The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has released its annual “Future of Wellness” report, the longest-running, most in-depth forecast of the big trends that will shape wellness in the year ahead.

In summary, we’ll see a surge in pilgrimages and a new postpartum wellness, a focus on social and emotional wellness for men and a new climate-adaptive wellness.

The longevity megatrend will rage on and weight loss drugs will get a wellness check. Our homes will become highest-tech health hubs, art will be transformed into a multisensory wellness experience, and sports will take their place in hospitality.

Below we dive further into what this all means for the health and wellness industry in 2024.




Climate Adaptive Wellness
1. Climate-Adaptive Wellness 

With an increasingly heat-crushed planet, bringing massive physical and mental health risks, we will see a new “climate-adaptive wellness”: a wave of innovations that can cool our bodies, homes and cities. We simply cannot keep air conditioning more of the world: it’s erasing climate change progress.

Cooling approaches—from the cutting-edge to the ancient—will be the burning issue in architecture and design. We’ll see more green space, tree cover, and rooftop gardens; high-tech building materials and heat-reflective paint for roads and roofs; and heat-fighting design from historically broiling places like the Middle East. Cities are re-thinking everything, building cooling centers and public pools, with many rushing to clean up their waterways to let people do wild swimming, an incredible line of defense. Smart-tech cooling clothing will go mainstream, as will wearables that monitor the body’s heat indicators, from core temp to hydration to electrolytes. There is even a new “climate-adaptive” beauty trend rising.

Our baking planet is disrupting travel, with people moving away from traditional “hotspots,” trading beaches and deserts for mountains, the Mediterranean for Scandinavia, and summer vacations for fall or spring ones, in a move towards what’s being called “cool-cations.” So much will change in the traditional wellness space, from a new focus on hot/cold therapy’s role in the body’s thermoregulation to the rise of (cooler) “night-time wellness” programming at hotels and resorts, from star-gazing to full-moon yoga.


The Power Of The Pilgrimage
2. The Power of the Pilgrimage

One silver lining that came out of the pandemic gloom is that people all around the world rediscovered the simple joys and health benefits that come from walking, and a purposeful connection with nature. Today, walking enthusiasts are dramatically expanding their horizons by exploring ancient pilgrimage trails, fueling a global trend as record numbers of travelers take up multi-day hikes infused with spiritual exploration and cultural heritage in countries around the world.

While nearly half a million pilgrims completed the famous Camino de Santiago in Spain in 2023 (a new record), scores of modern pilgrims were also drawn to off-the-beaten-path sites in Japan, such as the Shikoku 88 and the Michinoku Coastal trails, as well as buzzy pilgrimage destinations in Sri Lanka, Bhutan, India and Italy, all of which have undergone extensive restorations thanks to government efforts to promote holistic tourism.

From a wellness perspective, this trend has serious legs: a pilgrimage is a metaphor for the path to enlightenment, engendering slow, meditative travel, and facilitating deeper engagement with our surroundings to foster a sense of awe. It also produces unexpected encounters with strangers that lead to a deeper perspective on the place of our “self” in a very big world. Savvy resorts are now looking to pilgrimages, offering wellness programs that incorporate journeys between sacred sites, participation in religious services such as meditating with monks or almsgiving, and providing access to ceremonies once attainable only after years of experience on the path to enlightenment.


From Manning Up To Opening Up
3. From Manning Up to Opening Up

Wellness has long provided a space for women to open up, explore their emotions, and build community, but the same can’t be said for men. They’ve either been left out of the equation or, when included, the wellness offerings they’ve been served have reinforced a clichéd view of masculinity—from warrior-like fitness challenges to tough-guy biohacks. At the same time, shifting gender roles and a societal revolt against old-school masculinity have left men without a rulebook for what it means to “be a man” today.

A cultural shift is underway. As the dire consequences of rising male loneliness are exposed, the wellness industry is responding with a new wave of solutions designed to help men reconnect with themselves and with one another. One example is the rise of men’s retreats like EVRYMAN and Junto, where unlearning stoicism and authentically sharing your feelings is the name of the game; another example is the new mental health apps designed specifically by and for men.

In this trend, we explore how these so-called “softer” forms of wellness will serve as a much-needed catalyst for male connection. Looking further ahead, we anticipate that social and emotional wellness offerings for men will become more nuanced, more evenly distributed across all stages of life, and more global.


The Rise Of Postpartum Wellness
4. The Rise of Postpartum Wellness

Following childbirth, new parents typically find themselves in a care “desert”: all the attention is on the baby, and the medical system largely abandons them. While giving birth is a massive physical event, and new parenthood often entails serious mental health challenges, postpartum care has been grossly ignored. Change is here: a new, comprehensive postpartum wellness is now taking many directions.

