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Health Club Management

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Health Club Management

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News

Melisse Gelula: COVID-19 has helped wellness lose its stigma

The Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) latest Q&A with experts on wellness in the age of COVID-19 saw VP of research and forecasting, Beth McGroarty, talk with entrepreneur Melisse Gelula, who previously co-founded wellness media company, Well+Good, and now helps advise and scale mission-driven wellness companies, from tech to beauty and more.

A GWI board member, Gelula spoke about how COVID-19 has reshaped the concept of wellness, which wellness markets will grow fastest and what successful wellness brands of the future will look like.

Spa Business has rounded up key points from the interview before the GWI unveils the full version.

COVID-19’s effect on wellness

“Pre-COVID-19, wellness was increasingly associated with very consumer-y trends,” began Gelula, “the US$17 organic salads, US$60 collagen supplements, and the US$150 leggings. It was increasingly seen as being a very elitist and privileged industry.”

She believes that when the pandemic hit, people desperately needed things in their everyday lives to help fortify health, sanity, communities, and homes.

In her opinion, this helped wellness lose some of its stigma, as people began rushing to proven, beneficial wellness practices that cost little or nothing, such as meditation or getting out in nature and walking.

Gelula illustrated this with data from Pinterest collected between February and May 2020, which recorded an upsurge in searches around mental wellness concepts, with meditation up 44 per cent, gratitude up 60 per cent and positivity up 42 per cent.

She explained that this was due to the pandemic causing people to adopt self-care and wellbeing practices as a coping strategy for the new normal.

What wellness categories will grow fast and matter most in future? Gelula advises a number of wellness start-ups and has experience in how investment and marketing are changing. Using this insight, she proposes that mental health and wellness will be the biggest future need and opportunity.

With US depression rates tripling during the pandemic, she highlighted that the US is in the middle of a widespread mental health crisis and that it's crucial mental wellness tools are made affordable and widely accessible, not a luxury.

“Mental health is simply the most bewildering, overlooked area in healthcare. There’s so much to say, to rethink, and to invent around mental health and wellness – I believe it's the most important space in wellness.”

She predicts that digital could be the most affordable and effective way to democratically provide mental health support, with numerous social media brands already kicking off initiatives, such as Snapchat, which has launched mental wellness tools and content and partnered with Headspace to deliver meditation and mindfulness.

“It’s interesting and telling that even social media platforms are now grabbing the mental wellness wheel,” she told McGroarty, “as these moves are helping them reach the loneliest, most depressed and anxious generation: the young.”

Gelula anticipates that well known mainstream companies will soon follow suit and roll out new products that make mental health/wellness more accessible in the next six months.

Success in the new wellness market

Looking ahead, Gelula feels that due to COVID-19 the brands that solve real problems will succeed.

“The future of the wellness market is a new kind of problem-solving: More solutions-minded wellness businesses that can reach far more people,” she explained, “we’ll see the arrival of more companies and products that are really essential services – whether in mental wellness, in work solutions, in healthy food."

In her opinion, the market is in the midst of a transitional moment with the potential for more companies to move from a narrow profit-focused model to a human-focused model in business.

“Companies that can roll with this will be the ones consumers believe in and buy from and that employees commit to. It means showing empathy and really relating to the needs and pain-points of your customers (and employees).

“It’s a 'get real' moment, and all of a sudden, there is more discussion, innovation and investment in what were once stigmatised categories.

“For instance, in the healthcare tech space, I’m working with a brand focusing on unmet maternal health needs (and the high maternal death rate in the US, especially for women of colour) by connecting women 24/7 via text to nurses, midwives and doulas, and which also has a miscarriage community for women to talk about this painful topic openly.”

In addition, Gelula feels success will also rely on wellness companies making sure their experiences and brands are highly inclusive, whether for people of colour, ageing people or LGBTQ consumers.

“It’s unacceptable not to take a stance on diversity now,” she said, “those seen as failing on this will increasingly receive blowback. People – especially young generations – are savvy and get turned off by tone-deafness or lack of real acknowledgement of Black Lives Matter by companies.”

