Wellness Through Empathy: The Key to Authentic Self-Care

By Juan Fajardo Juan Fajardo has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on March 22, 2024

Wellness isn’t just a trendy buzzword these days, it’s a full-blown lifestyle movement that’s taken our society by storm over the past years. People are waking up to the fact that good health goes way beyond just diet and exercise. This shift is reflected everywhere you look, be it in the plant-based menus at trendy restaurants, the endless wellness content on social media, news segments devoted to self-care, or the meditation rooms at your workplace.

This cultural shift has resulted in a massive demand that a plethora of brands and companies are happy to cater to by offering products and services that promote health and wellness. Many of these brands truly believe in their mission to help others achieve the best version of themselves, while others… not so much. As the $5.6 trillion wellness industry has exploded, it’s also invited plenty of opportunists simply looking to cash in on this lucrative market.

The harsh reality is that for every authentic yoga studio or veggie smoothie truck, there’s a weight loss tea making bogus claims or an amateur “life coach” selling overpriced online courses. Separating the wheat from the chaff in this oversaturated wellness space has become increasingly difficult for consumers. 

On the other hand, the proliferation of wellness brands means even the authentic ones need to put much more effort into distinguishing from the competition. This means making bigger claims, capitalizing on people’s insecurities and aspirations, and perpetuating unrealistic standards of health and beauty. 

This is paradoxical for an industry that is supposed to be all about self-care. Instead of fostering the genuine empathy and understanding that many people need to grow, these brands leave consumers feeling inadequate and perpetually striving for an elusive goal. Individual progress and achievement are no longer enough for brands that are too scared of losing their customers.

To keep their clients coming back, many brands have moved away from celebrating individual progress and achievements, moving their narrow goal of “success” over time. “This is what you should strive for” has become one of the most toxic messages peddled by the modern wellness industry.

This approach not only creates unnecessary pressure and anxiety but also fails to acknowledge the diverse experiences and challenges faced by individuals on their journey. It reinforces harmful notions and looks at the importance of acceptance, transforming wellness into an aspect of life many would rather avoid.

In contrast, brands that prioritize empathy and authenticity are gaining traction among consumers who crave genuine connection and support. Such brands recognize that true wellness is about much more than complying with a program or achieving a standardized goal. By focusing on the individual, they are creating inclusive and supportive communities where individuals feel seen, heard, and valued for who they are.

Feeling this way often leads to the realization that wellness and self-care are all about loving yourself and, just like you would do for a friend, extending compassion, patience, and acceptance towards yourself. Of course, this also means doing what is better for you, even when it’s difficult.

These brands encourage individuals to embrace their imperfections and embrace the process of learning and growth have all one thing in common: empathy. THE FIFTH Group founder Jess Markwood, She Matters CEO Jade Kearney, and Advanced eClinical co-founders Shabnam and Shaghayegh share the belief that empathy should be the north star for all health and wellness brands.

They explained why they hold empathy in such high regard during the “Creating Empathetic Brand Experiences in Health and Wellness” panel discussion moderated by seasoned writer and tech journalist John Biggs. If you couldn’t attend this year’s edition of The Lively & Grit Daily House at SXSW — or just would like to watch the panel again — you can do so in the video below.

By Juan Fajardo Juan Fajardo has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Juan Fajardo is a News Desk Editor at Grit Daily. He is a software developer, tech and blockchain enthusiast, and writer, areas in which he has contributed to several projects. A jack of all trades, he was born in Bogota, Colombia but currently lives in Argentina after having traveled extensively. Always with a new interest in mind and a passion for entrepreneurship, Juan is a news desk editor at Grit Daily where it covers everything related to the startup world.

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