Wanderlust 2018 Wellness Trends

Check out our predictions for 2018’s top wellness trends.

The Wanderlust Wellness predictions are here! Check out our carefully-curated list of some of the most anticipated wellness trends for 2018. You’ll be sure to see some of these favorites popping up at our events, on Wanderlust TV, and at our first-ever wellness expo, Wellspring. What are you most excited for?

1. Meditation as a Necessity

You’ve never needed to be Buddhist in order to meditate—if that wasn’t clear last year, then it certainly is now. TIME Magazine and Forbes.com recently shared studies illustrating the practice’s power to lower the risk for heart disease  and lead to better genes, and even provided actual meditations to help folks incorporate short moments of mindfulness into hectic schedules.  

Many people harbor reserve toward meditation because they think that they don’t have time, or that meditation is for yoga-loving hippies. (Yes, we do love meditation, but EVERYONE can love meditation.) But with apps like Headspace and videos like Wanderlust’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge, it’s clear that meditation is becoming more approachable and accessible. As we move into 2018, we’ll find that people from all walks of life are embracing this mindful activity by making it part of their daily routine. (And we couldn’t be more thrilled.)

2. Athleisure for Every Type of Yoga 

Photo by Kylie Fly

Athleisure has been surging in popularity over the past few years and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down. In fact, in 2018 we can expect Athleisure to get even more more specific, with pieces designed to be multi-purpose. (In other words, brands are catching onto the fact that you were your yoga pants to the wine bar.)

We’ll also see more pieces designed for specific styles of yoga. Need a cozy onesie or guru pant for yin? Something simple as you transition from a meeting into a sweaty vinyasa sesh? Or want an outfit that allows you to combine your jog with a post-cardio flow? This year, there will be plenty of fashion opportunities to fit all your yoga needs. 

(Psst…Stayed tuned for new Wanderlust-inspired outfits for the Spring season on March 1!)

3. New Respect for Feminine Energy (Including Moon Circles)

Photo by Melissa Gayle

2017 was a major year for women and we can anticipate the same (rather more) in 2018. The feminine energy, which is celebrated in a variety of historic texts, has arguably been surpassed in favor of more aggressive, masculine energy. This is true regardless of sex—too often we tell boys not too cry or encourage women to “calm down” in order to suppress emotions. This year expect to see people finding more creative ways to embrace the feminine energy.

We’ll see this with the increased popularity of Moon Circles, or gatherings designed to set intentions that are in tune with the moon. People are heading to full moon sound baths, planning lunar-inspired dinner parties, starting spiritual groups, or simply charting cycles in order to better understand major and minor life shifts. (Saturn Return, anyone?) Women are finding more ways to express their empowerment—and much of this means staying in tune with the moon.

4. Finding YOUR diet instead of a FAD Diet

It’s not hard to hear about a new fad diet. This year food and lifestyle changes like the Whole 30 or Keto diet took the eating scene by storm as they promoted unique takes on good-for-you-food. But instead of sticking to the ride-or-die rules of these diets, more and more people are using them as a blueprint for how they eat and then building their own rules. 2018 will be all about tuning into your body and finding out what’s best for you.

This year you can expect folks building their own diets rather than hitting the books.  We’re tuning into our bodies to pick up cues for how we feel about so many different things, be it our relationships, careers, or passions, so why not include our food into this equation? Part of this means journaling your experience—or taking notes how certain things make you feel. Do you feel awesome swapping out bread, but for some reason sourdough works? Are you finding that a healthy middle ground for caffeine is some black tea from the farmer’s market? Your diet is entirely yours—plan to embrace it!

5. Ecstatic Breathwork and Holotrophic Breathing

Photo by Kylie Fly

Many of us only recognize pranayama in our yoga practice, but the gifts of breathwork should exist well-beyond your mat. In 2018 we expect to see more ecstatic breathwork, specifically Holotrophic breathing. This powerful approach is designed to help practitioners enter deep self-exploration and undergo positive transformation.

The process is fairly simple: Holotrophic breathwork combines accelerated breathing with evocative music in a simple yet special setting. The goal is to tap into a “non-ordinary” state of consciousness. This desired state activates the natural inner healing process of the individual’s psyche, bringing the seeker a particular set of internal experiences. Developed by Czech psychiatrist, Stanislav Grof, holotrophic breathing has been around for a while, but is just starting to float into the mainstream arena. It shouldn’t be long before we see breathwork joining yoga and meditation in the high ranks of the wellness industry.

6. Fermented Foods Are Getting Even Better

Kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut are now fully mainstream. In 2018 you can expect much of the same—but with cooler and tastier twists. Fermented crudité, or pickled peppers, celery, carrots, and cauliflower are dominating grocery store shelves and farmers markets. Fermented foods can be found on the menus of a variety of different restaurants, whether or not those establishments be of the health-food variety. 

Kombucha—perhaps the most popular of the fermented products—is becoming just as prevalent in bars as craft beer—there are even ice cream flavors inspired by the fizzy drink. Sales for kombucha are also skyrocketing, and designated kombucha cafes are popping up throughout the country. Flavors of the drink itself are also getting more creative, including Health Ade’s Reishi Chocolate and Humm’s Pomegranate Lemonade. The same is true of kimchi and sauerkraut; creative flavors include Wildebrine Madras Curry and Cauliflower and Mother in Law’s Napa Cabbage.

