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To honour World Mental Health Day, Mintel Trends experts spotlight recent health initiatives that target consumers who are isolated, stressed out and are looking for ways to improve their mental wellbeing. From a museum focused on wellbeing and quality of life to a digital detox venue, check out five initiatives that are helping consumers prioritise their mental health.

Museum of Happiness – Denmark

The Happiness Museum has opened in Copenhagen designed to remind visitors of the things they value and that make them feel good. The museum is led by Meik Wiking, who is the author of books such as The Little Book of Lykke, The Little Book of Hygge and The Art of Making Memories. The museum is curated by the Happiness Research Institute, an independent organisation focused on wellbeing and quality of life. Visitors can read about the science and history of happiness, as well as predictions for the future or take part in interactive light therapy trials and thought experiments. There is also a display of items that remind their owners of happy moments in their lives, donated from all over the world.

A tourist attraction based on happiness during a time of global stress, anxiety and confusion is likely what many consumers are craving right now. We have seen brands focus on spreading positivity and optimism, to help consumers cope with the long-lasting disruption to the world around them. This has been achieved by encouraging messaging, as well as wellness services such as apps and podcasts that centre around mental health, mindfulness and positivity.

Source: CNN

Wellness in a Package – Hong Kong

AXA Hong Kong has launched a wellness platform with a suite of programmes and services covering physical and mental wellbeing, as well as chronic disease management. Customers can access the AXA BetterMe services, which offer close to 20 physical and mental health services, through the Emma by AXA app. Among the key services is AXA Goal, which tracks the number of steps achieved each day. Participants can earn up to 20% premium rebates in their next policy year by achieving pre-set goals. Meanwhile, the Symptom Checker is a health encyclopedia where people can find information and check their symptoms against possible illnesses.

In the wake of the pandemic, consumers have become more conscious of a holistic and consistent long-term approach to health and wellness, in order to boost their immune system against viral infections. Apart from maintaining physical health through diet, supplements and exercise, consumers are increasingly prioritising mental, emotional and even spiritual health. The expanding health and wellness market presents exciting opportunities for brands to find their own niche in meeting consumers’ needs, with possibly more collaborations in the pipeline to provide service packages that address consumers’ health holistically.

Source: AXA

Time To Unplug – UK

Unplugged is a three-day digital detox venue designed to give Londoners a place to escape to nature and recharge. The venue opened in July 2020 in rural Essex, just an hour away from London. It has been created by two friends who realised they were unable to switch off from their devices. It offers visitors a three-day break from all digital connections, including having their phones physically locked away. Each rural cabin provides basic facilities as well as a map and compass so guests can go out and explore. It also provides books, puzzles, board games and other items to keep visitors entertained, including an old Nokia mobile for emergencies.

Consumers’ mental and physical health is being supported by brands providing ways to help people establish better habits such as spending less time looking at a screen and more time looking at nature. With fewer options to escape to overseas destinations due to the pandemic, we are seeing a shift towards consumers embracing more local and natural ways to reset. This is providing opportunities for UK-based venues that focus on wellness and taking a break from technology.

Wellness Is Common – US

Rapper and actor Common has a new health and wellness series on his YouTube channel. Com&Well is a six-episode series where Common hosts live conversations with his personal health and wellness teams that have guided his practices. Content will cover Common’s workouts, gardening practices, cooking, mindfulness, and even a Live Ride on his Peloton.

The variance in wellness strategies and solutions offers consumers a far-ranging number of options, which inevitably comes along with a lot of noise and decision paralysis. In order to cultivate their ideal portfolio of holistic wellness products and services, consumers are often searching for clear, functional messaging and guidance on what to use and how to use it. Creators and experts in the space help deliver cross-brand insights and advice, communicating how various wellness solutions work in conjunction with one another. This helps consumers move toward multiple decisions at once more confidently.

Source: YouTube

Indoor Gardening – Mexico

Urban Gardens is a project that promotes the offers of local suppliers who can bring a garden to consumers’ homes during confinement. The project seeks to promote plant care and encourage therapeutic activities at home, and at the same time, promote the production of some of the food we consume.

One of the main challenges of the pandemic has been the loss of personal freedom, especially being in contact with family members and friends. Although social distancing is at the moment our best tool to fight the virus, feelings of isolation have increased exponentially during lockdown, leading to cases of depression and anxiety. People are keeping themselves inspired in confinement through therapeutic indoor activities like gardening, and some new services are arriving to help consumers become more self-sufficient and improve their mental wellbeing. Gardening might not be able to fully replace grocery shopping with homegrown products during quarantine, but growing plants can be a great way to feel connected to the outdoors and to life in a time of uncertainty and isolation.

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