Top 21 Influencers Making the Greatest Impact in Health & Wellness
To say that the past year has been challenging for many is truly an understatement. The worldwide pandemic has taken the world by storm, and was undeniably taxing on our mental health and well-being in one way or another. From businesses being decimated to people losing their jobs and family members, this past year was a tumultuous year that put things into perspective for many. In difficult times, there is always a silver lining, and the past year was no exception. There are numerous important lessons to be learned.
We interviewed the leading influencers in the health and wellness space from all walks of life, and selected a diverse group of leaders who are making an impact through their work. Here are their unique insights and key takeaways on one of the most trying years in history.
1 Lisa Fei @lisalinfei
Founder of Clarity, Lisa Fei is building the “go-to destination for your love life” by creating a community that encourages real, unfiltered conversation, and taps into the wisdom of 50+ top experts in the dating, relationship, and wellness space. Clarity app gives you the tools and resources to successfully navigate every aspect of your relationships, which are arguably the greatest influence on one’s happiness and fulfillment. It’s no secret that when you’re happy at home in your personal life, it’s much easier to deal with the stressors of the world outside.
2020 Lesson: Your health is the #1 most important asset you could ever own. Take care of your health by rebuking fear, forgiving fast, and being quick to let go of relationships that aren’t conducive to your well-being in the long run.
2 Diane Sanfilippo @dianesanfilippo
Diane Sanfilippo is the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle. She is a renowned nutrition consultant who specialises in blood sugar regulation and digestive health, and she teaches nutrition seminars nationwide.
2020 Lesson: Stand up for what you believe in, as a person and as a business - now, not later. Businesses are made up of people, and customers want and expect to know where a business stands on important matters. Connect more deeply with people whose values align with yours.
3 Maria Sosa @holisticallygrace
Maria Sosa is widely known as @holisticallygrace on social media and relationship expert on Clarity app. She is a writer, educator, and expert on all things relationships, holistic wellness and self-exploration. Her colorful content and words are practical, compassionate and always a source of inspiration for so many. Maria is on a mission to redefine health by incorporating the emotional, mental, and spiritual components that are often ignored in mainstream culture.
2020 Lesson: Feel your feelings! 2020 was the year to feel it all. Give yourself permission to feel all those dark and uncomfortable emotions. You’re allowed to feel sadness, fear, anger and anxiety. It was awful AND without a doubt one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
4 Breeny Lee @breenylee
Top influencer and love coach Breeny Lee gives you the exact pep talk you need for every situation you may be facing in your day-to-day life. Breeny is unfiltered in her advice and gives you powerful, yet practical tips to become the most glorious version of yourself, and guides you to recognize your value and level up every aspect of your life.
2020 Lesson: Slow down and appreciate the simple things in life that have the power to bring great joy when you allow them to.
5 Dr. Jenny Wang @asiansformentalhealth
Dr. Jenny Wang is a leading psychologist who is extremely passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding mental health in Asian communities. She is a relationship expert on Clarity app, and co-founder of the nonprofit, Asian Mental Health Collective. Dr. Wang is a sought after speaker who focuses on women’s mental health issues on racial identity and trauma, social justice and cultural reverence.
2020 Lesson: Even in our darkest moments, if we are able to honor our pain and be gentle with ourselves, we can always find a way through to the light.
6 Haile Thomas @hailethomas
Haile Thomas is a 20yr old wellness & compassion activist, author of "Living Lively", and CEO of the non-profit HAPPY (Healthy, Active, Positive, Purposeful, Youth). Haile founded HAPPY to redefine youth empowerment through holistic education and address the need for free/affordable plant-based nutrition and wellness education in at-risk communities.
2020 lesson: Importance of nurturing and protecting your energy. Learn to disconnect to better connect
7 Nastassia Ponomarenko @nastassiaponomarenko
Nastassia is a top fitness influencer who uses her 1.3M+ followers to help people transform themselves from the inside-out. She is author of From Dust to Discipline, and Founder of Connectful app. At 18 years old, she launched Nasty Fit, a leading fitness apparel brand for young women.
2020 Lesson: The importance of being flexible! Not the type of fitness flexible, but being mentally flexible. Change isn’t bad—you just find out more about what works and doesn’t work for you. There’s no one right or wrong way to do something, so find what you enjoy doing most!
8 Aubre Winters @aubrewinters
Aubre Winters is a fitness entrepreneur, personality and creator of the IRL turned virtual fitness app, Sweat Sessions. Aubre's followers say that her workouts are not only challenging but "the most fun you will ever have in a workout class". What makes Aubre stand out is her ability to authentically connect with her community and empower women to feel SEEN and confident from the inside out.
2020 Lesson: Feel the fear, and do it anyway. It can be scary to start your own business, but through leaning into fear, you will be able to truly own who you are as both an entrepreneur and a strong, empowered woman.
