But the system isn’t set up to support people who want to invest in long-term wellness. All the things we know help people live healthier, longer lives—like eating fruits and veggies, working out, taking care of your mental health—aren’t incentivized by traditional methods of well-being infrastructure. (Like, uh, your health insurance.) So if you spend the time investing in healthy actions, it just falls on you and your wallet.
We’re solving that at Ness. And here at The Nessie, we’re the resource for anyone on a journey to live well.
Think of us as the compass (OK, fine, the GPS on your phone) that helps you navigate the confusing, time-consuming, and expensive world of wellness. We’re your guide to finding products that live up to their claims, services you can afford (or at least feel confident splurging on), and tools you can trust to actually help you live your best, healthiest life.
The Nessie team is made up of people who live and die by their morning rituals, will go to extreme lengths to find the best sweat-wicking running socks, and are known in their network as the go-to person for a spa recommendation or killer Pilates class. In other words, we’re knee-deep in the world of wellness, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
And we have a lot of experience with the industry. Our writers and editors have worked with some of the biggest brands in the health and wellness space, including Greatist, Prevention, Self, Elemental, National Geographic, Health, Runner’s World, and more. All our writers are versed in product testing, too. Many have worked with or are regular contributors to The Wirecutter, NerdWallet, Reviewed, and more.
In addition to our writers’ and editors’ experience, every piece of content on The Nessie is reviewed and fact-checked by at least two relevant experts from our panel of expert reviewers.
What does this mean for you? We’ve put in the work, and we’re able to give you recommendations you can trust.
Meet the whole team below.
Sara Hendricks is The Ness Well’s Senior Editor. Previously, she was the Health and Fitness editor at Reviewed, USA Today’s… Read More
Leslie grew up in a hellish suburb and went to Dartmouth College, where she discovered her personality. She took her… Read More
Jenni Gritters is a journalist with 10 years of experience covering science, health, and psychology. Jenni has written product reviews… Read More
Colleen Stinchcombe is a health writer whose work has been published in SELF, Woman’s Day, and Health.com. She’s backpacked 1,000… Read More
Joni Sweet has been covering health and wellness as a writer and editor for major publications for more than 10… Read More
Pam Moore is an occupational therapist-turned-award-winning health and fitness freelance writer, speaker, and podcaster. Her writing has also appeared in… Read More
Ebony Roberts is a freelance writer and editor based in the Pacific Northwest. She’s written about outdoor gear, wellness, travel,… Read More
Brooklee Han competed internationally for Australia in figure skating for nine seasons, including trips to three World Championships, seven Four… Read More
Jessica Bernhard is a freelance writer, editor and strategist focusing on women and the outdoors. She writes regularly for REI… Read More
Dr. Kimberly Shao is a general dermatologist and Mohs micrographic surgery fellow. She went to medical school at the University… Read More
Krista Linares, MPH, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in serving the nutrition needs of the Latino community especially… Read More
Sequoia is a registered dietitian nutritionist in Charlotte, NC. She primarily serves hospital and county employees, and she provides education… Read More
Taylor Thomas is the founder of Thomas Endurance Coaching (TEC). He’s the host of the popular podcast Endurance Minded, a… Read More
Rachel helps yoga teachers and studios around the world create transformational educational experiences so that they can share their passion,… Read More
Dr. Naika Apeakorang is a trailblazing Naturopathic practitioner, Acupuncturist, and Herbalist based in New York City. Dr. Naika received her… Read More
Marissa Miller is a personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise, and uses an inclusive health at every… Read More
Jenni Rawlings is a yoga teacher and educator with an emphasis on anatomy, biomechanics, and movement science. She is the… Read More
Dr. Raj Dasgupta is an ABIM Quadruple board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine, pulmonology, critical care, and sleep medicine. He… Read More
Ness’ vision is a world where everyone can afford to get and stay healthy. We understand that wellness is an individualized experience, so we’ll meet you wherever you are on your journey.
We hope to foster knowledge, confidence, and self-determination as you progress on your wellness journey. This means our framework is comprehensive enough to address your needs in a holistic and accessible way.
