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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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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The Gym Group has taken its digital hybrid strategy full circle, piloting in-gym workout pods and studios with its home workout delivery partner, Fiit. HCM talks to the team driving the project
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Booming membership sales, busy suburban clubs and members visiting during the working day. Operators are reporting it’s good to be back. Kath Hudson finds out what business has been like since the re-set button was pressed
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We’re spending circa £800,000 a month on incremental COVID measures to ensure people feel comfortable, and that expectations aren’t just met, but are exceeded
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
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Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
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Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
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Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

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

News

A new high-end workspace, designed for the use of personal trainers, coaches and other health
VAT reform, adjustments in business rates and a fitness-led high street regeneration push could see
Peloton has completed the merging of its commercial operations with Precor, the equipment brand it
Half of UK adults aren't happy with their physical fitness levels, according to a study
Temporary measures brought in to support businesses in the UK from insolvency during the pandemic
Nadine Dorries has replaced Oliver Dowden as the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture
Innovatise UK Ltd
Innovatise UK Ltd
Uptivo is an all-in-one digital solution for fitness clubs, fitness boutique studios and personal trainers
In a major move against the gym market, Apple has revealed a number of upgrades
Physical activity professionals in England will soon be able to access free, one-to-one learning with
Fitness equipment giant Nautilus has acquired VAY, a firm specialising in AI and motion technology.
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David Lloyd Leisure (DLL) has reorganised its top team in order to expand its estate
Downtown Miami’s upcoming mixed-use development Legacy Hotel & Residences has signed a joint venture deal
Miha Bodytec GmbH
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Colin Waggett has revealed that the recent deal, which saw KSL Capital Partners acquire a
3d Leisure has acquired franchised studio operator Yourzone45 from Elms Fitness Group for an undisclosed
A new, one-day conference will create a platform for a debate on how the global
The Gym Group says it intends to exploit "the most favourable property market in its
New data from the ukactive Research Institute shows that for every 100,000 visits to UK
The basal metabolic rate at which a body burns calories peaks at a much earlier
FIBO Exhibition
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Rainer Schaller's RSG Group has set 20 September as the opening date for its first
Fitness is the world's most popular physical activity and more than 50 per cent of
Les Mills
Les Mills
1 - 20 of 12,023
HCM Magazine
Tokyo Olympics
GLL is best known for running leisure facilities on behalf of local authorities across the UK, but a lesser-known part of its remit is its GLL Sport Foundation which supports Olympic hopefuls. Liz Terry finds out more
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Andy Janes and Jamie Whisken explain the vision behind R1SE Bournemouth, and why Technogym was their choice of partner in delivering their unique fusion boutique
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Billed as the ‘2021 Experience Tour’, Egym has taken its connected gym floor experience on the road around the UK
HCM Magazine
Research
Changes to DNA which occur during exercise give protection against a wide range of diseases, according to new research from the Univesity of Copenhagen
HCM Magazine
Statistics
How have consumers responded to the end of lockdowns? Cesar Carvalho shares some bounceback numbers with HCM
HCM Magazine
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The Gym Group has taken its digital hybrid strategy full circle, piloting in-gym workout pods and studios with its home workout delivery partner, Fiit. HCM talks to the team driving the project
HCM Magazine
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Booming membership sales, busy suburban clubs and members visiting during the working day. Operators are reporting it’s good to be back. Kath Hudson finds out what business has been like since the re-set button was pressed
HCM Magazine
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We’re spending circa £800,000 a month on incremental COVID measures to ensure people feel comfortable, and that expectations aren’t just met, but are exceeded
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Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
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HCM people

David Beckham

Global partner, F45
This partnership with F45 is an exciting business venture for me
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HCM People

Colin Waggett

CEO, Third Space
We first started talking to KSL over two years ago, so this was not a rushed partnership
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Active IQ Skills Hub helps fitness professionals boost skills in post-Covid market
Suffice to say that the pandemic has completely changed the way fitness professionals work and the way consumers work out – and therein lies opportunity.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Uptivo: Individual and group heart rate tracking
Uptivo is an all-in-one digital solution for fitness clubs, fitness boutique studios and personal trainers that provides powerful tools to schedule activities, manage member payments, and monitor heart rate both for remote and on-site classes.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Crown Sports Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers has designed, crafted and fitted bespoke timber furniture for spas, hotels and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Mindbody
Mindbody is the leading technology platform for the wellness industry, featuring an app that allows ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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Les Mills International
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