The phrase “health and wellness” carries a lot of obvious knee-jerk associations. You know, green juice, smoothies, spin class, salad bowls, wearables, the like. But at the heart of it, the wellness world is all about people. Without the people who start meaningful movements, the people who follow them with gusto, and even the people who watch suspiciously from the sidelines (maybe especially those people), the health and wellness world wouldn’t be much of anything—let alone expected to reach a $6.75 trillion market value by 2030.
But who are the people making a difference today? We wanted to know. So we put a whole lot of work into finding the answer, plumbing the depths of Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, reading health and fitness publications, and diving deep into individual profiles of lots of people who have serious impact in the wellness world. We like to call them wellfluencers.
After all this research, we’re confident that we’ve found the people who shaped and influenced wellness this year: The trendsetting trainers, the self-care savants, the healthy food faves—they’re all right here.
The Most Influential People in Wellness of 2022
100. Jonelle Lewis
Jonelle Lewis, an Apple Fitness+ yoga instructor, radiates warmth. Whether she’s demonstrating a crow pose or sliding into a wheel, Lewis provides support, guidance, and calming strength—great for yoga, and also great for just getting through the day.
99. Caroline Leaf
Your brain can be… messy. That’s the lesson of Dr. Caroline Leaf, the neuroscientist and mental health expert who teaches you how to reduce anxiety, stress, and negative (read: unhelpful) thoughts. If you’re already following her on Instagram, take the work deeper with her “Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess” book and podcast.
98. Skincare Product Coder
“Expensive skincare does not guarantee results. Consistency does.”
Ever wondered what’s actually going on when you apply retinol to your face? And if that $99 bottle of the stuff is actually any different from the $9.99 one? The Skincare Product Coder is here with the answers. She’s a cosmetic formulator who uses her knowledge to break down products in an informative, approachable way. She also shares dupes for popular but spensy products, from La Mer to Laneige. Based on the thousands of happy comments on her videos, she knows her stuff.
97. Dietitian Deanna
“Drop dieting and create a simple relationship with food and your body.”
Registered dietitian Deanna—known to her many followers as, simply, @DietitianDeanna—knows how easy it is to develop a weird, complicated relationship with food. After recovering from an eating disorder, she became a dietitian to advocate for “food freedom” and intuitive eating. Her Instagram feed is a good reminder that you need food, and you deserve to feel full after you eat—and you don’t need to do anything to “deserve it.”
96. Michell Clark
Creative people need affirmations, too. (Maybe a little more than everyone else.) That’s just what they’ll find on Michell Clark’s Instagram, where he posts self-love reminders daily. And they’re not just your standard cut-and-paste prompts—each one feels thoughtful, insightful, and so specifically targeted to where you are that day, you might need to take a beat to collect yourself after taking a look.
95. Jessica DeFino
Jessica DeFino is a beauty critic, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. It’s more accurate to describe her as a beauty critical journalist who uses her keen eye to unpack how the beauty industry and culture surrounding it have come to define wellness as something you buy in a bottle and apply to your face as part of a 12-step regimen. DeFino posits that this is not, in fact, the path to wellbeing. Once you see her name and read her work (which is easy to access in her weekly-ish newsletter, The Unpublishables), you’ll likely keep noticing it—and maybe start to think a little bit about the impact the beauty industry may or may not have had on you.
94. Brad Jimenez
@bradtheboxer, aka Brad Jimenez, is a personal chef, personal trainer, and former MMA fighter. He posts videos of the vegan meals he cooks set to upbeat music (and often tosses a snack to his two dogs who stand watch). It’s a nice reminder that vegan cooking can be fun—and to his 2.5 million TikTok followers, that’s all he needs to do.
93. Angela Liguori
Angela Liguouri’s motto is “life is better outside”—and a glimpse at her Instagram seems to prove just that. She’s a photographer and hiking enthusiast, and her feed showcases both to stunning, inspiring effect. In addition to pictures, Liguouri shares tips for hiking in different locations, from New Zealand to the Swiss Alps, and necessary gear for any location. It’s the new way to look camp right in the eye.
92. Kate Glavan
Kate Glavan—one half of the Gen Z wellness podcast (and very good meme account) Sea Moss Girlies—is a true health and wellness enthusiast. On TikTok, she waxes poetic on gut health, running (she’s sponsored by Hoka), and Fugly Hag Strolls (the only natural response to Hot Girl Walks). She’s all about movement, but she’s also about rest, which often means taking some magnesium to hit the hay at 9pm.
91. Olivia Noceda
Looking to reduce your alcohol intake? Head over to Olivia Noceda’s Instagram, where she posts mouthwatering mocktail recipes that should appeal to everyone (even those who usually prefer something a little more high-proof). From espresso mocktinis to tips for what to order when you go out to a bar with friends, there’s a little something for everyone on her feed.
90. Joe Holder
Joe Holder has an impressive resume: He’s a Nike Master Trainer, GQ columnist, and Masterclass teacher. He’s also the creator of @exercise_snacks (where he posts free, quick, doable workouts) and the Ocho System, which stands for “one can help others” and posits that taking care of your physical health improves your wellbeing, thus helping the others around you. It’s a mindset we can get behind, and one we’d like to see make and even bigger impact on the world.
