Global Wellness Summit report highlights 12 trends for 2023

By Wendy Golledge


By Wendy Golledge

01 February 2023

The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has released its annual Future of Wellness trend report, promising 2023 will be a watershed year for wellness.

The report, which annually predicts the newest directions in wellness, has identified 12 wellness trends for 2023.

At a media launch event in New York City, Susie Ellis, GWS chair and CEO, said: “Cast your mind back to 2019, the high watermark of the hyper-consumerist, product-flooded wellness market – with so many evidence-challenged trends-a-minute.

“This year’s report is proof that the wellness market of just three years ago suddenly feels archaic.”

A new era for sensory wellness

Broad themes emerging from the report include radically different consumer values – a profound shift towards rejecting ‘self-obsessed’ wellness – a demand for scientific solutions that work, and a return to the deepest roots of wellness, but reimagined.

New directions in multisensory integration will emerge blending light, scent, temperature, touch and sound to expand sensory wellness.

Wellness will tackle loneliness and move from the murky claims of ‘clean beauty’ to science-backed biotech beauty. Lastly, wellness will change urban design and infrastructure, and become a bigger focus of government policy.

European Spa brings spa you a summary of the predicted trends:

Trend #1

Wellness + gathering (by Beth McGroarty)

We know loneliness is skyrocketing but somehow, a sea of keep-them-spending, me-time products and digital wellness offerings have led to very lonely journeys of selfcare.


The biggest wellness trend for 2023 will be new spaces and experiences that – intentionally and creatively – bring people together in real life.



Social wellness clubs will surge and the wellness world will teach us how to connect and empathise more deeply.


Tackling loneliness will be a huge trend, even beyond the wellness space, and the future will see a move from lonely to social self-care, buying to belonging and ‘URL to IRL’.

Wellness + travel (by Elaine Glusac)

Travellers will seek deeper cultural experiences, going to the source of ancient healing for knowledge about how to care for the land and for themselves. Indigenous travel and going-to-the-cultural-source for wellness will be a travel trend for 2023.

Community-led indigenous travel offerings are surging, from purification ceremonies to the food and nutrition of original cultures. Concurrently, culturally rooted wellness experiences are booming globally, inspiring travellers to go to the original wellspring for authenticity.

In Japan, traditional ryokans, or hot springs inns, are going through a renaissance and India, which gave the wellness world yoga, is poised to lure travellers back to the source with an upcoming centre for traditional medicine partnered by the World Health Organisation.

Trend #3

Wellness + workplace (by Skyler Hubler and Cecelia Girr)

From protected time off to finally acknowledging women’s health needs, employee wellness will get a much-needed rethink in 2023.


Employers have been casually tossing around the word wellness since the 1980s but, four decades later, we have little to show for it.



With the pandemic dramatically accelerating shifts in work models, things are changing for the better and superficial wellness at work schemes will increasingly be replaced with more meaningful solutions.


Employers will make in-person time count, with memorable gatherings at wellness resorts and social wellness clubs (meetings held in ice baths are officially a thing!). Once-stigmatised topics like menopause and infertility will gain more attention.

Trend #4

Wellness + beauty (by Jessica Smith)

In the world of beauty, the shift towards data-backed products has never been more evident. The conversation around clean beauty (with all its muddy claims) will refocus towards a desire for lab-tested, science-backed and even lab-created products.

Greenwashing and false claims will evolve into medical, bio-positive and tech-forward product development.

The movement is fuelled by beauty consumers demanding more education and transparency, more results-driven beauty technologies, more science in ingredients and biotech formulations that can be more effective than natural extracts.

Trend #5

Wellness + cities (by Robbie Hammond and Omar Toro-Vaca)

The role of the city has been reimagined countless times over the centuries, but the pandemic served as a wake-up call on just how unwell cities are.


Urban wellness infrastructure is no longer perceived as a luxury – it’s a necessity.



Diverse, creative urban wellness infrastructure will be embraced in 2023 as a solution for accelerating growth and cultivating healthier, happier citizens, using wellness to turn cities into cities places to thrive not survive.

Trend #6

Wellness + weight (by Michael Roizen, MD)

Harnessing the ability to live longer and younger is among the biggest trends in medicine and wellness today.

