My forehead gently made contact with the shiny titanium keyboard. A slow smack of exhaustion. I was very tired of writing about bikini bodies and super-glowy skin.
It was a Wednesday afternoon in April of 2017, and I was sitting in my office, alone. On paper, I was doing exactly what I’d worked toward for the past decade—I was a professional creative, running a website, working in tech, sharing news and education on the latest in health and wellness. Every day I got to write about the hottest workouts in LA and NYC, got to sample expensive beauty treatments, and was ‘gifted’ 2-ounce jars of wellness powders and dusts and formulas that cost more than my (very expensive) phone bill. Honestly, it was a Dream Job.
But, as I stared at a giant computer screen blinking bright with user analytics and cost-per-click infographics, I finally admitted to myself what I’d known for a while—I was perpetuating the side of the ‘wellness’ world that I really hated.
Modern Wellness is Kinda Whack
Here’s the problem: When you work in content, you’re beholden to views and likes and click-through-rates. The content that performs best is the content that gets promoted with ad dollars, and in turn becomes the type of content that gets made more and more. (Remember when Buzzfeed-style lists exploded?)
And you guys, guess what? At the content companies I worked at, headlines that promised a super-tight booty in JUST THREE MOVES or the secret to an expensive CELEBRITY-APPROVED smoothie recipe got a lot more clicks than any content on how to be healthy, happy, human in real life.
That was a real boner killer. Because the white-washed, expensive, exclusive wellness world I was writing about was not my experience with wellness. Sure, it was totally valid for some—nothing wrong with shopping at Erewhon or snapping up yoni eggs, if that’s what you’re into. But I felt like I was only offering one perspective on wellness—one that was totally unattainable and unrealistic … and truthfully, a bit misleading and dishonest at times.
The wellness universe that I knew wasn’t so cost- or status-prohibitive—I discovered holistic wellness when I had $32 in my bank account—and it totally saved my life.
You Don’t Need To Buy More Things, If You Don’t Want To
When I was 17, I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Unfortunately, my doctors couldn’t figure out the root cause of my seizures—my brain was deemed ‘unremarkable’ which is the medical term for ‘normal’—and prescribed to me a drug that I was supposed to take every single day for the rest of my life. That drug made me very sick. Like, sicker than any seizure could. It made life low-key miserable.
And then, miraculously, a light shone down on me. I stumbled into the arms of a holistic wellness practitioner who totally saved my life. I learned how to meditate, how to understand my body, and how to treat more than just my symptoms. I met lots of people—some who taught me a lot, some who taught me a little, but all gave me something valuable to add to my health education. The majority of my learning and healing happened while I was living paycheck to paycheck in NYC, making a living as a modern dancer.
Nearly a decade later, it pained me to turn this thing that had changed my life—alternative wellness—into a commodity that acted as a barometer for affluence. Some of the things I was writing about I couldn’t even afford, yet I was recommending them to others!?!? I felt like I was lying, like the whole wellness industry was purposely misleading in order to sell more products and make more money… not to truly help people live better.
Yuck. Ew. Gross.
So, I set out to make a resource that was free, honest, fun, and accessible. Partially to undo all the bad karma I’d created by writing my fair share of those bikini body articles, and partially because I felt like there wasn’t a place I could trust for consistently great information on the wellness space.
I wanted to make something that wasn’t about measuring likes or clicks, that didn’t rely on ads or sponsorship or strategic partnerships. Something genuinely good, helpful, and useful, that talked about all the dimensions of wellness for real-life people—from the weird to the wonderful, and everything in between. And that’s how the newsletter was born.
The Rules of Holisticism
Before I sent out my first newsletter to my list of 100 or so friends and acquaintances, I wrote out some rules for myself:
- Always add value to people’s lives. No spam or click-bait.
- Set out to make things accessible. That means financially and tonally—so find solutions or opportunities for wellness at every price point. And talk like a normal person.
- Wellness is multidimensional. It’s not just nutrition, or psychology, or crystal healing. It could be some combination of those things, plus things like politics and pop culture and art. It’s multidimensional. Introduce more topics and talk about how they pertain to our holistic wellness.
- Be nice.
- Be fun.
- Be inclusive.
- Be thoughtful.
- Be honest.
- And not too serious.
Nearly a year later, the Holisticism newsletter is still going strong. This little thing that I thought might help a few hundred friends is now a community of over 16,000 awesome humans. I’m humbled by it.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting Holisticism
And I know what you’re thinking: “Oh god. Anotherrrrrr email newsletter.”
Word, dude, I hear you. Inbox anxiety is real. And if receiving Holisticism’s weekly memo ever adds more stress to your life, I implore you to swiftly unsubscribe. Because the goal of the newsletter was to aggregate all the good stuff into one lovely little note, and hand-deliver it to you.
A virtual hug, full of all your favorite wellness-centric things.
So every week, that’s what we do. We’re a one-stop-shop that feeds your mind, body, and spirit—virtually. When you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get:
- Honest opinions on modalities, facilitators, products, and trends in the holistic wellness space. There’s so much out there, and this world is tough to navigate on your own. We do our best to parse out all the info in a way that’s more accessible.
- Interesting, fun reads and links from all over the internet that will make you sound VERY smart and also hip when talking amongst your friends. Art, politics, science, pop culture, intersectional feminism, wellness—we cover it all, bb.
- A range of wellness resources at multiple price points. From free.com to beaucoup dollars, depending on what’s avail to you.
- Introductions to amazing humans doing amazing things and changing the world. We’re keen on disrupting the wellness industry, and we love to highlight other movers and shakers—in wellness and beyond—who’ll leave you inspired.
- Access to events, VIP offerings, and opportunities that are only available to the Holisticism community.
- Freebies, discounts, and love from brands who stan for us (and what we stand for) and want to reward you for being wonderful.
- Miscellanea. Including but not limited to dog GIFs and entertaining Reddit threads. I’m a big fan of laughing.
Wellness for everyone.
It’s pretty clear that there’s a lot of healing that this world needs. And in order to show up, help others, and do our best work on this planet, we have to take care of ourselves, too. At the end of the day, every human on this planet deserves a chance to be happy, healthy, and purposeful. I believe that wellness plays a large role in that.
Our goal at Holisticism is to make wellness more accessible for more people, in every way. Whether it’s through our free newsletter, or through our amazing network of holistic practitioners, we work to provide resources for humans of all kinds to become their own greatest healer.