Cold-press juices, hot yoga, quitting sugar, Paleo, mindfulness … if you embrace these things you will be happy, you will be well – just ask Instagram. From celebrity vegan chefs to sleep gurus, there is no shortage of people trying to sell us the wellness dream. Wellness has become a billion-dollar industry. But what does wellness even mean? Does any of this stuff actually work? Is there any science behind it?
Feeling exhausted and a bit stressed and flabby, journalist Brigid Delaney decides to find out – using herself as the guinea pig. Starting with a brutal 101-day fast, Brigid tests the things that are meant to make us well – yoga classes, colonics, mediation, CBT, Balinese healing, silent retreats and group psychotherapy, and sorts through what works and what is just expensive hype. She asks: what does this obsession say about us? Is total wellness possible, or even desirable? Where’s the fun in it all? And why do you smell so bad when you haven’t eaten in seven days?
Wellmania is an in-depth, entertaining, laugh-out-loud-funny exploration of one of the most fascinating trends in our culture. Her columns on the wellness industry for the Guardian have gone viral, with more than 100,000 page views in the UK, Australia and the US.