Here’s what wellness means to us at Ness.
A rolling stone… well, you know. It’s no shocker that exercise is good for us, but it’s also no surprise that it can be tough to find a method of movement that makes you feel excited—or at least motivated—enough to do it consistently.
Here at Ness, we know there’s no one right answer. One person’s Pilates obsession is another person’s occasional HIIT class is another person’s walk-around-the-block-when-you-remember-to-do-it. We’re dedicated to exploring as many exercise varieties as we can so you have the tools to move more in a way that works for you.
Fruits and veggies, yes. But to us, eating well is more than just packing in the highest possible quantity of nutrients per calorie amount or jumping from one trendy diet to the next. It’s finding food and daily supplements (we’re not above the gummy variety) that make you feel nourished, energized, and satisfied enough to keep eating that way. Often, that means things like spinach, chia seeds, whole grains, and vitamin C tablets. Sometimes, it just means a cookie (or several). We also think everyone deserves advice from experts, which is why we work with registered dietitians on all nutrition-related content—and advocate for visiting one yourself if you can.
No matter what you’re looking for, we’re here to help you eat your greens and feel excited about your meals.
Working on your mental health can be, well, work. But it’s worthy labor, the kind of effort that helps you achieve a better relationship with yourself and those around you. We champion a wide range of methods for improving mental health, from journaling or meditating to improve mindfulness to working on coping skills for anxiety or depression to signing up for therapy or other forms of professional care for an external lens on what you’re dealing with.
Wellness isn’t achieved by checking off boxes. Drinking smoothies, jogging regularly, and keeping a consistent sleep schedule is a great start, but that’s not all you can (or should) do to make living in your personal skin sack (that is, your body) the best possible experience it can be. We believe in looking at the whole self to figure out those little things that help you tick, or, ahem, not tick so well. Often, that requires some professional help from doctors, dentists, optometrists, ophthalmologists, and more. We also look into alternative, non-Western forms of care to complement conventional medicine, like acupuncture, ayurveda, and more.
The key to health is different for everyone (noticing a theme?) and may require some deep introspection to figure out what “healthy” means for you.
Yes, it’s a process. But that’s also what makes it fun.
We think everyone deserves the luxury of sound, restful slumber. Every single night. But as anyone who has ever lived with noisy roommates, or worked wonky hours, or found themselves bound by the shackles of needing a fan turned on full blast to fall asleep will agree, it’s easier said than done.
Still, we’re up to the challenge of helping you figure it out. Whether you’re in search of a soothing white noise machine, cooling sheets, or just a way to chill out, we’re here to find the best way of catching those ZZZs.
The meaning of “self care” depends on who you ask. To some, it’s pedicures, face masks, and shopping sprees. To others, it’s choosing to spend the night in instead of meeting up with friends or taking the odd day off work.
For us, it’s allowing space to figure out what it is you really need. Sometimes, yeah, it’s a face mask. Other times, it’s more about giving yourself the break you need. It’s nebulous and it changes, but at the end of the day, it should always benefit you.
At Ness, we only recommend products and services we stand by. To be included in our content, products must live up to both our medical and quality standards. If you buy a product or service recommended by Ness, you know it’ll be a positive step forward in your wellness journey and money well spent.
We’re rigorously researching and testing products to come up with our rankings. Each category of wellness products and services requires evaluation from different angles. We don’t apply the same process to every category.
All products in the following categories are evaluated by Ness’s medical standards and the Evidence Test. They’re also double- and triple-checked by experts:
All products and services in the following categories are tested by our writers and reviewed by relevant experts from our expert panel:
When we write about a product category that requires evaluation about health claims, we use The Evidence Test.
The Evidence Test is an evidence-based decision making framework that helps us determine what’s healthy, what’s not, and everything in between.
All our writers and editors are trained to use The Evidence Test to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of products and services. Members of our expert review panel regularly audit our application of The Evidence Test to ensure compliance.
