European Spa pays tribute to Daniel Friedland, MD

An inspirational industry mentor, 'Dr Danny' passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 30, surrounded by his loving family, Sue, Zach and Dyl


The spa and wellness industry has paid tribute to Daniel Friedland, MD, who passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 30, surrounded by his loving family, Sue, Zach and Dyl.

Dr Danny, as we liked to call him, was a comet, sparking love, humanity and heartfelt leadership wherever he went. His message to the world was simple: “Live a loving life”.

An extraordinary man who could light up the stage and every room he entered, he will be remembered for his laughter, conversation, kindness and wisdom, and his extraordinary knowledge on wellness and medical advancement. I, along with many others working in spa and wellness around the world, feel truly honoured to have the opportunity to learn from him and also to have his friendship and mentorship.

Dr Danny saw the connections between western medicine and broader wellness modalities

He made an extraordinary contribution to the wellness world with his heartfelt mission to bring conscious leadership to every aspect of life, business and the future of our planet. One of his many gifts was to teach: sharing his expertise on the neuroscience of leadership, wellness and resiliency.

He saw the connections and potential for bridging worlds traditionally seen as opposites: a champion of progressing integrated health, he served as the founding chair of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine and also brought together leaders in the wellness world in his work with the Global Wellness Institute to promote transformational change through mindfulness, neuroscience and conscious leadership.

Danny also worked with the influential leaders of many Fortune 500 companies, hospital systems, government agencies, and the American Association for Physician Leadership, as well as Whole Health Institute and Conscious Capitalism. He was extremely proud of his work with the Global Wellness Institute to bring together an influential coalition to make positive change at scale for the future.

In print as in life, Dr Danny was a strong advocate of leading from within

But some would say that Danny’s greatest work began exactly a year ago on November 12, when he and his beloved family faced the life-changing news that he had brain cancer. The irony of this diagnosis was tangible; as a recognised expert in neuroscience who had developed a mindfulness-based framework for conscious leadership he had so much yet to do. As a father, husband and loving man with many friends across the world, he had so much life to live.

After taking this life-changing news in his stride, he, together with his family, decided to open their hearts and share their cancer journey as a family, so they could help others. Together, the Friedland family shone a beacon of light on living with cancer, bringing much needed inspiration and conversation to the fore about how cancer affects the whole family.

The Living Well From Within YouTube channel

To see Dr Danny’s YouTube diary, click here


Danny’s beloved wife Sue and their sons Zach and Dyl created a compelling YouTube diary tracking their cancer journey together – raw and real, each recording is compelling and courageous. The YouTube channel and playlist called, Living Well from Within also shines a light on the extraordinary medical and complementary health professionals who worked so hard to ease Danny’s condition through an integrated medical approach – something that Danny had devoted his life to champion for a brighter future for all. It also shows the power of love, compassion and empathy Danny’s family gave him.

Everyone in the medical and wellness community who had the privilege of meeting Dr Danny will know that he also worked tirelessly over the past 11 months to drive change: creating community and connection to show others how to “Live a loving life”. We enjoyed many zoom calls and conversations as he gave his precious time to leave a legacy of love and positive change. We all send our heartfelt love and prayers to Sue, Zach and Dyl and all his family, as well as our thanks for so generously sharing their journey over the last 12 months with us.

Dr Daniel Friedland who passed away on October 30, 2021

I would like to share some of his extraordinary words from an article we worked on together this spring for European Spa magazine:

“If we want to lead well in the world, the first place we need to lead well is inside ourselves. Fundamentally in life, we need to navigate stress, uncertainly and self-doubt to achieve a greater sense of meaning, purpose and significance.”

“In life, if we ask questions of a high enough altitude, they will lead to answers that create transformative change. When life is running short, the only answer that makes sense is to make every moment count. My answer was to live in intensely loving relationships. In cycles of receiving and giving love to each other, we discover the deepest form of connection.

“When you yield yourself to the full, flourishing presence of the moment, the nourishment of that is so sweet. Giving ourselves over to each other is the deepest form of connection. It’s about being present in the big and the small moments.

To read the full interview with Daniel Friedland, MD, click here


“We all have every opportunity to bless people’s lives. The power of the generative question also led my family and I to share our story together as we went along the cancer journey.

“Mindfulness is just one of three components of awakening. The full power of conscious leadership is only possible when it is connected to the awakened heart. The best thought-out strategy in business will only take you so far, but when you mobilise it from your heart, then you will get real traction and transformation. The third component is spiritual connection.”

The wellness world will not forget Daniel Friedland, MD’s heartfelt contribution to conscious leadership. We invite everyone to share their tributes and to Live a Loving Life.

Be inspired...

If you would like to read Danny’s extraordinary book providing a framework for conscious leadership, Leading Well From Within, click below

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