89. Mirna Valerio
Mirna Valerio first started her blog, Fat Girl Running, to encourage “people everywhere to be whoever they want and to do whatever makes them happy.” With Valerio, running is a joy, and it’s present in her Instagram posts. Today, the ultrarunner is still an advocate inclusion in the running community, showing off her trail runs and training sessions and working with brands like Lululemon and L.L. Bean.
88. Light Watkins
“I’ve learned that wellness is indeed a journey and not a destination.”
Meditation expert Light Watkins aims to provide an accessible way to get into meditation, with daily inspirational emails and quotes on social media. He tells us, “The best investment of effort and resources is in making your foundational habits simple and impactful enough to support your long-term health goals.”
87. Mariel Buqué
“Feel empowered and ready to break cycles.”
Dr. Mariel Buqué wants you to heal. The holistic psychologist and intergenerational trauma expert helps her patients feel like the most liberated version of themselves. Pop onto one of her signature “tea therapy sessions,” take one of her courses, or listen to her “Break the Cycle” podcast.
86. Todd Baratz
Brutally honest and wise, you can count on therapist Todd Baratz to give you a reality check that steers you toward relational flourishing. We love his intersectional takes and candid advice on topics ranging from childhood trauma to sex to dating & relationships. Want to improve your communication skills, set realistic expectations around love, and laugh a little? ’Course you do. There are so many relationship takes out there, and Todd cuts through them all with compassion.
85. Latham Thomas
Latham Thomas is a triple threat. Doula, entrepreneur, and author, she’s the founder of Mama Glow, the first maternity lifestyle brand to offer doula support at every stage of the childbearing journey. She advocates that “nurturing the nurturer,” or caring for a new mother just as a newborn would be, creates optimal well-being for mom and baby.
84. Natacha Océane
Natacha Océane, a bubbly Brit with a background in biophysics, is the rare fitfluencer who can boast that the workout programs she sells are approved by an Olympic-level expert. If a plan includes nutrition advice, she has Renee McGregor—a lauded dietitian who’s worked with some of Great Britain’s Olympic teams—look it over to ensure the information is up-to-date with the latest nutrition science. On her Youtube channel, she stays true to her scientific roots, whether she’s embarking on fitness challenges, sharing workout guidelines, or railing against diet culture.
83. Shontay Lundy
Shontay Lundy set out to change the fact that many Black people don’t wear sunscreen (for fear of the white residue left behind or the belief that they simply don’t need to). Her company, Black Girl Sunscreen, does just that. The formula rubs in clear and moisturizes skin with jojoba, cacao, and shea butter—and thanks to her intuition, the company’s valuation is over $5 million.
82. Bree Lenehan
Bree Lenehan is doing something different. Her concept is simple: She posts real, unaltered photos and videos of herself. Period bloating? That’s normal. Hyperpigmentation? Also normal. Cellulite? You guessed it: Normal! Self-acceptance is radical these days, especially in a digital culture that often (maybe inadvertently) perpetuates insecurity to exploit it. There’s a way to perform realness while still consciously curating one’s online image to match or project unrealistic beauty standards—and many do—but Bree L. keeps it rea-l.
81. Chris Bennett
Coach Bennett has a superpower: He makes running easy—well, as easy as falling forward and catching yourself over and over can get. He coaches pros and they win. But even if you’re nowhere near marathon-ready, his encouraging and instructive guided runs just might get you there. Yes, you. His voice of reason can be heard on the Nike Run Club app, which features one-off guided runs as well as plans that get you in shape for all sorts of races. His fun scripts, featuring the occasional guest track star, keep you focused, engaged, and motivated, especially on longer runs. We’re impressed by his ability to educate and celebrate people so that they can train better and keep coming back to the starting line.
80. Candice Kumai
When someone is referred to as the “golden girl of wellness,” you know their content has to be pretty good. Candice Kumai is a trained chef, author, host, and recipe developer who shares her wellness tips in a soothing, assured manner (sort of like the cool sister we always wish we had). Whether you come to her for skincare tips, chocolate chip matcha cookies, or Japanese sweet potato smoothies, you’ll be glad you sought Kumai’s advice.
79. Meredith Hayden
A private chef in NYC who spends her summers in the Hamptons, harvesting vegetables in gardens, perusing farmers markets, and cooking up delicious meals for clients? Maybe it’s not the typical capital-W Wellness content most of us are used to (the girl drinks a lot of Diet Coke). But Meredith Hayden shows that serving yourself good, wholesome food—like, for instance, the oft-neglected lunchtime sandwich—is accessible. Even if a summer house in the Hamptons isn’t.
78. Kate Ryder
What if a gyno visit could be… easy? And, more importantly, effective? That’s part of what inspired entrepreneur Kate Ryder to start Maven Clinic, a comprehensive telehealth platform that provides support for fertility, pregnancy, pediatrics, adoption, and parenting. Ryder founded Maven to fill in “gaps” she saw in the healthcare industry, particularly around women’s health. She aims to fill them by meeting patients where they are with telehealth appointments, providing convenience in an area in which it typically lacks.
77. Jen Fraboni
All you stiff folks out there who have barely stretched a day in your life (you know who you are) could use some of Jen’s no-nonsense tutorials. She specializes in physical therapy for pain and injury, so you can count on her to help you deadlift the right way and undo that stubborn knot in your neck.
