Book Review: Wellmania • Extreme Misadventures in the Search for Wellness

Wellmania Extreme Misadventures in the Search for Wellness
Brigid Delaney
320 pages • ISBN 978-1-77164-370-2

Cold-pressed juices, “clean” eating, colonic vacations, mindfulness apps, and Paleo: health-care trends and miracle diets seem to be more plentiful each year. But do any of these tactics actually work? What does “wellness” mean?

In Wellmania, longtime journalist Brigid Delanet tackles the good, the bad, and the just-a-little-ridiculous of the wellness industry, using herself as the guinea pig. Starting with a brutal 101 –day fast, she leaves behind her thirtysomething –year –old lifestyle of late-night parties and all-day hangovers to test the things that are supposed to make us healthy and whole: yoga classes, meditation, CBT, Balinese healing, silent retreats, group psychotherapy, and more. Writing with self-deprecating wit and refreshing honesty, she sorts through the fads and expensive hype to find out what actually works, while asking, what does all this say about us? Is total wellness even possible and why do you start to smell so bad when you haven’t eaten in seven days? According to comedian Judith Lucy, the result is “a bloody entertaining read that leaves you wondering whether you want to do yoga or get mindlessly drink and despair at the state of the world.”

About the author:

Brigid Delanet is a senior writer for the Guardian and the author of two books in her native Australia: The Restless Life and Wild Things. As a travel journalist, she has written about wellness trends from all over the world, and her work has been featured in Vogue, ABC online, CNN, Condé Nast Traveller, and many other outlets. She lives in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.