Wellness Retreats Are Rising In Popularity, So How Can They Benefit You?

Nowadays, wellness impacts just about every aspect of our lives. Eating healthy foods, mixing in yoga and mantras with our workouts, and even dopamine dressing are being incorporated into daily routines as a way to increase our everyday joy and decrease stress in a healthy way. It should come as no surprise, then, that vacations are getting the same treatment. While many are still enjoying the thrilling rides of amusement parks or embracing the chaos of bachelorette trips, others are planning their days off with the specific intention of coming back home healthy, rested, and recharged.


According to data from Grand View Research, the global wellness tourism industry was valued at $814.6 billion in 2022, and is only expected to keep growing over the coming years. The specific details of what exactly goes into a wellness retreat depend on your desired experience — but think yoga, spa days, and relaxing views that put your mind at ease. If you're on the fence about scheduling your own health-focused vacation, you should learn more about the benefits you can expect both during your trip and after you arrive back home.

Wellness retreats decrease stress

According to a study published in Psychology and Health, taking a vacation can immediately lower stress levels and impacts of burnout, as well as decrease the number of days missed at work after the trip. This data isn't surprising — taking a break from stressors and having something to look forward to is necessary to increase productivity and well-being on the job, even in the weeks after returning home.


With a wellness retreat, however, you go in with a focused goal of decompressing and using all of your time to focus on your mental health. This is in contrast to typical vacations where the goal is usually to have fun or see as many sights as possible. A wellness retreat essentially allows you to maximize the stress-reducing impact of the days you have off. Instead of returning tired and desperate for a night of sleep in your own bed, you'll likely come back feeling refreshed after putting your responsibilities to rest for a week or two. 

You'll have the chance to recharge

For many people, any time away from work is a chance for them to blow off some steam and decompress. In some situations, however, a vacation can leave you even more frazzled than before your trip. A getaway to a foreign city with your family is fun, but juggling activities, trying to fit in as many attractions as possible, and hours of car or air travel don't offer much time for you to kick back and breathe.


Wellness retreats, however, are designed with the goal of relaxation in mind. Things that are stressful on a typical vacation don't exactly apply if you're spending all of your time in one location. That means if you're in need of a bit of peace and quiet, this might be the option for you. Instead of stressing about dinner reservations and trying to make the most of your pre-purchased museum pass, you can spend your time leisurely exploring saunas, popping into yoga classes, or letting your tension melt away on a massage table.

You can keep up with your health goals

If you're on a health journey, vacations notoriously present roadblocks to keeping up your streak and everyday, regimented schedule. You lose access to your gym, you're routinely eating out at restaurants, and you're likely enjoying a few drinks along the way. Taking a break from your normal plan while on vacation is in no way a bad thing — after all, we all need the chance to enjoy ourselves without restriction from time to time. But if you're dead set on keeping up with the routine, a wellness retreat presents an alternate option.


At these retreats, you'll likely have more access to healthy foods and workout classes. You'll also enjoy a more relaxed schedule that gives you the free time you need to dip into other healthy habits, like starting your journaling journey or trying out meditation. Because of this focus, you'll be able to stay on track, returning home without feeling like you've lost any of your hard-earned progress.

They can deepen your spiritual practice

If you're spiritual or religious, a trip specifically designed to prioritize wellness can allow you to quiet the noise and dig deeper into your practice. Even if your vacation isn't expressly focused on spirituality, a break from the daily hustle and bustle can give you a chance to reconnect with yourself. You may even gain a new perspective on the current problems you might be facing. 


Many retreats, however, are designed with spirituality in mind. They may offer you the chance to explore silent meditation, different styles of yoga and deep breathing techniques, or even plant medicine. Retreats like this often leave you with a transformative and mind-opening experience that honors traditional practices. Wellness retreats of this variety give you the ability to learn more about different spiritual tools that you might not have access to at home. After your vacation, you can incorporate these practices into your daily life, or simply enjoy the fruits of the lessons you've learned.

You'll enjoy unique experiences

One of the main draws of traveling is experiencing activities that you don't have access to in your daily life. Wellness retreats are chock-full of new experiences. This, of course, varies on where you decide to travel and what your retreat has to offer, but there are plenty of different options to explore depending on what you want to get out of your stay.


Head off to the mountains for days full of hiking and scenic views, find a retreat on a ranch that allows you to connect with animals and enjoy trail rides, or take a trip to a chilly location that offers winter activities like ice skating or ice fishing. Wellness retreats tend to be a bit off the beaten path. You'll be able to explore more genuine and nature-focused experiences than attractions designed specifically for tourists, all without the noise and stress of staying in a major city.

Retreats boost physical health

Vacations are great for reducing stress, but a wellness-focused getaway can actually have major positive impacts on your physical health as well. According to a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine, participants that took a vacation in the last year were at much lower risk of developing heart disease and lived longer lives. Reducing stress and taking a break can also be helpful for promoting more restful sleep and improving memory – two factors that have major impacts on both mental health and productivity.


For many people, a typical vacation to explore a new city or experience fun attractions is more than enough to provide a break from the mundane. But if you're feeling more burnt out or want to specifically focus on relieving stress and prioritizing your mental health, a wellness retreat might be the right option for you. With these retreats, you might lose out on exploring a city's nightlife or a touristy hot spot — but you'll gain the chance to truly take a break and let your stress melt away.