Hooked on Wellness: Is Our Obsession With Health Becoming Unhealthy?

Photo: Macmillan / Rina Raphael / W+G Creative
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At its core, the world of wellness promises at least one thing to its devotees: control. Control over our minds, our bodies, and our general well-being. But does it always deliver?

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the world's fixation has reached new heights as the wellness economy value soared to a whopping $4.4 trillion. Is that really such a problem, though? Since when did a desire to better yourself become a bad thing?

In this week’s episode of The Well+Good Podcast, host Taylor Camille discusses obsessions with health—and the unhealthy side of the wellness industry—with guest Rina Raphael, author of The Gospel of Wellness.

Listen to the full episode here:

Experts In This Article

In the quest to live longer, happier, healthier lives, we're compelled to take our health into our own hands. But such ambition can turn into an unhealthy fixation, especially in the age of the internet, where every social media influencer seems to be hawking a supplement brand.

“So much of this industry is based on hope,” says Raphael. “It’s a lot of people buying something because they want to believe, like I said, in a quick fix, but also just in the promise of a future that’s free of sickness, stress, aging, whatever. Just because something worked for an influencer doesn't mean it'll work for you.”

Rina Raphael
Photo: Rina Raphael

“There's always going to be the next thing. You have to take a step back and be like, do I want to buy into this?”

—Rina Raphael, author of The Gospel of Wellness

With a sea of snake oils out there promising to make you live longer, look better, and feel amazing, getting wrapped up in the wellness machine is frustratingly easy. Raphael shares how to become a more mindful consumer by equipping yourself with a curious mindset and internet research skills that protect you from becoming an easy target.

“There's always going to be the next thing,” says Raphael. “You have to take a step back and be like, do I want to buy into this? What is this based on? And do I really need it? Or is it just a shiny extra that's just pulling me into the cult of self-improvement?”

To learn more about the wellness industry’s sneaky marketing tactics, listen to the full podcast episode here.

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