Of course, DIY is always an option. And with the emphasis on food-focused budgets and meal-planning, we can expect to see more folks embracing their own recipes of these fermented favorites. (Might we suggest the Wanderlust Find Your True Fork cookbook?)

7. Really Honing in On Waste

Photo by Aley Greening

As climate change dominates news channels, environmental activism continues to rise. Zero waste movements are changing the way we organize our lives. Rather than focusing on single-use, or disposable products, many are finding innovative ways to reuse and recycle.

Plastic straws are out and compostable containers are in. Companies such as Imperfect Produce make it easy to support anti-food waste causes, providing subscribers with a box of imperfect (though totally usable and delicious) fruits and vegetables. Zero-waste celebrities Lauren Singer and Daniel Silverstein recently opened Package Free in New York, a store that sells (nearly) everything a person needs to start their transition to a low-waste lifestyle.

On top of that, people are finding more creative ways to repurpose, such as using coffee grounds for a face mask or menstrual blood for fertilizer. In what ways will you get creative with your recycling?

8. Adaptogen Infused-Drinks

What do Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, and Maca have in common? They’re all powerhouse herbs known as adaptogens. You’ve likely heard of adaptogens—they’re a crucial ingredient in the famed Moon Juice and often suggested as a supplement for folks dealing with stress and anxiety. Adaptogens greatly improve your body’s ability to adapt to stress, whether it’s a hectic schedule, chaotic life changes, or a number of other stressors, by increasing stamina, energy, endurance, and mental clarity.

In 2018 we can expect to find these miracle herbs in more than a capsule—we’ll see them in some of our favorite drinks. From recipes like Adaptogen-Infused Hot Chocolate to Cold Brew to Smoothies, wellness enthusiasts are becoming more and more creative about how they get these magic herbs.

9. Opting Out of Wi-Fi 

Social media may be changing the world, but folks are still looking for ways to go analog. “Unplugging” is now just as much a priority as self-care. Many restaurants are embracing phone-free policies, while others are offering discounts to those who stash their devices.

The same goes for hotels—Hipcamp, an Airbnb-esque camping site, offers off-the-grid spots for those looking to ditch screen time. The Mandarin Hotel in Las Vegas is even offering a “digital wellness escape,” thus ensuring you won’t be sneaking a scroll. And of course, always feel free to unplug at a Wanderlust event. Snap a selfie and then ditch the phone for a day of analog bliss!

10. Epigenetics and Biohacking 

This year, expect to see the term “epigenetics” a bit more. Epigenetics is the study of how different biological and environmental signals affect DNA expression. For example, rather than change the DNA itself, epigenetic signals prompt changes in the number of methyl chemical groups attached to a gene, turning it on or off. Scientists are further investigating how eating habits modify gene expression in adults and their offspring. That’s right—what you eat now might have an impact on the DNA of your future kids and grandkids.

Organizations like Nestlé, EpiGen, and the German Research Center for Environmental Health are investigating the epigenetic impact of one’s diet and exercise routine. As more information surfaces to the forefront, we can expect to see wellness experts advocating for ways to maximize your DNA expression.

This is similar to Biohacking, or using innovative ways to catalyze on health. And while this has been a rising trend over the past couple of years, we’ll especially start to see the term in relation to women’s health. New tools like the MyFLO  app allow women to do more than track their menstrual cycles—it encourages creative ways to relieve PMS symptoms through diet, exercise, and routine. FemaleFuel is researching, developing, and manufacturing a brand-new slew of nootropic supplements specifically for women. If you’re looking to explore new ways to maximize your physical health, 2018 is going to be a good year for you.

11. Hygge for the Home Studio

Hygge, the Danish trend for nesting and getting cozy-chic, rose in popularity this past year. Hygge (pronounced ‘hoo-ga’) is literally the “the feeling of being home.” This definition alone explains why people go so bananas for it—who doesn’t want to wrap themselves up in faux sheepskin and cotton-knit loungewear?

In 2018 we expect to see this cozy interior design trend making its way into the home studio. The best part is you can incorporate this style without spending too much. A few lightly-scented candles, salt lamp, or potted plants are perfect for achieving this look, but really it’s whatever you prefer. (After all, it’s your home studio!) How will you Hygge?

12. Working Adventure Into Your Everyday

Photo by Alex Wang

With travel bloggers and photographers now reaching a level of fame that rivals B-list celebrities, it’s become easier and easier to live vicariously through the adventures of online strangers. Everyone’s getting inspired to take advantage of exciting and innovative outdoor activities.

The term “weekend warriors” surged in popularity after Gale Straub of She Explores used the term as a way of identifying outdoor enthusiasts who broke up their 9-5, five days a week work schedule with weekend long camping trips. #Vanlife has inspired families, couples, and solo travelers to take off and explore the wilderness, even if just for a few days.

Expect more people looking for creative ways to exercise their wanderlust. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby like SUP yoga, mountain biking, trail-running, or slacklining, “adventure routine” is a thing of the future, and we couldn’t be more excited. 

Check out some of these trends and more at a Wanderlust event 2018. We hope to see you there!

Amanda Kohr is the editor at Wanderlust. You can find her exploring new highways, drinking diner coffee, and on Instagram