Cultures around the world have postpartum retreat traditions for the mom and baby (from Korea’s sanjujori to Latin America’s la cuarantena) that focus on deep rest, healthy food, baby-care education, massage and therapeutic bathing for the birthing parent. Increasingly, posh postpartum retreats are delivering precious days and weeks of postpartum recovery (at a price)—whether at Boram Postnatal Retreat in New York City or Kai Singapore. With postpartum depression rates rising globally, governments and corporations are taking action, while new apps are addressing the mental health of new parents (such as Mavida Health, offering a whole slate of therapy and counseling). More femtech startups are dedicated to postpartum care across the spectrum—from C-section recovery services to a boom in pelvic floor care products/services (so crucial to postpartum health). The wellness consumer goods market has exploded with options, from postpartum skincare to supplements, while brands are also destigmatizing sexual wellness post-birth.

True postpartum wellness would mean a dramatic change in the current post-birth experience, with access to an integrated medical and wellness team that could deliver a holistic, empathetic approach to support new parents’ physical and emotional wellbeing, including education, proper nutrition, physical therapy and pain-focused therapies. The future needs to make what’s offered in the new, luxe postpartum retreats only a few can afford available to all.


Longevity Has Longevity
5. Longevity Has Longevity

The speed at which longevity has seized the biotech, health and wellness spaces in the last year is staggering. No mere “trend,” it’s the new industry pillar, the lens to reexamine everything we do, and an entire interconnected “economy” pegged to be worth $610 billion by 2025. Driven by an aging population seeking a longer healthspan and a medical establishment still not focused on prevention, longevity is here for the long game and will only ramp up in 2024.

So, we bring you two reports with different vantage points. The first, from Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD, clinical professor at UCSF School of Medicine, identifies the eight key areas of research driving the practical applications of longevity science—including personalized plans grounded in genetic, epigenetic and biomarker testing; research on senolytics (drugs that can remove senescent cells); telomere regeneration; nutrigenomics; and a new AI/GPT-driven healthcare. It provides a much-needed framework for what matters in what’s become a Wild West of longevity solutions.

The second report explores the longevity boom from the perspective of the wellness industry, and how the highly-medical, high-tech (and high-priced) longevity clinic is the fastest-growing business genre, with over 1,000 clinics worldwide. Most offer advanced diagnostic testing (biomarker, genetic, hormonal, full-body MRIs, etc.), to identify issues before they become a problem, such as Fountain Life (whose heartbeat is AI-powered diagnostics) or Human Longevity Inc. (with genomics testing at its core). Others offer experimental, less-proven approaches such as stem cell treatments and plasma exchange—and the usual biohacking/recovery treatments (IV drips, cryotherapy, ozone therapy, etc.)—but now in the name of longevity.

More high-end gyms (such as Saint Haven in Melbourne) are becoming full-blown longevity clinics, offering work-ups (preventative diagnostic testing, scans, etc.) along with their workouts. If wellness resorts have been more about “soul” than scans and stem cells, now a growing number are becoming highly-medical longevity destinations. Powerhouse medical-longevity players such as Spain’s SHA Wellness and Switzerland’s Clinique La Prairie are on the march, the latter planning 40 new urban “longevity hubs.” Soulful brand Six Senses is opening medical-longevity clubs (called Rosebar), with everything from epigenetic testing to stem cell therapy. More wellness resorts, like Italy’s Borgo Egnazia and Thailand’s Kamalaya Koh Samui, will embrace lo-fi longevity, offering Blue Zones retreats that get their guests connecting, cooking and moving like the people who live the longest in the world.

In 2024, a further avalanche of clinics, travel destinations and tools will try to help you live longer and better. But we’ll also start asking some hard questions. About access: with uber-expensive clinics/solutions, are we entering a future where only the poor age? How can most people afford to live to 130? What is the impact of a “never die” mindset on our mental health and on the death-acceptance movement?


Foods For Weight Loss
6. A Wellness Check for Weight Loss Drugs

The wellness industry was shaken up with the arrival of Big Pharma’s new, extremely effective GLP-1-inhibiting weight-loss drugs, the Ozempics and Mounjaros. They upended traditional behavior-change approaches to weight loss, recasting weight loss as a matter of biology rather than psychology and “willpower.” They quickly created challenges for behavior-change-focused businesses, whether dieting platforms, gyms, or wellness resorts. A big driver of the wellness market has always been weight loss, once more explicitly, and now more tacitly, as it became a dirty word after hard-fought body positivity gains. The new “magic pricks” quickly ripped open the weight loss Pandora’s box, and their impact on the world and wellness world will only become more intense in 2024. The number of people taking them has skyrocketed, resulting in ongoing global shortages. At least 70 new drugs are in development, with new, cheaper, very effective ones like Zepbound hitting the market this year.

