The Top Wellness Trends of the Last Decade and Which Ones We Still Love


The 2010s can be summarized in fashion styles (athleisure and “mom jeans” ruled), pop culture moments (#MeToo, true crime, Lady Gaga’s meat dress), and wellness trends. My head is still spinning from all the diets, and my bank account and I are still in a fight after I spent most of my money on “self-care” in 2016. Some trends are better left in the past, and some changed our health for the better. Here are the top wellness trends of the last decade, and what we’re bringing into 2020.


1. The raw food diet

Raw food (or food never heated above 104-118 degrees) became a thing (Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen famously ate an 80-percent raw diet, so if Gisele’s doing it, we’re all doing it). While it certainly helped increase plant intake, it didn’t exactly have lasting potential. Just because food is raw does not necessarily mean it’s healthier. Some foods are more nutritious when cooked (like tomatoes and asparagus), and raw vegetables may be irritating or damaging for some digestive systems.


What We’re Doing in 2020


Can we just get rid of diet “rules” already!? Instead of limiting ourselves to one way of preparing meals, we’re simply focusing on eating more fruits and vegetables (raw or cooked). You may feel better after a warm stew or a raw salad, but only you can figure out what’s best for you.


Source: Pinch of Yum


2. CBD

By now, you’ve probably heard of CBD, or cannabidiol, which is a byproduct of the cannabis plant. CBD turned mainstream a couple of years ago as the buzz-worthy ingredient in select oils, creams, and drops taken orally for sleep or anxiety relief. Now, CBD can be found in everything from your mascara to chocolate bars.


What We’re Doing in 2020


Love it or hate it, this trend is not going anywhere in the next decade (and full disclosure, we love it). A recent study predicted that the CBD-industry could make $16 billion by 2025 (that’s a lot of gummy bears!). You can use CBD to help your period, ease your anxiety, up your beauty game, and improve your wellness routine.


3. Self-care

The 2010s had us buying bath bombs, lighting scented soy candles, and investing in beauty treatments. While the push for self-care promoted important and even revolutionary ideas in body-positivity and health, the whole purpose of caring for oneself got lost while keeping up with the trends. For some of us, “self-care” not only drained our bank accounts and overcrowded our to-do lists, but it became a cop-out for self-love.


What We’re Doing in 2020


Instead of focusing on what self-care is supposed to look like (spa days, hot yoga, and green juices, anyone?), we’re caring for ourselves, whatever that looks like to us.



4. Kale and other “superfoods”

Let’s be real: kale took over our lives. The leafy, green vegetable reached superstar status in the early 2010s as people became more interested in healthy eating (Bon Appétit magazine even named 2012 the year of kale). If vegetables were celebrities, kale would be Beyoncé (and it kind of was; remember when she wore a “Kale” sweatshirt in a music video?). Soon after the kale craze, avocados became the latest obsession of millennials, reaching stardom so huge that entire Instagram-famous restaurants were dedicated to it.


What We’re Doing in 2020


While the popularity of specific superfoods turned healthy eating into a pop culture phenomenon, 2020 is more about variety. Instead of focusing on the latest food millennials are smearing on toast, focus on adding a wider range of fruits and vegetables to your plate. We’ll be challenging ourselves to incorporate new vegetables that we have yet to try (and that Beyoncé never wore on a sweatshirt), and aiming for multiple colors of fresh produce at every meal.


5. Weight training

The glory days of jazzercise and leotard-clad aerobics were nowhere in sight this decade (I wasn’t alive then, but boy do I miss the ’80s). With the birth of popular gyms like CrossFit and fitness influencers like Kayla Itsines taking over Instagram (don’t forget that “belfies” became a thing!), strong and sculpted was in.


What We’re Doing in 2020


Exercise preference should always be individual. Maybe you get excited about early morning jogs, or maybe you’re a dedicated yogi, but no matter what, make sure your workouts are something you look forward to. 2020 fitness trends will be about perfecting form instead of focusing on length and calorie burn.