Michael Roizen MD believes a crucial factor in this quest for healthy longevity is recognising that not all fat is created equal. He suggests transforming white/yellow fat into beige/brown fat has the potential to move the needle on one of the greatest health crises – obesity.

The reason? Put simply, brown fat burns lots of calories, while white fat doesn’t use much energy.

Numerous studies show how white cell/brown cell transformation could work. For example, research shows the biggest trend of the last few years – cold therapy – recruits brown fat, as the cold environment expands and activates it, which increases metabolic rate.

One thing is certain: the trend for living like we are 40, even when we reach the age of 90, is all part of a reality coming ever closer.

Trend #7

Wellness + governments (by Thierry Malleret)

In 2023 and beyond, wellness policies will evolve, multiply and strengthen.


Governments know the crippling societal costs of people not feeling mentally and physically well. They know unwellness shrinks the workforce and they know preventative wellness saves public money.



This year more governments will move from knowing to action, pursuing policies aimed at improving physical, mental, work, environmental and even financial wellbeing.


Wellness policies will become far more prominent on the political agendas and the GWS predicts they will be more expansive.

Trend #8

Wellness + water (by Jane Kitchen)

In 2023, people will jump into water for blue wellness – from a global surge in hot springs destinations to wild and cross-country swimming.

Hot springs are poised to be the next big thing in wellness. There are an unprecedented number of new and in-the-pipeline global destinations, and new life is being breathed into long-forgotten facilities. A whole new social era in hot springs has arrived, with developers combining live entertainment and watery wellness classes with traditional soaking.

The future is blue, hot, cold and wild

On the cold side, the surging interest in wild, cold and cross-country swimming shows no sign of abating, inclusive group swims are fostering connection and epic adventures where hiking and wild swimming are combined are starting to take off.

Trend #9

Wellness + sports  (by Lisa Starr)

Savvy hospitality brands are responding to demands from wellness-focused clients looking beyond the basement gym, in search of pro equipment, fitness classes and wellness programming, whenever and wherever they travel.


The GWS predicts businesses that support this trend will become the go-to brands for future generations.



The global sports market is predicted to hit $20 billion by 2027, so we’re going to see new, creative, profitable intersections between sports and wellness. Sports will increasingly become strategy to connect with wellness-oriented consumers.

Trend #10

Wellness + senses (by Ari Peralta)

The senses have always been present in wellness. and advances in neuroscience and neuroaesthetics confirm that, when combined, senses elevate human experience.

In 2023, brands will access multiple senses simultaneously to better support wellbeing outcomes, amplify the wellness experience and influence behavioural change.

With a better grasp on evidence, wellness brands will use multisensory integration as an approach to deepen and amplify felt experiences.

Trend #11

Wellness + biohacking (by Marc Cohen, MD)

Biohacking – the attempt to control biology and defy disease and decay so we can become superhuman – is not new, our ancestors developed low-tech hacks from fasting and chanting to traditional medicines to increase their wellbeing.


The new trend in biohacking features staggering technology: think AI, brain-computer interfaces, nanobotics, probiotics, cloud-computing and blockchain technologies. This tech allows us to manipulate molecules, modify genes, manage microbes, monitor and track health metrics, and manipulate our sensory inputs.



AI will soon make medical care available to everyone on earth, while nanobots, xenobots and regenerative technologies will let us regrow tissues, limbs or organs, even use living tissue for body adornment or new biological functions.


But this wild, wild west raises moral, legal and ethical issues. Thus, the question: could we hack our biology and consciousness to enhance our moral and ethical nature?

Trend #12

Wellness + faith (by Brian Grim)

It’s not surprising that the pandemic led to a resurgence of faith; what is surprising is that the corporate world is embracing it.

As global workplaces reshape to address inclusivity and employee wellbeing, more companies will include religion, encouraging employees to form official, company-sponsored  groups around their faith

It makes smart business sense. Religion is an important identifier for more than 84% of people in the world and religious populations are outgrowing nonreligious populations 23-to-1.

Inclusive workplaces where all faiths are equally valued (including non-theists) enriches corporate culture and it’s a dramatically new aspect of workplace wellness.

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