With people clamoring for the drugs, the trend covers how more wellness/health companies quickly pivoted to the (profitable) path of prescribing them, whether direct-to-consumer telemedicine brands like Ro or Found, or weight-loss platforms like WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and Noom. There is so much debate around the drugs and the companies making such moves. Proponents argue they could end the global obesity epidemic and save millions of lives; critics question their long-term health impacts, how they reinforce discriminatory ideals that “thin equals healthy,” and that, while they’re super-effective, they cannot deliver holistic health: exercise, healthy food, mental wellness, are still needed.

In 2024, we predict the wellness world will start to interrogate how it could actually provide (not in name only) more honest, fully integrative, whole-health weight-loss approaches (spanning everything from nutrition coaching to fitness to mental health services to advanced metabolic health analysis), while also creating specific “wellness companion” programs for the drug-takers. The future: evidence-based methods that could help get people off these “forever” drugs and that specifically improve their health while on them.


Global Sports Hospitality
7. Sports Finds Its Footing in Hospitality

After decades of fitness meaning lonely solo sessions at the gym, more people globally are embracing social, empowering sports (see: the pickleball explosion)—and more people want to train like near-elite athletes. At the same time, pro, collegiate, and even competitive junior athletes, constantly traveling to compete, have sorely lacked hospitality destinations that deliver wellness, recovery treatments and state-of-the-art gym equipment. It’s strange how much “sports” has been left out of the hospitality equation, but that’s now changing. Hospitality destinations are answering the call with everything from pro trainers to pro-level facilities—and if the global sports hospitality market was last valued at $4.75 billion, we think it will boom.

More high-end wellness destinations are catering to recreational athletes who are serious about their sport, letting guests train and learn from their sports idols. Body Holiday in St. Lucia now features nine sports-themed months, led by pro athletes like NFL star Randy Moss and Olympians like Daley Thompson, Alix Klineman and Angie Akers, to let people up their running, swimming, and crewing game. In 2024, Aman Resorts is unveiling fitness, performance and recovery retreats led by five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova.

New hospitality brands are squarely aimed at elite athletes, offering nth-degree wellness, fitness and recovery programming. Equinox Hotels plans 33 properties, and will next open in Saudi Arabia’s extraordinary Amaala wellness destination, with a pro-level gym, personal trainers, brain-stimulating tech to boost performance, and the full recovery menu, from cryo chambers to on-demand IV drips. Siro, a mind-blowing fitness and recovery hotel concept, opening its first property SIRO One Za’abeel next month in Dubai, optimizes everything (from rooms to food) for athletes of all levels, but is especially aimed at pros—from its vast gym designed by Olympic athletes to its incredible Recovery Lab.

Sports tourism (people traveling to watch events) is a massive market, but more destinations are moving people from spectators to sports participants. The 2024 Paris Olympics will host a pre-Games marathon for regular folks so they can experience the thrill of the course. This summer’s Tour de France will, for the first time, open up new cycling routes near the course, so biking enthusiasts can jump in. Hospitality groups are thinking beyond “training like an athlete” and actually organizing competitive play: swimmers, runners, and tennis and pickleball players really want to compete with people at their level. So, in 2024, add a new category to the tourism lexicon: sports-meets-wellness travel.


The Home As Highest Tech Health Hub
8. The Home as Highest-Tech-Health-Hub

Wellness-focused homes have been a megatrend for years, with a big focus on amenities like meditation rooms and cold plunge pools. Now homes, and even cities, are becoming highest-tech, multifaceted health hubs. The shift is unprecedented, involving everything from the rise of medical-grade home health-monitoring systems to smart furnishings that adjust in real-time to individual wellbeing needs. In a post-pandemic era marked by increased time spent at home, health-at-home is taking bold new directions.

The trend includes “Home Health Care,” where homes are becoming advanced “outpatient” care centers powered by digital health services—from fully-integrated telehealth to new health monitoring and diagnostic technology, reducing reliance on in-person interactions with practitioners. There is so much innovation in using M-health (mobile health) for home healthcare. For example, the just-released foneDX (from electronRX) uses existing smartphone sensors and a user interface app to measure a person’s critical heart and lung health right at home. In the next five years, 45% of healthcare services are expected to be delivered at home.

