.
Growing awareness of the harmful effects of loneliness, the wellness industry has largely focused on promoting individualistic approaches to self-care, such as “me-time” products and digital wellness. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for change, as people are beginning to seek out more social and meaningful ways to connect with others.
In response to this trend, there has been a surge in the creation of social wellness clubs that prioritise group bonding and encourage real-life interactions. These clubs come in various styles and price ranges, and often offer a wide range of wellness experiences that serve as social icebreakers, from immersive environments like US based Remedy Place and Canadian, Othership, to community-focused spaces like Six Senses Place which feature in some of the leading hospitality groups portfolio.
With the rise of remote work, people are seeking out everyday spaces where they can feel a sense of belonging, and younger generations, who are rejecting traditional forms of socialising such as bars and nightclubs, are looking for healthier alternatives.
The wellness industry is also playing a role in helping people to develop deeper connections and communication skills. For example, Peoplehood, a group conversation concept created by the founders of SoulCycle, emphasizes “relational fitness” through active listening and empathy building. Additionally, the use of “empatho-delics/actives” such as psilocybin, MDMA (in clinical trials), and ancient botanical social elixirs like kanna and kava, are becoming more popular as ways to encourage human openness and deepen connections with others.
The trend towards social wellness is not limited to the wellness industry, as there are startups that are working to bring people together and tackle loneliness in new and innovative ways. For example, social apps and platforms are being created to facilitate real-life social connections, such as dinner parties for strangers or apartment dwellers. Governments are also taking action by implementing new policies to fight loneliness, and there is even a growing movement towards “social medicine.”
In conclusion, the future of wellness is moving away from the lonely and individualistic self-care approaches of the past, towards a more social and empathetic focus on belonging and connection. This shift is reflected in the growing popularity of social wellness clubs and the rise of startups and initiatives aimed at tackling loneliness and promoting real-life connections. The trend towards empathy, connection, and community-building is a positive step towards a healthier, happier, and more connected world.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information only, and does not constitute health or medical advice. If you have any concerns regarding your physical or mental health, seek immediate medical attention.