Wellness Trends to Try in Boulder
While TikTok is catching on to the joys of self-care and wellness trends, Boulder's been on the cutting edge of wellness research, techniques and nutrition for over a century.
Boulder's focus on health actually goes back to the town's early days, when the Boulder Colorado Sanitarium opened in 1896. Originally set up to treat tuberculosis patients, it grew into a full-fledged health resort, setting the stage for the natural healing and health-food movement that is integral to Boulder's culture today.
Today, there are health foods, outdoor activities and wellness practitioners everywhere you look in Boulder, making it the perfect place to try some new ways to enhance your well-being if you like to travel with health in mind.
Inc. called Boulder “the most relaxed city in America,” based on the fact that the city has 122% of the national average of wellness-focused small businesses.
A friendly reminder that it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before you embark on any new wellness or health rituals. Not every technique is suitable for everybody.
Proof is emerging daily that fungi really can be a fun guy. The benefits of lion’s mane, cordyceps, reishi and chaga have been buzzed about lately in the mainstream, hitting the market as additives in chocolates, coffees, teas and supplements for purported brain-boosting, stress-reducing and antioxidant-rich properties. In Boulder, head to the Moksha Chocolate factory, where you can shop their full line of functional mushroom chocolates (which are delicious!). Look for local brand Rasa, a coffee alternative, at coffee shops and natural grocers around town. Or enjoy a cup of mushroom-infused coffee, tea or a smoothie prepared for you at the locally owned Myco Cafe.
A sound bath is an immersive, meditative experience in which you are bathed in sound waves from singing bowls, gongs or other resonating instruments for a therapeutic effect. Participants typically rest on their backs as a facilitator guides the listening experience. In Boulder, several sound bath experts can lead small groups, from yoga studios like Yoga Pearl to individual healers.
A top destination for healthy nutrition in Boulder, Wonder is a cold-pressed juice bar serving the most delicious vitamin-packed juices and smoothies around. They also make their own bone broths and veggie broths, popular for health benefits ranging from better sleep to weight management. Choose from turmeric beef, ginger chicken, medicinal mushroom and immunity-boosting veggie recipes that are soothing, hot and nutritious.
The concept of forest bathing comes from a Japanese tradition called shinrin-yoku. It’s a chance to simply unplug and metaphorically “bathe” yourself in the splendor and sensory delights of nature. You can go on your own forest bathing outing on the trails of Boulder, and keep an eye on the city of Boulder's free guided hikes page for forest bathing outings there, too.
If recent reports about the negative effects of alcohol have you giving your gin rickey the side eye, don’t worry. You can still party in Boulder without the hangover. Jungle is a tiki bar that can make any of their classic tiki cocktails with Seedlip non-alcoholic spirits. And there are more options for alcohol-free fun on our roundup of Totally Boulder Beverages.
Seeking a new way to unwind? The Root Kava Bar might be just the place. The kava plant — part of the pepper family — has been cultivated for thousands of years in the South Pacific and is said to reduce stress and ease anxiety while increasing mental focus and aiding muscle recovery. Grab a traditional kava drink, made from ground-up kava root, or explore the rest of the menu, which offers kombucha, fruit tonics, ginger beer, tea, herbal and regular coffee, and house-made vegan Mexican hot chocolate. Kava has been associated with liver damage and drug interactions, so check with your doctor before imbibing.
Get Grounded With Goats
Smart, social, curious and unabashedly touchy-feely, goats offer a unique form of animal therapy, which has been shown to reduce cortisol levels. In Boulder, you can go on a goat-accompanied history hike or, at Growing Gardens' urban farm, take a goat dairy tour or the occasional goat yoga class!
Experience the health benefits of tea and enjoy the soothing sensory and social benefits of tea tasting. Boulder, which is home to the largest tea manufacturer in North America and has an obsession with tea, is the place to do it. Head to the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, an exquisite Persian teahouse gifted to Boulder by its sister city in Tajikistan, or Ku Cha House of Tea, to sip, sample and meditate on the flavors.
The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a symbol of international friendship. It was gifted to Boulder from our sister city Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Learn the incredible story of the teahouse's unlikely journey to Boulder.
Outside-the-hospital intravenous treatments for wellness purposes are growing in popularity for their quick-acting benefits. Boulder has several IV bars, including Hydrate IV Bar, Onus IV Bar and IV Boulder, that can administer saline "cocktails" with anti-aging, general health, jet lag, altitude sickness or athletic performance benefits.
Reserve a "bee hut" at Capella Ranch for a half or full hour to be immersed in the mesmerizing hum and sweet aroma of honeybees, which has been reported to provide mental and physical health benefits. Breathing the vapor from beehives is a form of “apitherapy” known as “Beehive Air Therapy." While mostly unheard of in the United States, it is currently authorized as a treatment in some European countries for asthma, bronchitis, lung fibrosis and respiratory tract infections.
At Thrive, a casual eatery whose focus is on plant-based raw foods, you can harness the power of algae (but in an enjoyable way) with their Blue Majik Lemonade. Blue-green algae is said to be the most nutrient-rich food around and was used by NASA as a dietary supplement for astronauts.
Jun is a slightly fizzy, fermented herbal beverage that's catching on as the next wave of kombucha. Typically made from green tea and honey, it’s rich in probiotics and is known in Asia for its ability to open your chi (energy). At Tonic Alchemy Lounge, you can try not just one but several flavors of jun — as well as an encyclopedic menu of potions, shakes, kefir water, hydrosols, tonics and tinctures. It’s also an oxygen bar!
Electrolytes on Tap
Given how active Boulderites tend to be (including multiple Olympians and Ironman champions) it's no surprise that you can find an electrolyte-infused hydration drink on tap at Skratch Labs Cafe. Their Hydration Sport Drink Mix has minimal sugar, an electrolyte profile that matches what is lost in sweat and only real fruit for flavor. The best part, order anything on their menu and you get to drink free.