From productivity hacks to primal screams, from magic crystals to manifestation, wellness has become a juggernaut industry promising to provide not just health and happiness, but meaning, purpose, and belonging. What happens when those promises aren’t met?
Our guest is Rina Raphael, author of the new book The Gospel of Wellness: Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care. She’s been reporting on health, wellness, and women’s issues for outlets such as Fast Company, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and many others, and she’s brought all of her experience—both as a journalist and as a consumer—to this important investigation into the wellness industry, particularly its influence on women. In a conversation with Free Inquiry editor Paul Fidalgo, Raphael discusses how, for many people, wellness has become akin to a religious faith, complete with its prophets and heretics, as well as how the failures of the medical establishment to address the needs of women creates an opportunity for wellness marketers to fill the void with their own solutions, ranging from the medically dubious to outright quackery.