76. & 75. Kate Berlant & Jacqueline Novak
On the podcast Poog (yes, that’s spoofing exactly what you think) hosts Kate Berlant and Jacqueline Novak delve into the all-important question: Behind the snake oil and scams, what, exactly, is wellness? It’s the podcast for people who are into wellness culture, but also a little (or a lot) skeptical of it, but also very much actively consuming the products connected with it. With caution. As a perennial top-ten podcast pick on annual year-end lists, the message seems to resonate.
74. Ty Haney
Ty Haney is one of those people who seems to inherently know what’s cool—especially in the wellness world. The Outdoor Voices founder is now setting out on her newest venture, Joggy, which makes plant-based CBD formulations meant to provide steady energy to runners. We’ve yet to test it out, but if the impact of OV is anything to go by, Joggy could be a similarly impressive force.
73. Nawal Mustafa
Clinical neuropsychology PhD student Nawal Mustafa uses her Instagram page to provide bite-sized but potent insights on psychology, self-care, productivity, and relationships. A big theme is listening to what your body is trying to tell you—and understanding that feeling uncomfortable doesn’t always mean that something is bad. It’s not all obvious stuff (Mustafa is a serious scientist, and it shows) but her page provides a lot of “Oh, yeah” moments that should resonate with everyone.
72. Michael Breus
Michael Breus, who’s also known as The Sleep Doctor, is a clinical psychologist, diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, and a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Unsurprisingly, he’s all about sleep—and not just getting more of it, but making it better. He advocates for prioritizing things that make the sleep-wake cycle smoother, like setting an electronic curfew and aiming to go to sleep around the same time every day.
71. & 70. Jessica Jones & Wendy Lopez
“Through our podcast and online platform we are on a mission to make wellness more accessible and inclusive.”
Healthy eating should be simple, tasty, and accessible to all. Historically, this hasn’t always been the case—especially when it comes to the world of dietetics, which tends to discount foods associated with Black, Latine, or Asian cultures as “other” and therefore unhealthy. Registered dietitians Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez are changing that with Food Heaven.
69. Karrie Locher
Karrie Locher, a registered postpartum and neonatal nurse and lactation consultant, is here to acknowledge that breastfeeding can be hard. And that’s OK! On her Instagram page, she showcases postpartum education that a lot of new parents are missing—especially how to care for yourself and the complicated new feelings you’re dealing with.
68. Robin Berzin
Ever been to a doctor’s visit and felt like you weren’t really being seen as you, but rather a series of symptoms to be addressed? Robin Berzin, a functional medicine doctor, mom, and author did, too. She decided to change that by founding Parsley Health, a holistic health center that puts the patient first, aiming to address the root cause of chronic disease through nutrition, lifestyle, and diagnostic testing along with medication, rather than the standard medical whack-a-mole of throwing prescriptions at standalone symptoms.
67. Ev’Yan Whitney
It’s easy to feel disconnected from your body, especially if you’ve experienced trauma that makes sensuality feel distant. Ev’yan Whitney is a sexuality doula (they coined the term in 2014, according to their website) who helps women and non-binary people reconnect with their bodies, their sensuality, and learn how to define themselves out in the world. Whitney’s work provides a space for people to make room for sensuality in everyday life.
66. Joyce Park
“Skincare does not have to be overly expensive or complicated. My content explains the science behind skincare and how to best obtain and maintain healthy skin!”
Dermatologist Joyce Park unpacks skincare, beauty, and the myths that surround them. Whether you’re wondering whether your pores actually open and close (they don’t) or if air drying or blow drying your hair is better for you (it’s complicated!), Dr. Park is here to make living in your body feel a little more comfortable.
65. Brad Schoenfeld
Whenever someone can make scientific studies easy to parse and apply to daily life, we’re a fan. Brad Schoenfeld, a bodybuilder, certified strength and conditioning coach, assistant Editor-in-Chief for the NSCA’s Strength and Conditioning Journal, and health sciences professor, is the perfect person to do just that. He shares his wealth of muscle building knowledge on Instagram, podcasts he guests on, and articles where he provides quotes, making the world of strength training a little more accessible (and science-informed).
64. & 63. T. Morgan Dixon & Vanessa Garrison
Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health. That’s why T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison founded GirlTrek, a nationwide walking group that’s transformed into a much bigger movement to “heal intergenerational trauma, fight systemic racism and transform Black lives.” According to Girltrek, it’s now the largest public health and self-care movement for Black women and one of the most effective public health interventions in the country.
62. Razi Khan
“You will always get the real Razi. What you see is what I preach and practice outside of social media. The food, workouts, the lifestyle and positive attitude.”
Razi Khan knows the power of a home-cooked, protein-packed meal—and one made in under 30 minutes at that. He shares quick and dirty (and tasty) recipes on his page and in his cookbook that have helped him become a Spartan athlete (with the eight-pack abs to show for it).
61. Micheline Maalouf
Micheline Maalouf describes herself as an “Arab American working to end stigma across the world.” As a licensed psychotherapist, she’s well equipped to do that. She uses her platform to offer tips for overcoming anxiety, reducing panic attacks, and help others who may be going through similar things. Each post serves as a step to help normalize the mental ebbs and flows many of us go through but don’t always want to talk about.
