The Gospel of Wellness (Audiobook)

A glance behind the beaded curtain of the fashionable health industry

Rina Raphael

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The surprising roots of the wellness industry and where we go from here

In this in-depth, provocative criticism of the wellness industry, journalist Rina Raphael examines the history of an industry that modestly began with diets and calisthenics and has grown into the current mammoth entity of luxe self-care. Whether it's yoga, pilates, barre, spinning, juicing, floating or chanting, there is something for everyone in an industry promising women health and vitality in the most fashionable package.

At times both fun and funny, from interviews with leading players in the industry to adventures in more bizarre practices such as desert dancing while drinking your own urine, The Gospel of Wellness reveals how its growth is a direct result of gender inequalities and structural sexism within medicine and society, forcing women to look elsewhere for health solutions. In theory a huge force for good, women are now flooded with offerings from more exploitative areas of the industry, peddling snake oil and questionable ideas for a pretty price. Balancing the bad with the good, the book considers what wellness offers now and what lies ahead.

For anyone who values their exercise but has raised an eyebrow at the use of a certain jade egg, here is a lively exploration of an industry that has captivated millions of women around the world.

Publication date: 05/01/2023


ISBN: 9781800810549

Imprint: Souvenir Press

Subject: Health & Wellbeing

Reviews for The Gospel of Wellness


Of course, the desire to be healthy is anything but new. Consumers have long focused on improving their wellbeing and taking care of themselves. And self-care has been used throughout history as an alternative to an imperfect healthcare system. Marginalized groups, in particular, have for generations sewn together their own patchwork of care in response to exclusion from not only the medical establishment, but society as a whole.
But what we're witnessing today is completely unlike its predecessors. If "being healthy" once meant abiding by doctor check-ups, now it means ensuring that one rarely ever need to see a doctor. Wellness, in its current form, is almost an obsession. The average person believes adherence can delay sickness, and even death. A strict overhaul of diet, movement, and thoughts is hailed as the new messiah. In wellness, it seems, we trust.


Rina Raphael 

Rina Raphael

Rina Raphael

Rina Raphael is a health and wellness features writer for Fast Company. She has also contributed to New York Times, LA Times, CBS and NBC News. A seasoned speaker at wellness conferences and festivals, she previously served as a senior producer and lifestyle editor at The TODAY Show for over a decade.