From mushroom drinks to aura photography: All the wellness trends from South by Southwest

South by Southwest festival is currently in full swing in Austin, Texas. Known as SXSW, it’s where film, music and media come together for a big annual conference.

One thing that has been growing in popularity is the world of wellness, which is increasingly keen to get involved in the action. This weekend saw the second ever SXSW Wellness Expo, which had everything from meditation workshops to a variety of ‘wellness circles’.

The expo is the kind of place where new and unusual health and lifestyle brands can test the waters and see whether their products or ideas could be the next big thing. Here are some of the stranger trends that came out of this weekend, which soon could dominate the wellbeing industry…

Soundproof boxes


Yes, you read that right – soundproof boxes could very well be the next big thing in the wellness world. People at SXSW could go into the VENT Box and yell as loudly as they want, to express their emotions and relieve any pent up energy.

Artist Huich In created the VENT Box in response to the social and racial injustice she was seeing, and she says: “VENT is a movement for liberation, freedom from a dominating system, freedom from conditioning, freedom to be who we are truly meant to be.”

It’s all about dealing with your emotions and having a safe place for self-expression.

CBD everything

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So. Much. CBD. #austin #HealthExpo #SXSW

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The Wellness Expo well and truly confirmed that CBD is a mammoth trend that isn’t going anywhere. It might not be the newest thing in the health industry, but what was noticeable at SXSW was the sheer amount of ways it can be used – it’s now clear CBD can be infused into basically anything.

From Cheekywell (which makes CBD-infused sex products for women) to Restart CBD (which makes everything from topical creams to edibles and even pet products), there was a whole lot of love for CBD at the expo.

Mushroom drinks

You might be well used to eating mushrooms, but what about drinking them? Four Sigmatic wants you to start brewing shrooms into hot chocolate, coffee and even lemonade. They say mushrooms are full of vitamins and minerals and can boost your energy and help reduce stress.

If you’re not a huge fan of the vegetable don’t worry – the company says it doesn’t make everything taste distinctively of mushrooms.

Aura photography

Even though Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand Goop didn’t set anything up at the wellness expo, it looked to be trying to capitalise on the wellbeing hype at SXSW by opening its own off-site pop-up at the same time. In this space you can buy Goop-approved beauty products and fashion brands, as well as being able to take part in various exercise classes and workshops.

One of the major draws is the aura photography. Mood by Moss takes your picture and, using biofeedback technology, it says: “We can read the electromagnetic fields emanating from you, and translate those into your energetic colors for a visual representation of your aura.”

We can definitely see this becoming the kind of thing everyone will soon want at big parties.

- Press Association

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