60. Mark Hyman
Food is your medicine, says functional medicine doctor Mark Hyman and he’s set out to ensure everyone knows the power it holds in creating your healthiest, most vibrant life. Case in point? He’s written 14 (!) New York Times best-sellers on the subject. Try out his free recipes, get weekly health tips, and listen to his podcast.
59. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez is, arguably, one of the most famous people in the world. She’s also a champion for mental health. Gomez speaks openly about her own battles with mental illness and cofounded Wondermind, a startup that emails subscribers daily mental fitness resources and aims to destigmatize the taboos that can block honest discussions about mental health.
58. Danielle Jones
Danielle Jones—the “OB-GYN Mom”—is ready to demystify pregnancy, abortion, birth, periods, and birth control once and for all. As “Mama Doctor Jones” on YouTube, her over a million followers watch her react to health TikToks and cover the topics that are often slid conveniently under the rug (hello male birth control, abortion facts, trans health, and postpartum depression).
57. Rhonda Patrick
“When it comes to enjoying and sustaining good health and quality of life, making a few key decisions right can often overcome a surprising number of otherwise suboptimal conditions.”
With a PhD in biomedical science, a profound sense of curiosity, and a devoted, nearly 800,000-person-strong audience, Rhonda Patrick is in a good position to teach the world about wellness. She’s most interested in nutrition, the brain, and aging, which she discusses in depth, on her podcast, Found My Fitness. She tells us, “When it comes to enjoying and sustaining good health and quality of life, making a few key decisions right can often overcome a surprising number of otherwise suboptimal conditions. Chiefly among these is finding a way to get exercise on more days than not in a very intentional sort of way, followed by a close second, which is eating a micronutrient-dense diet that minimizes added sugars.”
56. Kaisa Keranen
Our impression of Kaisa Karenen: strong AF. Though it may not align with everyone’s perspective, we applaud her for her fitness ethos: performance over appearance. “Health is a FEELING and not a look,” she says. Kaisa inspires her million followers to train hard and happy. If that appeals to you, you can join her workout community, JUST MOVE.
55. Chloe Ting
Chloe Ting’s Instagram bio—which reads, simply “I make people sweat on YouTube”—might describe the fitness creator best. Ting puts out core-engaging, muscle-burning workouts and challenge series that her 24 million-plus YouTube subscribers swear by. Viewers regularly comment on how difficult they are—and, at the same time, how something always makes them keep returning.
54. & 53. Aubrey Gordon & Michael Hobbes
On Maintenance Phase, podcast hosts Aubrey Gordon and Michael Hobbes delve into the wellness industry, pull out its most insidious components, and tear them apart. By evaluating diet culture from the past (remember Snackwell’s?) and today (remember the carnivore diet?), it’s a refreshing reminder that if a current product or trend seems like it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
52. Priyanka Naik
Priyanka Naik wants to spread her love of “vegetable-focused cooking, exploring new flavors, and living sustainably.” The self-taught vegan chef’s original recipes, informed by her Indian heritage, sure have made their eco-friendly mark: Naik was a Food Network champion, writes “Ecokitchen,” the Washington Post’s climate-conscious cooking newsletter, and is the author of The Modern Tiffin: On-the-Go Vegan Dishes with a Global Flair” (tiffin is the Indian-English word for a light breakfast or afternoon tea-time meal).
51. Will Cole
“Take back ownership of your health with the choices you make every day.”
Treating the root cause of disease, instead of just its symptoms, is akin to playing the long game: It’s not the easiest route to take, but it’s the best for your health. Functional medicine doctor Will Cole is out to clinically investigate—and educate his patients on—just that. Cole treats via telehealth and spreads his findings on his podcast and in his books with the hope that patients can “take back ownership of their health with the choices they make every day.”
50. Holly Whitaker
If you or someone you know decided to quit drinking over the past couple of years, Holly Whitaker’s Quit Like a Woman may have been a pivotal support (or impetus) throughout the process. The book outlines Whitaker’s female-focused recovery plan and zeroes in on how excessive drinking culture is normalized in traditionally feminine spaces. As the sober-curious movement continues to grow, Whitaker’s work will likely only continue to gain influence.
49. Sohee Lee Carpenter
Sohee Lee Carpenter is a certified strength and conditioning coach and PhD candidate. She takes a different approach from the grind-at-all costs mindset some fitness influencers have. Her feed is filled with thoughtful—and thought-provoking—content around what health is and if the practices we’ve long accepted as healthy, like cutting carbs or working out just to lose weight, actually serve us. (Spoiler: Probably not!)
48. Oumi Janta
If you’ve felt the urge to slip on a pair of roller skates at any point over the last two and a half years, you have Oumi Janta—at least in part—to thank. She went viral in summer 2020 with an ethereal, vibey video of her dancing on roller skates. Janta’s jam skate videos continue to draw in views, likes, and admiring comments, proving that the best form of movement is anything that brings you joy.
47. Joel Bervell
“Medicine, just like any other industry, is filled with biases that impact the care patients receive.”
Med student Joel Bervell calls out racist healthcare practices and highlights changemakers in the medical field on TikTok, for which he was named the top 2021 “Voice for Change.” He’s even paying it forward by cofounding Hugs for, a non-profit that empowers the next generation of global leaders.
46. Abbey Sharp
“Break free from traditional diet culture, learn about nutrition science from a non-judgmental, non-restrictive lens.”
