TikTok creators are sharing more than their workout routines, they’re promoting these holistic wellness trends…
- Gen Z and Millennials look at wellness beyond physical health, and follow trends to maintain their mental and spiritual health as well
- Affirmations and meditation are the most popular spiritual wellness trends for young people on TikTok
- Gut health has become trendy for both physical and mental wellness, but some worry it’s a new iteration of diet culture
- #BookTok is also a space for mental health reads, where young people share the books that make them their best selves
These days, Gen Z and Millennials are interested in taking care of themselves and their wellness in ways that go far beyond fitness and healthy eating. After all, our What Is Wellness? trend report shows that these generations have created a definition of wellness that is no longer limited to their physical health, and working out is not the only way they want to stay healthy. In fact, the majority of 13-39-year-olds say that mental health is part of their definition of wellness, and roughly half say that mental health is the most important part of wellness. Their expansion of the idea of what wellness means and can include is, of course, being reflected in the trends they follow online.
When we asked 13-39-year-olds how they want the current definition of wellness to change, 38% say they want it to be more holistic, i.e. not just focusing on physical health. And we know that their presence on social media has a huge influence on their widening definition of wellness, as it is their top source for wellness information. TikTok is especially important to their #Wellness journey, as 34% of young people say they watch videos on social media to learn about wellness.
As they define wellness through physical, mental, social, and spiritual health, and exercising their brain, new trends emerge that connect with their different pillars of wellness. These are some of the popular trends on TikTok that are impacting their developing wellness routines:
#Manifestation: 19.7B views
When YPulse asked Gen Z and Millennials which wellness trends they were most interested in, their top response was meditation (40%), and 21% said manifesting. The #Manifestation on TikTok alone has 19.7 billion views, where videos encourage viewers to make their dreams come true through spiritual energy. TikTokers share the sounds and #Affirmations mantras they use so that all their viewers can achieve the results they did, and of course, follow for more. TikTokers have given young people a way to combine these interests, as some of the manifestation techniques include meditations, and the separate #Meditation has 4.2 billion views.
By far the most popular affirmation video, which originally is not under these hashtags, but ended up as a staple audio for them, is by @fitsara, who recommends trying the phrase: “I don’t chase. I attract. What belongs to me will simply find me.” The video has 6.1 million likes, and the original audio has been reused on nearly 300K other TikToks. Other popular videos include singing bowls, guided meditation recommendations, and calming videos for users to watch as a method of stress relief. YPulse data shows that spiritual wellness is important to young people, as 39% spirituality is part of their definition of wellness, so this trend taps into their desire to look inwards to grow.
#GutHealth: 2.1B views
This trend is not a new one, but it has stayed a popular one among Gen Z and Millennials—when we told you about the hashtag in June, #Guthealth had 1.6 billion views on TikTok, and it’s now up to 2.1 billion. YPulse data shows 32% of young people are interested in gut health as a wellness trend, making it their third most popular answer.
In this tag, videos listing possible signs of poor gut health have millions of likes, but also thousands of comments asking for concrete solutions. Those who do post their routines and suggestions claim things like probiotics can cure low energy, brain fog, and low moods, and others promote wellness juice shots as the key to healing their body. And, while many are focusing on physical wellness in this trend, and some are concerned about those posts, others talk about gut health with a focus on mental wellness. One user, @ericjpetro, says gut health is important because “95% of your body’s serotonin is made in your gut.”
Some worry the trend places mistrust in doctors, by pushing viewers to trust social media content more than healthcare professionals. Despite the fact that 46% of young people tell YPulse they want the definition of wellness to be more relaxed, and less about strict diets, this trend sometimes promotes dramatic diet changes through trendy methods like juice cleanses. Though popular, this may be one of the trends that contributes to 20% of young people telling YPulse the health and wellness culture they see on social media and the internet is the same as diet culture.
#BooksThatChangedMyLife: 32M views
TikTok has been a hub for book lovers, with #BookTok being hugely influential in book sales, but it’s also reaching young people looking to round out their wellness routine with reading. As a sub-subculture of #BookTok, the #BooksThatChangedMyLife is full of recommendations for books on self-improvement, mental health, and personal growth, and has 32 million views. Last year, our Hobbies and Passions research showed reading was a popular self-care activity, as 34% of young consumers had read a book as a way of taking care of their mental health during the pandemic. Now, our What Is Wellness? trend report shows 39% of Gen Z and Millenials say reading is something they do as part of their wellness. Videos draw in watchers with subtitles like “books that made me a better person,” and “books that have deepened my relationship with myself,” before giving a reason behind each title they share. Others simply share specific pages and quotes from their recommendations, giving a glimpse into which parts meant the most to them. Trends like these show why young people look to online influencers for guidance and support, and why 31% say that the health and wellness culture they see on social media helps them to be their best selves.