9 Dr. Sonia Bahlani @pelvicpaindoc
Through her practice, Dr. Bahlani focuses solely on the treatment of pelvic pain. Her training has given her the ability to take a holistic view of common women’s health issues. Dr. Bahlani always strives to achieve her ultimate goal of enabling women to spend less time in pain and gain the tools they need to live their lives to the fullest.
2020 lesson: You are not always in control...and that’s a good thing. Embrace it.
10 Alegra Kastens @obsessivelyeverafter
Alegra is a therapist, activist, OCD advocate who uses her social media platforms to spread mental health awareness. She openly shares her transformational journey to help others fight and overcome anxiety and depression.
2020 Lesson: Human beings are far better able at coping than our brain makes us believe to be.
11 Andjela Milanovic @guidedbyangie
Angie is a certified health coach who enjoys sharing her expertise in fitness and nutrition. She helps people focus on getting into a positive mindset around moving their precious bodies, and not using it as punishment because you want to look a certain way.
2020 Lesson: Creativity is really important! Sometimes you need to know how to improvise, when things don't go like planned or when you get thrown out of your comfort zone. Don't put limits or borders, think outside the box and be creative!
12 Chelsea Williams @thatchelsea
Chelsea Williams is a plant-based public health specialist, digital content creator, and wellness writer. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and finding success in managing her condition through a plant-based, non-toxic lifestyle, Chelsea started her platform to share best practices on cultivating good health and the importance of self-care.
2020 Lesson: Continue to invest in yourself, whatever that looks like to you regardless of what’s happening in the outside world.
13 Kasey Jo Orvidas @coachkaseyjo
Kasey holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and is a certified health and fitness coach, with an expertise in mindset and health behavior change. She has transformed hundreds of lives (and minds) in her coaching career, while also being published in multiple peer-reviewed scientific journals for her research exploring the relationship between our mindset and our health and fitness behaviors.
2020 Lesson: Always have a growth mindset. See setbacks as data or info for how you need to course correct, what to do differently next time, and how to prepare for when obstacles arise.
14 Kim Kine @kim_kine
Dr. Kim is a holistic chiropractic and wellness advocate that specializes in helping people feel good from the inside out, and is focused on the physical and emotional aspects of healing. Kim spreads the importance of how emotional and physical stability is everything—you need a solid foundation of both to thrive in life.
2020 Lesson: Do not settle. This applies to everything - relationships, food, environment, health, sleep, your new couch, a wrong food order etc. You deserve so much more!
15 Kiera Lawlor-Skillen, Aimie Lawlor-Skillen @wearefeelgoodclub
Kiera Lawlor-Skillen and Aimie Lawlor-Skillen are two wives who are on a mission to make you feel good. They are mental health advocates who use their social media to spread positivity and help people through affirmations and daily tips of inspiration.
2020 Lesson: Nothing ever goes to plan, so don't obsess over controlling the small elements of planning. It's easy to be consumed by overthinking the details, but everything can change so quickly, so rather than obsess over the things that are out of our control, focus on the things that we can.
16 Daria Varlamova @dazvarlamova
Daria is an influencer who uses her social media footprint to spread health and wellness. She is a mental health advocate that’s writing a book to help people manage and take control of their anxiety. She is on her way to becoming a psychotherapist, and also competing in the Miss Universe Australia.
2020 Lesson: Human beings are so resilient and are able to overcome the most difficult times.
17 Arielle Berneman @sweatinsd
Arielle’s love for fitness, wellness, skincare, beauty and everyday life is everything Sweat in SD stands for. Her goal is to show you can do it all and live a very healthy, balanced life all with a spicy margarita in hand.
2020 Lesson: Take care of your mental & physical health because without good health, you have nothing.
18 Elana Berlin @highonsweatt
Elana is a mental health advocate who wants to inspire you to live your best life through fitness, daily affirmations and mantras. She is a source of inspiration for many through her uplifting content and tips on elevating your health and wellness.
2020 Lesson: Learn to slow down because it gives you the time and space to go inward and work on yourself, which will make you stronger, more confident, and grounded. Appreciate everything you have and nothing is too big or too small to be celebrated.
19 Sam Previte @find.food.freedom
Sam leads a team of virtual intuitive eating dietitians that help you find food freedom, and works to help people who want to stop dieting, make peace with food, and find a sustainable way to care for their body and improve their health!
2020 Lesson: Getting out of bed is something to celebrate. Puppy cuddles are a wonderful coping mechanism.
20 Rima @rima_bazzi
Rima Bazzi is a personal growth mentor who helps people transform fear into power through building confidence to unlock their potential. Her mission is to create a world where people are thriving by helping them rewire their brain to become confident in every area of their life.
2020 Lesson: To be grateful for all that you have and never take anything for granted.
21 Emily Furey @emfurey
Emily is a fitness trainer who helps people get into the best shape of their lives, from the comfort of their home through her online workout plans. She is on a mission to help people transform their bodies and become the best version of themselves.
2020 Lesson: Spend your time wisely, and if you want something, you just have to go for it. In doing so, you will optimize your productivity.