Restriction doesn’t help anyone—not celebrities, not influencers, and certainly not you. That’s the takeaway from registered dietitian Abbey Sharp’s content. Start with Sharp’s YouTube channel, where she breaks down those ubiquitous “what I eat in a day” videos, then check out her Mindful Glow Cookbook, which is full of Sharp’s patented Hunger Crushing Combo™ recipes.
45. Lalah Delia
When one of the affirmations you post to Instagram makes it to a billboard in Times Square, you can consider yourself a force to be reckoned with in the wellness world. Such is the case with Lalah Delia, the founder of Vibrate Higher Daily, a lifestyle platform that offers classes on tuning into your own vibrations and energy. Even if you don’t consider yourself all that vibration-savvy, based on the responses to Delia’s Instagram posts and Vibrate Higher Daily book, it won’t take very long for something about Delia’s approach to work for you.
44. Sara Kuburic
“Be curious about who you are and how you exist in this world.”
Sara Kuburic—known to many as the “Millennial Therapist”—defines herself as an “existential psychotherapist.” Kuburic’s own curiosity and insight about the world is on full display on her Instagram, where she shares advice and tips from taking responsibility for your actions to emotional maturity.
43. Ben Winters
Lots of people don’t like going to the dentist. But they do like following them on TikTok and Instagram, if Dr. Ben Winters—aka the “Bentist”—is any indication. Winters uses his dental knowledge, elastic facial reactions, and the occasional scandalized gasp to regale his 12 million-plus followers across channels, proving that a trip to the dentist (at least a virtual one) can be fun.
42. Alexis Nikole
If we were stuck on a deserted island and could only bring one person with us, it would be Alexis Nikole. (Sorry, Alexis, but with your impressive foraging savvy, you’re along for the ride.) She knows her poisonous mushrooms from her edible ones, and can turn strange flora you’d never see at a supermarket into culinary beauties (who knew you could turn cattail pollen into cake?). If you’re into sustainability, plant facts, veganism, or just niche and nerdy things like that, Alexis is the cottagecore queen for you.
41. Andy Puddicombe
Ask any Headspace user what their favorite part of using the meditation app is. Chances are, they’ll mention Andy Puddicombe, a cofounder and teacher on the app whose classes are imbued with a sense of positivity that seems to make everyone feel a sense of belonging. When Puddicombe announced that he was leaving Headspace in May of this year, it prompted an outcry among his disciples—a respectful one, though, keeping with the mindful practices they no doubt learned in Puddicombe’s classes. Still no word on what he’ll be up to next, but something tells us it’s bound to be pretty big.
40. Mary Claire Haver
As an OB/GYN, Mary Claire Haver knows a thing or two about menopause and perimenopause—including that most people don’t talk about it all that much. On Haver’s TikTok, she breaks down the taboos and boundaries around the topic to her two million followers, from advocating for yourself to specific questions you should ask your healthcare provider. She also developed an eating plan, the Galveston Diet, to help combat the side effects that can accompany menopause.
39. Joy Harden Bradford
Psychologist Joy Harden Bradford founded the podcast Therapy for Black Girls to make mental health topics available for Black women, who often don’t have access to the mental health support they need. Now, Therapy for Black Girls has expanded into a community conduit, helping Black women and girls access therapy and discuss mental wellness.
38. Massy Arias
Certified trainer Massy Arias might be best known for working with celebrities. But the certified personal trainer also shares her knowledge with the rest of us regular folk, whether it’s through her 2.6 million followers on Instagram or fitness programs like Elevate or MA Warrior. Whether you’re a casual Instagram peruser or dedicated program follower, you’ll find something to gain.
37. Liz Moody
Liz Moody has a journalism background, an inherently curious mind, and a podcast called Healthier Together. She uses these things to provide solid, research-backed answers to a question that a lot of us tend to wonder: What, exactly, should I be doing to be well? (And its sinister, late-night-in-the-dark-intrusive-thought companion: Is it too late for me to start?) She enlists experts—including people on this very list, like Whitney Bowe and Jessie Inchauspé—to guide listeners along this non-judgy, science-informed journey.
36. Rich Roll
After years of struggling with drugs and alcohol, Rich Roll decided to make a change. And he did just that, transforming his life with a plant-based diet and a dedicated running routine (he clocked top finishes at Ultraman World Championships). Now, through advice on his podcast and books, his plant-powered meal planner, and speaking engagements, he’ll inspire you to do the same.
35. Lauren Giraldo
12, 3, 30. Search these numbers on TikTok, you’ll see several million videos of people doing the same thing: setting their treadmill on a 12% incline and walking at a 3 mph speed for 30 minutes. This simple—but apparently quite effective—workout is the brainchild of lifestyle influencer Lauren Giraldo. She’s not a certified personal trainer, but the workout has the stamp of approval from other trainers, especially for people who are new to fitness. Whether you’re looking to improve endurance, give your glutes a boost, or just put your treadmill to use, it’s worth a try.
34. Steph Grasso
“Lifelong changes start with small changes.”
That’s why she wants to make nutrition fun, starting with her relatable TikToks on everything from the dietitian-approved hangover cure to her go-to college meal (read: easy and cheap). That’s one we’ll be stealing the next time the Sunday Scaries hit.
