How Birchbox Cofounder Mollie Chen Spent $1,000 on Wellness

mollie chen wellness diaries

Everything featured on The Nessie is independently selected and rigorously tested. We may receive a small commission on purchases made from some of our links. Also, The Nessie is part of the Ness Card ecosystem. (The Ness Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri, pursuant to a license from Mastercard, and serviced by Ness Well Financial, LLC.) Since you’re here, you’d probably be into it.

Wellness Diaries Logo/Masthead

What if you had $1,000 to spend on your health?

Well now, you do! 

Welcome to Wellness Diaries. In this series, we send readers $1,000 to splurge on any product, service, or experience—as long as it’s something that can enhance health. Any leftover cash is donated to a charity of the diarist’s choice.

This time, we’ve got Birchbox cofounder Mollie Chen. She spent her $1,000 on gut health-boosting bars, Lululemon leggings, and a case of Sanzo sparkling water. 

In the spirit of spreading influence and wellness, we’re opening up Wellness Diaries to all Nessie Readers. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to spend on health and wellness.

Meet Mollie

As a Birchbox cofounder, she spent six years building up its brand and customer experience. Since then she’s worked with founders on brand positioning and overall strategy—and most recently joined Acora, a small impact strategy firm, to focus on mission-driven leaders and organizations. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kiddos and (in her own words) spends “way too much time thinking about food.”

Mollie Chen’s Diary

$159.99 On Sneakers


On Cloud X 3 Shift (White | Heron)

“After spending most of the last three years working out at home, I recently joined MTHD by Oscar, an incredible gym near me in Brooklyn. It’s life-changing to be back in a group setting and pushes me to work harder. It also makes me want to level up my workout gear! I am excited to try these On sneakers after seeing them on all the fit and stylish people I know.”

$38 Outdoor Voices Tank

Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices Everyday Boyfriend Tank (Heather Gray)

“I’m just shy of 5’3” and many workout tops are too long on me. This cropped one is just the right length and I like that it’s loose without being schlumpy.”

$128 Lululemon Leggings


lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Tight 25″ (True Navy)

“I’ve tried a lot of legging brands over the years and Lululemon consistently fits the best (as in minimal hiking up, pulling down during class). My sister Annie (who has run seven marathons and counting!) swears by this style.”

$55 Facials & $88 Facial Peel System


Glowbar Membership & iS Clinical Active Peel System (Available at Glowbar)

“I have a membership to Glowbar, a facial studio started by a former Birchbox colleague. The treatments are only 30 minutes but super effective; I always walk in feeling raggedy and leave fresh and bright. I also find great products there. On my last visit, I asked the esthetician for something to keep my skin ‘not tired’ and she recommended the iS Clinical Active Peel System. It’s meant to gently resurface and hydrate skin, which is exactly what I need in between visits.”

$45 Body Serum & $75 Body Balm

Oui the People
Oui the People

Oui the People‘s Cheat Sheet Resurfacing Body Serum & All in All Melting Body Balm

“Despite how much moisturizer I apply, my skin always gets dry and scaly during the winter. I have heard amazing things about this brand and love its commitment to inclusivity and positivity. I also am on board with any products that work overnight (like the body serum) and improve skin over time (the balm).”

$29.99 Fiber Supplement

Love Wellness

Love Wellness’s Sparkle Fiber

“I’ve always had what my sister calls a ‘lazy colon’ so I’m very committed to my daily magnesium and psyllium husk. I’ve been so impressed with Love Wellness (I am a scout for Cleo Capital and invested in them a couple years ago) and feel like this latest product speaks directly to me. More sparkle, please.”

$129 Fiber Bars


Supergut’s The Gut Balancing Fiber Bar (Variety Pack—36 Bars)

“I’m such a fan of this Black-owned brand, which makes nutrition bars that improve gut health and give you a sweet fix without a crash. They have impressive clinical studies and the bars are legitimately tasty (my favorite is chocolate peanut butter).”

$60 Substack Newsletter Subscription

The Isolation Journals with Suleika Jaouad

The Isolation Journals with Suleika Jaouad

“During the pandemic, I started writing nightly gratitudes which helped me with anxiety and spinning feelings. I’ve tried to continue the habit and recently signed up for “The Art of Journaling,” Suleika Jaouad’s 30-day challenge. Jaouad is the author of Between Two Kingdoms, a stunning memoir about her experience with illness and recovery, and shows how journaling can be a powerful tool.”

$34.99 Sparkling Water


Sanzo Sparkling Water Sampler

“For nights when I don’t want to drink, I love having a fun beverage in the fridge. Sanzo has delicious, Asian-inspired flavors like Calamansi (my favorite) and Lychee. It reminds me of the Hawaiian Sun I had on trips to Honolulu to visit my grandparents, only without the sugar crash.”

$44 Whole Food Nutrition Bites

product image

Rootless’s The Daily Bites (Toasted Hazelnut)

“I’m an advisor to Rootless, which makes daily nutrition bites that have the exact right amount of seaweed to get optimal benefits. As I’ve learned over the years, seaweed is incredibly nutrient dense (i.e. a little goes a long way) and has a huge number of benefits—from gut and heart health to proper thyroid function. The bites blend sustainable seaweed with dates and almonds for something that tastes like an energy bite. My daughter Lilly loves the Orange Pistachio, while my husband and I are into the Toasted Hazelnut.”

$119 Foldable Bike Helmet


Fend One Helmet (Yellow)

“Now that it’s warmer, I love CitiBiking to work. This super lightweight, foldable helmet fits easily in a tote or backpack and I love the sunny yellow color. I also like that it was founded by two longtime NYC cyclists who wanted something that works for their own bike commutes.”

