With the growing pressure of our always-on lifestyles, we’re more mindful than ever of monitoring our emotional wellbeing and mood levels.
You only have to look at the mega-rise of CBD (set to be worth $22bn by 2022) as proof of people seeking external help to achieve balance in their busy lives.
In the quest to achieve ultimate wellbeing, people are embarking on expensive self-help seminars, meditation retreats, workplace wellness programmes and endless positive self-talk - and yet, despite all of this, people are more anxious than ever.
To meet the demand of young, stressed-out generations, experiences, products and campaigns that boost our mood are becoming increasingly popular.
Here’s three ways mood-boosting is trending right now:
Vitamin & Supplements
Vitamin and supplement companies are blurring the lines between medicine and self-care, moving beyond the shelves of Boots and Holland & Barrett into the luxury lifestyle space.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition found that, as of 2018, 69% of 18-34-year-old Americans take supplements. With a third specifying they take them for “energy”— a shift from seeing vitamins as a doctor-recommended way to make up for deficiencies.
Lifestyle supplement brand The Nue Co sell mood-enhancing supplements such as anti-stress fragrances, power-up pills and Nootro Focus pills to ‘help you deal with everyday life’.
The Nue Co’s supplement launches are held in collaboration with Highsnobiety and products are sold in streetwear stores like KITH, firmly cementing the brand in the luxury world.
Ritual’s products show-up on bloggers’ Instagram feeds and in pop-up stores - they even create their own memes.
The success of The Nue Co – and other brands like Ritual, HVMN and Elysium Health – is in large part due to the rebranding of alternative medicine as ‘wellness’. Today, the pursuit of mental and physical health is a luxury lifestyle essential.
ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a pseudoscientific term used to describe a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin - signifying "low-grade euphoria” - while listening to close, quiet, intimate sounds.
The YouTube community responded to the term with thousands of videos of people eating weird foods, crinkling objects, heavily breathing and whispering down a microphone to create the sensorial body effects.
In the past 12 months, it’s gone from weird YouTube fetish to mainstream hit. Brands, media outlets and celebrities are all getting in on the action.
For the opening of the new Moxy Hotel in Chelsea, New York, Whisperlodge created a dedicated ASMR clinic, collaborating with Bella & Dani Thorne on an immersive ASMR experience.
Whisperlodge claim their Day Dream product is a 45-minute sensory exploration of the subconscious and the wonders which lie beyond it. Prices start from $100.
UK phone network Three is using ASMR to inject some fun into the modern wellness industry - who they say takes itself far too seriously. (Their research suggests that "seriousness" has been one of the biggest barriers in delivering wellness media to younger audiences).
Collaborating with media outlet LadBible, they have created a branded social channel called Relaxing Stuff. Pitched as ‘the most relaxing place on the internet’, it looks to interrupt social feeds with “soothing audio, CG animations, serenely absorbing puzzles and oddly satisfying weird and wonderful video content”.
Born on YouTube and common with Generation Z, ASMR feels like a much more accessible route to wellbeing than yoga retreats and meditation classes that were popularised by the millennial generation.
In an era of non-stop digital distraction consumers are looking for physical experiences that engage them in more emotional and visceral ways.
CBD-infused sparkling beverage brand Recess, has brought the ideas, feelings, and experiences they create on Instagram into the real world, with a relaxation pop-up in New York.
Designed as a more accessible recreational reset for creatives, the candy pink and blue space is a calming area where creatives can meet, relax and recharge.
Taking a sensory approach is also popular with AR and VR experiences. Otherworld in London is a new VR experience, that uses heat, air, vibrations and scent effects to truly immerse visitors in its VR games.
Taking a sensory approach to experience helps build deeper relationships with consumers and creates a connection that goes beyond just a cool product.
SEEN has been compiled this month by our guest-editor and Junior Strategist, Alex Theaker.
Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge his cultural knowledge? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.