Our research and review process is intended for informational purposes only—never as a substitute for medical treatment, diagnosis, or advice. Always consult a healthcare provider if you have questions about how a product, service, or intervention may impact your individual physical or mental health.
Here’s how the scoring system works:
A product or service must have at least two pieces of evidence, scientific evaluation, or peer-reviewed research to earn the highest score on The Evidence Test, Healthy.
This means there’s good to strong data to suggest that this product or service is a healthy addition to your wellness routine.
If data suggests a product or service has a health benefit for some people but not for others, it’ll score a Healthy-ish. This score will also be given if there’s some research that indicates a benefit, but not enough to come to a consensus.
A Healthy-ish score means that it may be helpful to certain individuals on their wellness journey based on their individual circumstances, and it’s unlikely to be harmful to anyone. However, it isn’t definitively healthy for all.
Products or services with limited or conflicting evidence that tends toward the positive receive the Helpful score. This means we’re unable to determine its exact health benefits, but we don’t believe it’ll cause harm, either.
In short, the product or service could be helpful to your overall wellbeing, but it’s not likely to do much more than that.
If the available scientific information suggests that the product or service is harmful to human health, it’ll score an Unhealthy.
In this scenario, Ness does not recommend the use of the product or service.
When there isn’t enough credible scientific information to suggest a product or service is healthy or unhealthy, it will be scored as Undecided/Unknown.
In these scenarios, we cannot say definitively that the product will be helpful or harmful in one’s wellness journey.
We believe in bringing scientific rigor to wellness. To do that, we steer clear of pseudoscience and trust the experts—the ones on our team, and the ones out in the world.
Ness relies on high-quality, peer-reviewed scientific research and publications from the global medical community. This includes systematic reviews, meta-analysis, randomized control trials, cohort studies, case control studies, case series, and case reports.
We also leverage information and recommendations from identified authorities in the field of medicine, health, and wellness like the CDC, WHO, USPSTF, SAMHSA, Examine, and NCCIH. Any exceptions to this are rare but justified, and we’ll let you know if a source isn’t coming from a peer-reviewed journal or an identified authority in the given field.
When using this evidence for The Evidence Test, we strive to use a minimum of two resources to support our recommendations.
For fitness gear, self-care tools, or healthy and wellness wearables and apps, we get the products in our writers’ hands for rigorous testing.
Our writers carve out time to physically test and use products to determine what’s best on the market. They develop a testing rubric with a variety of factors to consider when buying a product, like usability, durability, comfort, accessibility, and price. Each product gets a score for every factor, and we use that as a guide to determine what’s great (and what’s not).
But we don’t just add up the scores, rank the products, and call it a day. We believe in taking a more holistic view, allowing you to shop based on your needs. For instance, if something is expensive but really effective, we’ll tell you if it’s worth shelling out some cash to invest in something that works—but we’ll also make sure to feature items that don’t cost as much, too.
After our writers have tested each product, they’ll either keep the product to regularly re-test, or they’ll donate to charities and nonprofit organizations in their area.
At Ness, we partner with brands we believe are the absolute best in the health and wellness space. And if you’re a Ness member, you’ll regularly see those companies featured on our app with opportunities to redeem your rewards, earn perks, or take advantage of discounts.
However, our editorial team at The Nessie has strict independence and freedom to cover any product or service at its discretion. We do not accept any form of compensation in exchange for coverage or favorable reviews, nor do we give preferential treatment to our partners.
In the end, we only recommend healthy and wellness products we’d feel comfortable incorporating into our own wellness routines.
We’ll occasionally partner with the brands we review and include in The Nessie. In those instances, we’re sometimes compensated when you click on a link on The Nessie and purchase a product or service. This in no way affects our reviews of brands or the recommendations we give our readers. That’s grounded in hours and hours of research and hands on testing.
If you have any questions about who we’re working with or how we make money, don’t hesitate to ask us at [email protected].
If you have questions about our process, feedback to share with our editorial team, or an idea you want to run by us, we’re all ears. The Nessie is no one-way publication, and we’d love to hear from you.
Get in touch with us at [email protected].