Mental wellness named $121 billion (£91.8bn) global industry

Published 11th Nov 2020 by PB Admin
Mental wellness named $121 billion (£91.8bn) global industry

Mental wellness has been named a global economy worth $121 billion (£91.8bn) thanks to consumer spend in four key markets – senses, sleep and space, nutraceuticals and botanicals, self-improvement, and meditation and mindfulness.

The Global Wellness Institute’s “Defining the Mental Wellness Economy Report”, claimed to be the first paper to define mental wellness as its own industry, analysed the size of the global mental wellness economy in 2019 and found incredible consumer spend in four of its sub markets.

The global mental wellness economy’s four main sectors:

  • Senses, spaces and sleep ($49.5bn/£37.6bn) 
  • Brain-boosting nutraceuticals and botanicals ($34.8bn/£24.6bn)

  • Self-improvement ($33.6bn/£25.5bn)

  • Meditation and mindfulness ($2.9bn/£2.2bn). 


Mental health issues are on the rise due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the World Economic Forum has estimated mental illness and mental unwellness will cost $16.1trn (£12.2trn) globally in 2030, states the report. 

“There is urgency to this research. Study after study shows how the human suffering and economic dislocations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have ravaged our mental wellbeing,” said Katherine Johnston, GWI senior research fellow. 

“We’re excited to release this study because people are desperate for alternative strategies to cope, and we hope it clarifies how important it is to promote mental wellness – and how businesses, governments and individuals can all play different roles in addressing a growing crisis."

What makes up the “senses, spaces and sleep” category?

Senses, spaces and sleep is the largest mental wellness category, spanning products, services and design that target our senses and the ‘mind-body’ connection, understanding the impact environmental stimuli can have on our mood, stress levels and sleep quality. 

It includes sound therapy (wellness music, white noise, noise cancellation), scents (aromatherapy, home fragrances, diffusers), touch (stress toys, weighted blankets) and light therapy consumer devices, the report found.

What makes up the “brain-boosting nutraceuticals and botanicals” category?

The brain-boosting nutraceuticals category is made up of ingestible products with the goal of improving mental health and wellbeing, including supplements, herbals and botanicals, and functional foods and beverages that claim to boost brain health, sleep, memory and energy. 

The category also includes plant-based drugs increasingly used for mental wellness, with cannabis derivatives such as CBD oil making their way into many supplements, foods and beverages.

What makes up the “self-improvement” category?

The self-improvement category spans a range of activities associated with self-help and personal development, including books, media, video, apps, online platforms, life coaches, classes, workshops, retreats and support groups. All these services and products aim to combat loneliness and isolation, as well as boosting cognitive enhancement and brain training. 

What makes up the “meditation and mindfulness” category?

The smallest of the four categories – meditation and mindfulness – are the approaches most firmly associated with “mental wellness”, covering all forms of meditation practice (breathwork, guided imagery, body scan and relaxation exercises) and products that support these practices. 

Key spending in this category includes classes, teachers, retreats, books, online platforms and mobile apps such as Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer. There is also a growing market for meditation accessories such as cushions, beads, chimes, journals and colouring books. Despite being the smallest of the four categories, this sector is fast-growing, found the GWI.  

Read the full Global Wellness Institute “Defining the Mental Wellness Economy” report.


Beauty business owners: 8 ways to manage your mental health during coronavirus.

PB Admin

PB Admin

Published 11th Nov 2020

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