Cities are becoming high-tech health hubs. In Saudi Arabia’s hotly-anticipated new smart city NEOM (unfolding in 2025), the futuristic healthcare system Dr. NEOM continuously collects health data from the population and houses it in a “digital twin” file of every resident. With this wealth of information, the system can precisely customize health and wellness interventions, and even predict health issues before they occur. It’s the city-as-wearable.

Sensory-enhanced design is moving far beyond wellness concepts like feng shui and biophilic interiors. A new generation of textiles mean the very fabrics surrounding us at home will come alive as interactive interfaces. Companies like and Endel are creating personalized bio-soundscapes grounded in our real-time biometric and environmental data. Our homes will ultimately evolve into multifaceted ecosystems, merging advanced nanotechnology and empathetic architecture to create living spaces that capture our biometrics to create environments dynamically extending from our own psyches.

The home as high-tech health hub is a futuristic trend within the wellness real estate sector, the fastest-growing wellness market of all: now worth $398 billion and forecast to grow to $887.5 billion by 2027.


A New Multisensory, Immersive Art For Wellness
9. A New Multisensory, Immersive Art for Wellness

Art used to be a passive experience: you stare at a painting, or have lunch next to a sculpture garden. But no more. As newly tech-enabled artists—powered by innovations such as generative AI, projection mapping and spatial sound technologies—bring their craft to the mainstream, we’re entering an era of multi-sensory, wildly immersive art. Beyond a simple gaze, this next-gen art allows us to engage all of our senses and to participate, and is expressly designed to transform our mental wellbeing.

Museums, hotels and spas are incorporating more and more multisensory art experiences into their offerings and, in doing so, are prioritizing wellness as an integrated offering. Case in point: the Mandala Lab at the Rubin Museum in New York City combines video, scent, sculpture, and sound based on Buddhist principles into one holistic, spiritual exhibit. At the Termemilano spa in Milan, Italy, a video skyscape of stormy skies surrounds a hydro pool, creating an unmatched moody vibe. Six Senses resorts are creating multisensory somatic experiences, like bio-alchemy sculptures infused with scents, flotation experiences suffused with ocean sounds, or geodesic domes with vibroacoustic floors.

Multisensory, immersive art is becoming incredibly widespread in public places. From installations that dot cityscapes to AI-driven art in hospitals that utilize facial screening software to deliver audio-visuals based on your emotions. In the future, as adoption of wearable technologies becomes widespread, generative artworks will become even more hyper-personalized, participatory and therapeutically effective. Adaptive art will continue to take hold and push the boundaries of what sensory immersion and art-as-wellness can mean.


Under The Radar
10. Under the Radar

At each annual Global Wellness Summit, delegates from around the world gather for four days of top-level insights. Because of its global nature and collection of diverse thought-leaders from the health and wellness world, it’s an incubator of new ideas. Many of these new ideas were the springboard for trends in this report, but GWS Chair and CEO Susie Ellis always notes interesting new directions also discussed that might be under the radar now but have the potential to become trends. This year, for the first time, Susie shares some of her emerging themes to watch.

One key theme was for the wellness world to work harder at destigmatizing mental health issues and at creating new solutions, given the skyrocketing global rates of mental unwellness. Simone Biles’ keynote framed this huge issue, chronicling how mental struggles necessitated her withdrawal from the 2020 Olympics, and calling for a world where you could wear a “helmet on your head” to safely signal mental issues just as a cast does for a broken leg. The need for more mental wellness solutions percolated across the Summit. Amy McDonald (CEO, Under a Tree Consultancy) argued that with teens worldwide struggling mightily with mental health, we must lower age limits at wellness centers and spas, so they can benefit from evidence-based healing treatments, and properties like Qatar’s Zulal Wellness Resort have already risen to the occasion. There were very new ideas, such as Anjan Chattergee, MD, professor of neurology, University of Pennsylvania’s research into “slow looking,” how looking at an art piece for 15 minutes (rather than a few seconds) results in eye-opening impact on the brain.

Another mega theme: governments embracing more innovative, powerful wellness policies. “Un-GDP” was discussed, with more governments moving beyond money-focused—in favor of quality-of-life—metrics to gauge national wellbeing. Through world-leading health/wellness policies, Singapore has dramatically improved its citizens’ health and longevity, which is why it was just named the sixth Blue Zone. This marks a new future of “Blue Zones 2.0,” where communities actively engineer environments that make it “natural” to make healthy choices. Keynote speaker Sophie Howe, the first Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, explained the crucial role policy must play in protecting the lives and health of those who will be born 50 years from now. Deborah Birx, MD, introduced the concept of “wellness diplomacy,” which could bring a divisive world together to collaborate on prevention.

As for other things to watch? Purchase the full report HERE 

Discover more about the Global Wellness Summit HERE
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