6. Nut milks

Was it just me, or did everyone you know break up with dairy milk? In the 2000s, non-dairy alternatives were pretty rare (and typically limited to controversial soy), but the rise of both animal rights movements and plant-based eating changed all of that. Pretty soon, bloggers were Instagramming their almond milk lattes and making queso cheese out of cashews.


What We’re Doing in 2020


Non-dairy alternatives are not only getting more popular (the industry is expected to reach $38 billion by 2024), but they’re becoming more inclusive to nut allergies. Almond and cashew milk had their time to shine, but now oat milk is taking center stage. Expect even more oat milk and other nut-free dairy alternatives in the ice cream aisle at Trader Joe’s, in your cereal, and oh yeah, at your local Starbucks.



7. Vaginal steaming

OK, so maybe this wasn’t necessarily a trend taking over your life, but I would be remiss if I didn’t include just one tidbit from my girl, Gwyneth Paltrow. In 2015, GP made headlines by sharing her experience with vaginal steaming on her wellness website, Goop. Soon after, “vaginal self-care” took off with vagina facials and vaginal jade eggs. Haters gonna hate, but leave it to Gwyn to make even the most shocking of wellness trends take off.


What We’re Doing in 2020


After centuries of women having to be “polite” and quiet about sexual health (side rant: I did not learn that females could even have orgasms in sex education), more of this openness, please! Let’s all feel more comfortable talking about our bodies, and exploring our sexual health however we want to. However, paying $$ for a strange treatment that may or may not cause severe burns is not necessarily the way you need to celebrate your sexual health. In this decade, let’s be more open about our sexual health, and maybe talk to a doc before inserting anything unregulated into the body.


8. Crystals

They’re in your water bottles, rolled onto your face, and set on your bedside table (for good vibes, of course). If you thought crystals were just a trendy piece of home decor or hippy nonsense, think again. Over the past four years, there has been a 40-percent increase in Google searches for “crystal healing.” The ancient healing practice has become a wellness phenomenon, promising a variety of benefits from attracting love to healing physical symptoms.


What We’re Doing in 2020


Whether you surpass Spencer Pratt’s dedication to the healing powers of crystals or think they’re just a fad, you can always be giving yourself a little more love and care. If crystals help you feel centered, safe, or healed, keep on keeping on. If they don’t, spend this year finding something that does.


Source: @kayla_seah


9. The keto diet

If the 2000s were the decade of low-fat, the 2010s were the decade of healthy fats (hello, avocados!). After a long wave of “anti-fat” trends centered around the belief that food fat causes body fat (i.e. skim milk, fat-free foods), the controversial ketogenic diet came in strong with a high-fat and low-carb plan promising to do everything from losing weight to boosting heart health.


What We’re Doing in 2020


No matter what diet you are or are not on, this year we’re getting rid of the anxiety around eating fats once and for all. Say it with me now: healthy fats do not necessarily result in body fat (but also who cares!? Avocados and olive oil are packed with so many great nutrients for your body).

There’s a lot of disagreement around percentages of macronutrients, but the truth is that it’s different for every body. If you notice a lot of energy after eating carbs, add quinoa and sweet potatoes to your salad. If fats make your body feel good (you millennials know what to do), smear that avocado on toast and enjoy every bite guilt-free.


Source: @jahirka


10. Therapy is mainstream

And now, perhaps the biggest win of the 2010s (besides a record number of women being elected into congress): therapy is no longer hush-hush, risque, or stigmatized. Therapy is becoming more and more commonly talked about, and mental health has been brought to light more in the past few years than it has in centuries. Seeking help is finally becoming acknowledged as a strength, not a weakness.


What We’re Doing in 2020


This year, we’re vowing to be even more open with our loved ones, coworkers, and ourselves about our emotional needs. We’re prioritizing mental health over absolutely every other pillar of life, and fostering a community of people who listen and support us, whether that includes therapists, our moms, significant others, or our dogs.


What’s the craziest trend you tried in the 2010s?