If there’s one thing to be said about life as a wellness reporter, it’s that boredom is not part of the job description. Team Well+Good spends hours each month trying new fitness trends, testing new technology, and vetting woo-woo wellness practitioners—and as you can imagine, some of the opportunities that cross our desks are more out-there than others.
As 2019 winds down, we’re looking back on some of the most out-there products, experiences, and fitness trends we tried this year. Not all of them got our seal of approval—let’s just say that you can probably take “get busy at a sex resort” off your bucket list—but we did take something away from every oddball experience. Keep reading to find out which weird wellness activities you might want to add to your 2020 itinerary, and which ones you can confidently skip.
Beauty and fitness editor Rachel Lapidos braved a HIIT class wearing Acabada’s CBD-infused leggings and sports bra, in hopes that they’d help ward off post-workout soreness. While one osteopathic doctor claims the concept may not be as bonkers as it sounds, our intrepid reporter says she didn’t notice much of a difference in her recovery.
When she heard that dabbing one’s own vaginal secretions behind their ears may help make them more attractive to others—let’s hear it for pheromones!—contributing writer Gabrielle Kassel decided to try it for herself. Of course, there’s no research confirming that this practice actually gets results, but Kassel’s very non-scientific test-run did bring a few unexpected flirtations her way.
One-legged down-dogs and camel pose are tricky enough to master on the mat, so imagine trying to nail these yoga poses atop a horse. What the Wellness? host Ella Dove did exactly this during a trip to Malibu’s Shakti Ranch, and although there were some wobbly moments, she walked away feeling totally connected and strong. “Of all the things I’ve done on this show, this was the most rewarding,” she says.
During a trip to the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, I had a session with the property’s resident toe reader. (Think palm reading, but focusing on your feet.) I walked in with low expectations, but to my surprise, I found her assessment to be eerily spot-on. I also learned some cool cocktail-party trivia—like, did you know people with long second toes are thought to be extra creative?
Fun fact: People who have sex four times a week look approximately 10 years younger than those who don’t. With this in mind, beauty and fitness editor Zoe Weiner volunteered to spend some extra QT with her vibrator and track how it impacted her complexion. She wasn’t convinced that her experiment had a lasting impact—but either way, any time spent in the O-zone is time well spent.
It “breathes,” it plays lullabies, it comes with its own birth certificate. But the main thing you need to know about the Somnox Sleep Robot is that it helped lifestyle writer Mary Grace Garis get three weeks of ultra-refreshing sleep. She was also a fan of the robot’s snuggle factor, since cuddling something—even a non-sentient object, apparently—gives you an automatic hit of oxytocin, a hormone that gives you warm and fuzzy feels.
Could boredom be an unexpected route to brilliance? A growing number of experts seem to think so, which is why news writer Kells McPhillips decided to schedule “DO NOTHING” appointments into her Google Cal for five straight days. By the end of the week, she was pulling short-story ideas and article pitches out of thin air, proving that staring into space might be the best productivity hack of them all.
Let’s just put it out there: Contributing writer Gabrielle Kassel didn’t get laid during her trip to Hedonism II in Negril, Jamaica. In fact, she had absolutely zero desire to do so, and research shows that’s totally normal when one is overloaded by sexual imagery. But she did witness lots of other people doing the deed, proving that some people actually do find sex resorts to be a turn-on.
“Rainbow crystal light therapy” may sound like the name of an EDM band, but as What the Wellness? host Ella Dove found out, it’s actually a supremely woo-woo energy healing experience. After a meditation and Reiki session atop an amethyst bed—with a bunch of other mystical modalities in the mix—Dove reports that she felt deeply relaxed and present. Mission, accomplished.
Research shows that breaking a sweat is a great way of bonding with others, so speed-dating workouts aren’t the strangest fitness trends. But in reality, beauty and fitness editor Zoe Weiner found it awkward to flirt while also focusing on crunches and treadmill sprints. The night wasn’t a total bust, however: She did leave with one of her workout buddies’ digits, which is more than I can say for my last few dating-app swipe sessions.
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