33. Jen Gunter
Jen Gunter is here to set the record straight. On all things, probably, but especially pseudoscience and misinformation surrounding women’s health that runs rampant on the internet. You’ll often spot the OB/GYN, pain specialist, and author in major publications and on Twitter, where she spills the truth on bizarre, anatomy-focused wellness fads in her characteristic not-mad-just-disappointed tone. It’s soothing, in its own way, because she’s always right.
32. & 31. Jen Batchelor & Bella Hadid
Saturday nights are for wellness bevvies. That’s true if you’re hip to the sober-curious—or just fully sober—movement, which, apparently, a lot of Americans are these days. And one big player in the emerging non-alcoholic-but-make-it-fun movement is Kin Euphorics, founded by Jen Batchelor and supermodel Bella Hadid. Its drinks imbue cocktail-like flavors with adaptogens and nootropics (and sometimes caffeine) to give the drinker a buzz without the comedown. The brand—and the people behind it—is a good reminder that giving up drinking is anything but dull.
30. Danielle Brown
Danielle Brown is, according to her Instagram bio, “here to help you live your healthiest (plant-based) life.” Her recipes, from one-pot orzo to “hot girl tacos” seem suited to do just that. And, according to the thousands of comments her recipes rack up, they’re also easy, filling, and tasty.
29. Joe Wicks
Take a scroll through Joe Wicks’ Instagram, and you’ll likely leave the app a little happier than you were before you entered. Wicks is a fitness coach who’s on a mission to make the world “fitter, healthier, and happier” through exercise tips, recipes, baby pictures, and good vibes.
28. Kojo Sarfo
“Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business. Only you can define how you feel about yourself!”
Kojo Sarfo, a nurse practitioner and psychotherapist, uses TikTok platform to help equip people with tools to manage their mental health. For Sarfo, this often involves self-forgiveness and letting go of what other people think as you’re on your healing journey.
27. Raven Ross
“I want to be a resource for other women who are wondering where to start in their Pilates practice, health and wellness journey, and beyond.”
You know she’s serious about working out when she gets her reps in while her date pours his heart out. That was on Love is Blind season 3, where Raven’s beauty, intelligence, and maturity really shined. Now, she’s focused on uploading weekly workouts to her Youtube channel (she hit 100k subscribers this year!), cultivating a community around Pilates (she’s a certified instructor!), and keeping the admirers admirin’ on social media.
26. Alex Elle
Author, writing teacher, and breathwork coach Alex Elle uses her platform to let people know that it’s OK—necessary, actually—to take some time for yourself. She started out by posting affirmations and gentle reminders to her feed, which blossomed into the New York Times bestseller How We Heal. Her work is a reminder that healing yourself involves some labor, but it should always leave room for joy.
25. Mike Varshavksi
During the pandemic, board-certified family medicine doctor Mike Varshavski (Dr. Mike) made it his mission to deliver reliable, up-to-date information online. He’s only continued the trend. On YouTube, where he has over 10 million followers, Dr. Mike debunks medical myths, breaks down those hard-to-believe health cases you see on hospital TV shows, and even reacts to medical… memes? Yes, you read that right.
24. Pamela Reif
When your 10-minute ab workout has 81 million views on YouTube, you might just have a movement on your hands. Such is the case with Pamela Reif, a German fitfluencer who has a wildly popular YouTube channel, a healthy snack line, and a position on Forbes’ 2020 30 under 30 list. Reif is not a certified personal trainer (though some of her workouts are trainer-approved), but that doesn’t stop people from doing her programs religiously—and, apparently, seeing pretty good results.
23. Jessie Inchauspé
“The symptoms you feel every day are your body speaking to you.”
The Glucose Goddess—that is, French biochemist Jessie Inchauspé—is, unsurprisingly, all about blood sugar. She wears a glucose monitor and shares graphs that show how her blood sugar changes after eating certain things. Her goal is to find food combinations that cause a moderate lift rather than a huge spike, like say, M&M’s on an empty stomach (spiky) versus M&M’s as dessert after a hearty salad (not spiky). One thing she’d like followers to know? “That you should have a savory breakfast, eat veggies first during a meal, and that the symptoms you feel every day are your body speaking to you,” she tells us.
22. Darien Sutton
In his Instagram bio, Darien Sutton refers to himself as the “Professor of #TikTokMedSchool.” The emergency room physician has more than a million followers on the platform, but you can also see him as a medical contributor on ABC News. Wherever you find Dr. Darien, you can expect him to offer clear, cogent, and straightforward explanations of medical matters, from COVID-19 to monkeypox—and make you feel a little better about the world as he’s doing it.
21. Jeff Guenther
Licensed professional counselor Jeff Guenther is “Therapy Jeff,” and his tongue-in-cheek mission is “trying my best to save your relationship.” Your relationship will thank him, too: Learn skills like how to fight, how to break up, and how to (or not to) get back together with an ex. You can also catch him on his “This Changes Everything” therapy podcast.
20. Emily Mariko
It all started with a viral salmon bowl recipe. Now, Emily Mariko has more than 12 million followers on TikTok, where she posts wholesome, veggie-forward, occasionally a little underdone (possibly for engagement) recipes. She doesn’t speak much—all that needs to be said is in the ASMR-style click and clack of her kitchen utensils—but she does always enjoy her food. And, as anyone who has ever tried that salmon bowl can attest, so do the rest of us.
19. Anthony Youn
“There is beauty in everyone, including you.”