To read the whole interview and understand why Gelula believes workplace wellness is now the make or break point of all businesses, visit the GWI website later this week.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) latest Q&A with experts on wellness in the age of COVID-19 saw VP of research and forecasting, Beth McGroarty, talk with entrepreneur Melisse Gelula, who previously co-founded wellness media company, Well+Good, and now helps advise and scale mission- driven wellness companies, from tech to beauty and more.
WHM,SAB,CPW,CAS,PHR
2020/THUMB346264_887401_349814.jpg
Latest News
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COVID-19 is driving huge consumer interest in health, creating the opportunity for operators (with the right kit) to offer body scanning and analysis. We look at some of the top options
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feature
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A new study suggests that exercise leads to elevated galanin levels – which in turn helps the brain’s stress response, giving more resilience. Tom Walker reports
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Sponsored briefing
Welcome to the world of creative fitness, where exercise and fun merge to change the way we train. Technogym is here to inspire you to offer members the best workouts and experience, making sure they have a great time
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Gym operators in the UK can now open on the high street, without planning permission, thanks to changes in legislation. What impact will this have on the industry? Kath Hudson reports
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As the physical activity and sports sector unites to fight its corner in making a case for government investment, Sport England has commissioned a research study to prove the economic value of activity, giving weight to the argument. Tom Walker reports
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Five months after the start of lockdown, Leisure-net did a survey to gauge how public sector operators and industry suppliers are faring
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We have a very mixed demographic, which is something people said would never happen. Someone who earns a minimum wage can be training and socialising alongside a billionaire
People
The future of our industry is as a ‘national health service’ – we can’t dance around these conversations – if we’re serious about being closer to health agencies, that needs change and commitment
People
People in Club V trust me and I want to do the best for them and help them progress
Opinion
promotion
In a post-Covid world, member experience is more important than ever before. Your customers’ expectations have been heightened as the coronavirus continues to dominate our everyday lives.
Opinion: Why member experience is more important now than ever before
Opinion
promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass sees success after pivoting to digital
As the COVID-19 lockdown forced the temporary closure of businesses across the country, the outlook for companies supplying services to corporate partners looked precarious.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Premier Software Solutions offers scalable software for single or multi-site businesses
Premier Software Solutions' flagship business management system, Core by Premier Software, is the leading single and multi-site solution designed specifically for the spa, wellness and leisure industries.
Video Gallery
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Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment Read more
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
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News

Melisse Gelula: COVID-19 has helped wellness lose its stigma

The Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) latest Q&A with experts on wellness in the age of COVID-19 saw VP of research and forecasting, Beth McGroarty, talk with entrepreneur Melisse Gelula, who previously co-founded wellness media company, Well+Good, and now helps advise and scale mission-driven wellness companies, from tech to beauty and more.

A GWI board member, Gelula spoke about how COVID-19 has reshaped the concept of wellness, which wellness markets will grow fastest and what successful wellness brands of the future will look like.

Spa Business has rounded up key points from the interview before the GWI unveils the full version.

COVID-19’s effect on wellness

“Pre-COVID-19, wellness was increasingly associated with very consumer-y trends,” began Gelula, “the US$17 organic salads, US$60 collagen supplements, and the US$150 leggings. It was increasingly seen as being a very elitist and privileged industry.”

She believes that when the pandemic hit, people desperately needed things in their everyday lives to help fortify health, sanity, communities, and homes.

In her opinion, this helped wellness lose some of its stigma, as people began rushing to proven, beneficial wellness practices that cost little or nothing, such as meditation or getting out in nature and walking.

Gelula illustrated this with data from Pinterest collected between February and May 2020, which recorded an upsurge in searches around mental wellness concepts, with meditation up 44 per cent, gratitude up 60 per cent and positivity up 42 per cent.

She explained that this was due to the pandemic causing people to adopt self-care and wellbeing practices as a coping strategy for the new normal.

What wellness categories will grow fast and matter most in future? Gelula advises a number of wellness start-ups and has experience in how investment and marketing are changing. Using this insight, she proposes that mental health and wellness will be the biggest future need and opportunity.

With US depression rates tripling during the pandemic, she highlighted that the US is in the middle of a widespread mental health crisis and that it's crucial mental wellness tools are made affordable and widely accessible, not a luxury.

“Mental health is simply the most bewildering, overlooked area in healthcare. There’s so much to say, to rethink, and to invent around mental health and wellness – I believe it's the most important space in wellness.”

She predicts that digital could be the most affordable and effective way to democratically provide mental health support, with numerous social media brands already kicking off initiatives, such as Snapchat, which has launched mental wellness tools and content and partnered with Headspace to deliver meditation and mindfulness.

“It’s interesting and telling that even social media platforms are now grabbing the mental wellness wheel,” she told McGroarty, “as these moves are helping them reach the loneliest, most depressed and anxious generation: the young.”

Gelula anticipates that well known mainstream companies will soon follow suit and roll out new products that make mental health/wellness more accessible in the next six months.

Success in the new wellness market

Looking ahead, Gelula feels that due to COVID-19 the brands that solve real problems will succeed.

