I will never think of yoga, supplements, activated charcoal or bath salts the same again. Today Show producer turned health/wellness journalist, Rina Raphael, joined me to talk about her absolutely fascinating, fairly funny, and very smart new book The Gospel of Wellness: Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care.

Gospel of Wellness author Rina Raphael on how the "self-care" industry may not be good for our health | spawned podcast

We talk about how “wellness” grew from a legitimate healthcare need to a $4.4 trillion industry and full-blown movement promising better health — mainly to women — in a fashionable pink bottle. She talks about the misinformation, the seductive influencer marketing, the Goopification and the gurus — as well as the products that are useful and helpful and backed by science.

Wondering why we are all so eager to find salvation via a product we saw on Instagram? Spoiler: It’s not our fault! Things are rough out there for women these days.

But maybe you’ll think twice before looking for magic cures, with her tips for decoding marketing, looking out for emotionally manipulative language…and even letting ourselves off the hook for wanting it all to be true.

Take a listen now, and follow Rina on Twitter @rrrins.


The Gospel of Wellness by Rina Raphael is a must-read for anyone who's ever looked for health and vitality in a (fashionable) bottle

Related Episodes and Other Reading:
– Rina’s LA Times Article The Goopification of Wellness is On Its Way Out.
The Sexist Side of Wellness and How Gen Z is Impacting Wellness, both from Rina’s substack Well To Do. (Subscribe now!)
The UNWELL series on Netflix
– Spawned 237: Manicures are not self-care: Why moms need to recenter ourselves in our own lives (with Nina Restieri)
– Spawned 157: Working mom guilt: It’s not you, it’s the system (with Katherine Goldstein)
– Spawned 172: How can we prioritize what we love when we’re so damn busy?
– These articles explain how the pandemic impacted mothers
– Maternal mental health: What we can do to spread the word
– 9 creative, healing, self-care gift ideas that actually do help with self-care
-Liz’s big dust-up with the high fructose trade association mom blog tour in pre-“influencer” times.

Be sure to subscribe to Spawned  wherever you get your podcasts.

Rina’s Cool Picks of the Week: J Crew pajama sets are her absolute favorites — she calls them the softest, most comfortable, and they’ve lasted her forever. (We agree!)

Rina’s Cool Picks #2: Normal Family: On Truth, Love and How I Met My 35 Siblings, by Chrysta Bilton. When sperm donation goes wrong. Whoa.

Liz’s Cool Pick of the Week: Hollywood Park: A Memoir, Mikel Jollett’s raw, captivating, lyrical reflection of overcoming dysfunction… starting with his early years raised in a cult.

Hey, you can also subscribe to our Cool Picks of the Week newsletter to find exclusive favorites each week in your inbox that you won’t find here or on Spawned. Thanks for listening!

Products linked here may generate a small commission that helps support our work at no additional cost to you. It never impacts our recommendations, as you all know! You can also find these books at your library or support your local independent bookstore.