The internet can be the worst place to look for medical advice, with all its contradictory, fear-mongering, and straight-up mis– information. That must be why millions of netizens have latched onto Dr. Youn, who uses his background in plastic surgery to respond to the internet’s trending questions in aesthetic medicine. Whether you’re personally invested in skincare, fascinated by plastic surgery, or interested in the clinical side of beauty, Dr. Youn’s content is a well of discovery.
18. Muneeb Shah
“Misinformation travels six times faster than accurate information.”
Dr. Muneeb Shah is dubbed the internet’s “DermDoctor.” His 17.5 million followers on TikTok come to watch him debunk myths, dish out insider tips, review and recommend no-nonsense products, and react to some scary-satisfying pimple popping—all in a way even the non-skincare-obsessed can grasp.
17. Ben Patrick
The first time you watch Ben Patrick do a squat, you might feel as though you’re witnessing something you weren’t meant to see. But Patrick—better known by his online moniker, “Knees Over Toes Guy”—claims that his method of squatting (which involves sliding his knees down past his feet as far as they can go) is the key to beating bad joints and improving mobility. Based on his 1.7 million Instagram followers, who often leave comments about how much his method worked for them, he might be onto something.
16. Adriene Mishler
In an age of content creation and clout-chasing, it can be hard to find an influencer that infuses their content with soul. But yoga instructor Adriene Mishler stands out for her heartfelt feed and practice (she calls her newsletter “love letters,” and her latest virtual live class was called “Anchored in Love”). If a soft, gorgeous feed with poetic captions appeals to you, or you’re interested in joining an online yoga community, she’s the one-stop shop.
15. Lewis Howes
According to Lewis Howes, you were born for greatness. The former pro football player turned self-help entrepreneur (and current pro handball player) communicates this message through his podcast, aptly called The School of Greatness, where he interviews smart, successful people for insights on what we all can do to live a full life. Howes’ work is a good reminder that inspiration can be found anywhere—and with the right mindset, you can use it to transform your life.
14. Melissa Urban
“Don’t underestimate the power of impacting ‘just’ one person at a time. But millions of individual voices together form a loud and powerful agency.”
If everyone you know is doing something in January, that thing has to be pretty influential. Melissa Urban is the co-founder and CEO of Whole30, a 30-day food and lifestyle reset that prioritizes whole foods and cuts out sugar, alcohol, dairy, and grains. (You don’t have to do Whole30 in January, but it sure is a popular time to get in on it.) Beyond the nutrition program, Urban is also a prolific author. On collective agency, Melissa tells us, “We’ve seen companies like Walmart, Chipotle, and Applegate make changes that are good for the environment, the consumer, and the wellness landscape based on our community’s feedback.”
13. Sandra Lee
If you’ve ever come across a pimple popping video on your Instagram or TikTok feed, you have Dr. Sandra Lee—more famously known as Dr. Pimple Popper—to thank. Or resent. Thanks to millions of pimple-popping fans, the dermatologist spun her social media following into an eight-season reality TV show, bringing her pimple popping empire solidly into the mainstream. Whether you love it or hate it, you have to respect the form.
12. Esther Perel
The way a lot of people talk about relationships—specifically, monogamy—has changed over the past few years. This is thanks in large part to Esther Perel, a psychotherapist who specializes in modern relationships and couples counseling. She shares her findings in bestselling books like Mating in Captivity and on her podcast, Where Should We Begin? Perel posits that the quality of our relationships impact the quality of our lives—and after taking in some of her wisdom, you’ll probably agree.
11. Kevin Curry
“Fit Men Cook is about all of us, both men and women. It’s taking our individual success stories and fitness and nutrition philosophies and sharing those ideas with each other to grow and improve together.”
Home cook Kevin Curry wants men to know that when it comes to fitness, it all starts in the kitchen. His Fit Men Cook videos cover restaurant copycat recipes, meal prep, and healthy versions of family classics. Most recently, he started “At the Table,” a podcast covering the most relevant topics in food, from food insecurity to veganism.
10. Cody Rigsby
Whether he’s leading a Britney Spears-themed spin class or going viral for an offhand remark made during said Britney Spears-themed spin class, Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby has an undeniable impact on the wellness world. (And that’s not even including his iconic turn on Dancing with the Stars last year.) Any class with him is bound to be filled with equal parts encouraging commentary and hilarious hot takes—and that’s what fitness is all about, baby.
9. Cassey Ho
Cassey Ho is a certified (by us) O.G. influencer. One of the first fitness instructors to hit the cyber-streets of YouTube, she’s a pioneer of online workouts and has paved the way for the countless fitfluencers that populate our feeds today—all with integrity and style. Before it was ever the dominant narrative, she used her platforms to promote strength and self-acceptance, rather than fuel the industry pressure to conform to narrow beauty standards. If you like bubbly, trendy, and infectiously motivated people—who also happen to tone your glutes and abs—you’ll like her. And if you’re into athleisure, check out her POPFLEX designs. We stan a queen who iterates her designs based on her followers’ feedback.
8. Whitney Bowe
Skin cycling was that girl in 2022. The term, which saw a huge search spike in August of this year, was coined by Whitney Bowe, a New York City-based dermatologist with more than a million followers on TikTok. Her skincare routine is revolutionary in its relative simplicity: Exfoliate one night, use retinol the next, and let your skin “rest” the next two nights by just washing your face and using moisturizer. Based on all the happy practitioners who post their results, it seems like it’s here to stay.