“The future of the wellness market is a new kind of problem-solving: More solutions-minded wellness businesses that can reach far more people,” she explained, “we’ll see the arrival of more companies and products that are really essential services – whether in mental wellness, in work solutions, in healthy food."

In her opinion, the market is in the midst of a transitional moment with the potential for more companies to move from a narrow profit-focused model to a human-focused model in business.

“Companies that can roll with this will be the ones consumers believe in and buy from and that employees commit to. It means showing empathy and really relating to the needs and pain-points of your customers (and employees).

“It’s a 'get real' moment, and all of a sudden, there is more discussion, innovation and investment in what were once stigmatised categories.

“For instance, in the healthcare tech space, I’m working with a brand focusing on unmet maternal health needs (and the high maternal death rate in the US, especially for women of colour) by connecting women 24/7 via text to nurses, midwives and doulas, and which also has a miscarriage community for women to talk about this painful topic openly.”

In addition, Gelula feels success will also rely on wellness companies making sure their experiences and brands are highly inclusive, whether for people of colour, ageing people or LGBTQ consumers.

“It’s unacceptable not to take a stance on diversity now,” she said, “those seen as failing on this will increasingly receive blowback. People – especially young generations – are savvy and get turned off by tone-deafness or lack of real acknowledgement of Black Lives Matter by companies.”

To read the whole interview and understand why Gelula believes workplace wellness is now the make or break point of all businesses, visit the GWI website later this week.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) latest Q&A with experts on wellness in the age of COVID-19 saw VP of research and forecasting, Beth McGroarty, talk with entrepreneur Melisse Gelula, who previously co-founded wellness media company, Well+Good, and now helps advise and scale mission- driven wellness companies, from tech to beauty and more.
WHM,SAB,CPW,CAS,PHR
2020/THUMB346264_887401_349814.jpg

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Persistent and rising levels of lifestyle disease across the world have exacerbated the effects of
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In breaking news, HCM understands the UK government has removed gyms and fitness facilities from
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Features
Body scanning
COVID-19 is driving huge consumer interest in health, creating the opportunity for operators (with the right kit) to offer body scanning and analysis. We look at some of the top options
Features
feature
As the fitness industry grapples with the challenge of optimising digital, Volution’s Adam Norton shares his vision for a customised data-centric approach that will lead operators into a new era of success
Features
Research
A new study suggests that exercise leads to elevated galanin levels – which in turn helps the brain’s stress response, giving more resilience. Tom Walker reports
Features
Sponsored briefing
Welcome to the world of creative fitness, where exercise and fun merge to change the way we train. Technogym is here to inspire you to offer members the best workouts and experience, making sure they have a great time
Features
Talking point
Gym operators in the UK can now open on the high street, without planning permission, thanks to changes in legislation. What impact will this have on the industry? Kath Hudson reports
Features
Insight
As the physical activity and sports sector unites to fight its corner in making a case for government investment, Sport England has commissioned a research study to prove the economic value of activity, giving weight to the argument. Tom Walker reports
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Five months after the start of lockdown, Leisure-net did a survey to gauge how public sector operators and industry suppliers are faring
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We have a very mixed demographic, which is something people said would never happen. Someone who earns a minimum wage can be training and socialising alongside a billionaire
People
The future of our industry is as a ‘national health service’ – we can’t dance around these conversations – if we’re serious about being closer to health agencies, that needs change and commitment
People
People in Club V trust me and I want to do the best for them and help them progress
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Member confidence is the single most important factor, and I say – without doing so lightly – that our cleanliness standards, protocols and marketing are the best I’ve seen in the industry
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Luca Maggiora

Co-founder, House of Wisdom
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Opinion
promotion
In a post-Covid world, member experience is more important than ever before. Your customers’ expectations have been heightened as the coronavirus continues to dominate our everyday lives.
Opinion: Why member experience is more important now than ever before
Opinion
promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass sees success after pivoting to digital
As the COVID-19 lockdown forced the temporary closure of businesses across the country, the outlook for companies supplying services to corporate partners looked precarious.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Premier Software Solutions offers scalable software for single or multi-site businesses
Premier Software Solutions' flagship business management system, Core by Premier Software, is the leading single and multi-site solution designed specifically for the spa, wellness and leisure industries.
Video Gallery
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment
Core Health & Fitness
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Life Fitness
Through our Life Fitness Solutions Partners, we can deliver design and build services, finance solutions, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Les Mills UK
Committed to creating a fitter planet, Les Mills UK works with clubs and instructors to ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
12 Nov 2020
Virtual, United States
Diary dates
17 Nov 2020
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
08-09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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