Total Spend: $995.97

Total Points: 4,575

Stay tuned for details on our next Wellness Diaries by subscribing to Nessie Sightings! (That’s our newsletter.)

¹ See our Rewards Program Terms. Rewards terms and partners are subject to change.
² The Ness Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri, pursuant to a license from Mastercard, and serviced by Ness Well Financial, LLC.

Exploring the health and wellness world is better with a friend.

Wellness recommendations you’ll want—delivered to your inbox twice a week. Subscribe to our (free) newsletter and join our growing community!


"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
In this article
Articles you might like

Want more?

Subscribe to Nessie Sightings. Wellness recommendations you’ll want—delivered to your inbox twice a week. Subscribe to our (free) newsletter and join our growing community!

The emails are free, the finds are priceless.

Sign up for twice weekly emails discovering the best in health.

“This card is such an exciting addition to my wallet and it’s perfect for someone who values health and wellness but hasn’t found a credit card that rewards me for that. I love getting rewarded for wellness practices like sleeping, meditating, and moving my body—plus extra points on purchases at my favorite places like Whole Foods, ClassPass and sweetgreen. The app is easy to use and the card is designed for your definition of health and wellness, which I love. It’s flexible!”

Kira's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“It’s no secret that wellness is such an important part of my everyday life. I spend a lot of money to help fuel my love of running, recovery, nutrition and mindfulness, so the fact that I can now earn rewards for every dollar I spend with the Ness Card is amazing. My health always comes first, and the Ness Card makes that easy to do. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

Andi's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“As a new mum, wellness and self-care is a priority for me—so I can, in turn, be able to take care of my baby. I love the incentives that Ness offers for making healthier choices. And to be rewarded along the way for those purchases is such a plus!

Oh, and getting 5x point rewards on my Erewhon $20+ smoothie makes it a little more justifiable.”

Amrit's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I made a promise to myself to find my joy again in 2023. For the past few years, I haven’t been taking care of myself mentally and physically because I’ve just been on the go and focusing on the future instead of being present. I realized that part of the reason I wasn’t happy was because I wasn’t taking care of myself. So, now with the Ness Card—which literally rewards you for staying on top of your wellness journey—I’ve easily been able to focus on my mental and physical journey. Using the card is now a part of my weekly routine, whether I’m buying groceries, going to therapy, spending a day at the spa, or treating myself to a delicious yummy meal.”

Candace's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I love life with the Ness Card! The team behind the scenes work really hard to make it valuable and to create a sense of community, which you feel in every newsletter and hand-crafted partnership. The card itself encourages me to be even more curious about where I’m spending my money. It definitely incentivizes me to spend ‘healthier’, which is really unique. On top of that, getting points for taking more steps? There is seriously nothing like it.

David's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“My favorite thing about the Ness Card is that it rewards you for your healthy habits, and not all of them require spending. Yes, you can earn 5x points when you spend at any of their approved health and wellness merchants (think Erewhon and many of your other favorites) but you also earn points for being active daily! So now your sanity walks are literally paying off :) As someone who not only works in wellness but lives and breathes it, essentially most of my expenses live in that realm and with the Ness Card I can now be rewarded nicely for those purchases.”

Kirsty's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I love that I have rewards to look forward to when I focus on my health and wellness. As a mom of two and full time photographer/creator, it’s hard to find time to prioritize my health and—as my body ages—I want to make sure that I’m treating it to all the TLC it needs (and deserves)! The Ness Card reminds me to take care of my mental, physical, and emotional health on the daily.”

Valerie's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“It’s refreshing to have a card app that is so easy to use. I can track my spending and rewards at the click of a button. I love getting a notification when I get extra points for getting a full night sleep or getting my steps in, though of course those are optional. I work a lot, and I feel like I get extra rewarded for taking the time to take care of myself – whether it’s therapy or simply cooking at home instead of dining out. The points accumulate really quickly, and I’ve already gotten a $1,000 credit at Erewhon in my first four months. I also go visit family in Europe a lot, and no one takes my card there, so it’s so convenient to be able to use my Ness Card without ever paying a fee.”

Mélanie's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“As someone who spends the majority of her money on wellness, the Ness Card is perfect for me! I love earning 5x points on purchases at healthy businesses that I was already making, anyways. The Ness Card also motivates me to get enough sleep, practice mindfulness and other healthy habits. The app is really user-friendly and I love watching my points add up. I am excited to redeem them for wellness-related items!”

Lauren's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“The Ness Card motivates me to keep up my healthy habits, and has helped me discover new brands and products that are in alignment with my goals. I’m not spending any more with my Ness Card, but the money I am spending on health and wellness is actually earning me rewards, benefits, and even cash back. And because Ness’s definition of a ‘healthy merchant’ is so generous, I’m able to recognize all of the small ways I practice self-care throughout the week. From buying fresh veggies to going to therapy to taking my supplements, the Ness Card is there to cheer me on: ‘Keep being healthy, girl. You deserve 5x points for that.'”

Melissa's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“The Ness Card rewards me when I spend money on health and wellness. Especially because so much of my wellness routine is spent being active, gardening, making food with my husband, getting a massage, or having some me time, it is nice to be rewarded for that with points that are with brands I shop at all the time anyway. It allows my wellness choices to work harder which I love.”

Research Based

This article was rigorously researched and fact checked. We use peer-reviewed journals and reputable medical sources (think: CDC, WHO, NIH, and the like) to back up every claim we make, and also reach out to experts in the field to ensure we’re covering things the right way. We apply these principles to everything we cover—including brands we partner with—and we’ll always disclose sponsorships, ads, and any kind of financial relationship with anything featured on The Nessie. You deserve the best, most straightforward information on health and wellness, and we think this is the right way to do it. You can read more about our testing and review process here.

If something doesn’t seem quite right, let us know at [email protected].