7. Jonathan Van Ness
If Jonathan Van Ness had anything to say about it, showing your true colors would be the ultimate form of wellness. His hold-nothing-back demeanor has taken him from starring as the beloved grooming expert on six seasons of Netflix’s “Queer Eye” to writing two best-selling books, becoming a podcast host and touring comedian, and promoting holistic wellness in all aspects of life. When he’s not advocating for do-what-you-love movement (hi, gymnastics and yoga skills), he’s reviewing self-care products and working on his very own haircare line so that you, too, can feel fabulous in your own skin.
6. Gwyneth Paltrow
Goop has still got it. Your thoughts on this likely depend on how you feel about the “it” Goop offers, which, this year, involved a gift guide that featured a $75 bag of poop and a troll-y luxury “diapé” (for a good cause). Still, there’s no denying the impact Gwyneth Paltrow’s company has had and will continue to have in the wellness space, whether it’s clean beauty or supplements or, ahem, uniquely scented candles. Whatever it is, we’ll be watching.
5. Kayla Itsines
Cofounder of the uber-popular Sweat app, Australian personal trainer Kayla Itsines wants women everywhere to feel more confident. She’s been creating high-intensity, do-from-anywhere workouts since 2008, but when she had her first child (with a second currently on the way), she realized there was a gap in pregnancy- and postpartum-focused fitness. She’s since released low-impact programs so that every woman can introduce strength and fitness into their routines.
4. Jay Shetty
Jay Shetty understands that modern life isn’t set up for what we all want most: health, happiness, connection, and love. The former monk and current purpose coach has set out to help 21st-century humans cope by applying the wisdom gained from his time spent in India (mindfulness, empathy, gratitude) to your day-to-day. Want in? Listen to Shetty’s “On Purpose” podcast, read “Think Like a Monk,” and even sign up for online courses and live coaching.
3. Brené Brown
Opening up can be hard. But it’s a little less hard under the tutelage of Brené Brown, a professor at the University of Houston who studies courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She translates this research into books, podcasts, and Ted Talks, where she teaches how to be vulnerable in a world that seems to require a tough outer shell.
2. Tabitha Brown
Tabitha Brown knows her way around a chickpea. The vegan cook and actress—who skyrocketed to fame on social media during the COVID-19 lockdowns—has an even-keeled charm that resonates through the screen. Whether she’s making legume-based deviled eggs, tuna salad, or tacos, you just know, inherently, that it’s going to taste really, really good. That it’s also healthy is just a bonus.
1. Andrew Huberman
As a neuroscientist and Stanford School of Medicine professor, Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., knows a thing or two about your brain. And your brain controls a lot: How you sleep, see, and even form new habits. And while his Huberman Lab at Stanford’s findings can be found in top science journals, Dr. Huberman breaks it down for the rest of us in his podcast series, covering topics from cannabis health to improving happiness.
How Did We Pick the Most Influential People in Wellness?
Short answer: Lots of scrolling.
Longer answer: Tons of research. (And also lots of scrolling.) We started by asking people in the know. We crowdsourced must-follow lists from our beloved Nessie Sightings newsletter audience (a notoriously cool, hip, wellness-savvy crowd) and the internal Ness team, making note of people who came up again and again. Naturally, we also scanned our own feeds and other best-of lists to see who had the widest impact across a wide range of audiences. Then, we considered the biggest wellness trends from the year—things like skin cycling, gut health, walking workouts, and Pilates—and the people who made them pop.
Finally, we ranked them across a few different spheres of influence, giving points for how well each person executed in certain categories:
- Social Followers & Engagement: We cross-referenced follower counts across different channels, from Instagram to TikTok to YouTube. We also monitored engagement. Posts that garnered lots of comments with encouraging messages, banter, and inside jokes indicate a sense of community, which we love. If posts received digital crickets, despite a high follower count, that didn’t look so great.
- Content Creation & Distribution: Anyone who publishes books, writes articles, hosts a podcast (or frequently guests on them), and/or appears on television is naturally going to have more influence than they would without. We gave people points for putting themselves out there—and even more if their work felt especially potent, like a bestselling book or hit podcast.
- Media Reach & Awareness: Putting your own stuff out there is important, and so is seeing how everyone else perceives it. We checked to see who gets quoted in articles, profiled in glossy magazines, and written up just for doing something.
- Brand Building: It doesn’t get much more impactful than having a vision—and transforming that vision into a brand or company that speaks to a lot of different people. Many people on this list have these big, industry-defining, brands. We’re a little intimidated, actually.
- Impactful Moments: One surefire way to cement wellness immortality (at least for this year)? A big, Google Trends-defining, capital-M Moment. If anyone started a skincare or workout routine, a term, or general trend that made it big this year, we took it into consideration.
How We Define Wellness
“Wellness” means different things to different people. That’s why we like it—and we think the range of people featured on this list displays its wide, impressive scope. To define how each person on this list promotes wellness, we referred to our own wellness guidelines and review process.
We also sought to ensure that people on the list promoted positive behavior and health actions across channels, content was free of harmful messaging, and anyone dispensing prescriptive health advice had proper credentials to back it up.
If there’s someone you’d like us to feature next time, please shoot us an email.