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We've had a decade of 'wellness', but are we any more well?

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30.12.2019

The 2010s were the decade wellbeing moved from the trippy dippy crystal shop to the mainstream.

By 2014, the wellness industry was already three times bigger than the global pharmaceutical industry. Today, it is worth about $4.5 trillion.

The wellness industry has grown exponentially, but are we any better off? It's complicated. Credit:Getty

There were Goops like Gwyneth Paltrow who let bees sting them as “therapy” (ill-advised given a woman died from the "treatment" last year) and the downright dangerous advice of those like convicted con Belle Gibson, claiming to cure cancer through nutrition. (Thankfully, the internet sees most snake oil stymied as fast as it’s spread.)

But even your average person has subscribed to plenty of wellness trends over the last decade for better or for worse.

We’ve witnessed the rise of hemp and wholefoods, kombucha and kale, probiotics and positive psychology, clean eating and collagen (Instagram has a lot to answer for). We’ve bought rose quartz-infused drink bottles for good vibes in our water. We’ve watched Wim Hof's followers freeze their gonads in ice baths and Tony Robbins spawn a generation of life coaches and motivational speakers who promise us we can do, have and be exactly as we wish ... followed swiftly by a counter-culture teaching us the "subtle art of not giving a f---" and rejecting the “mindless positivity” of the self-help........

© The Age