Mass Movement

health & wellness
category - fitness
sector - health & wellness
In-person gatherings are increasing at an unprecedented scale, serving a visceral need for vitality and human connection among young adults.


Remember when people were languishing and indulging in homebody living during the pandemic? Now they are far removed from it. Today’s young consumers are all about vitality. Free of pandemic-related rules and restrictions, they are feeling supercharged – and with the hobbies to match. Traditionally solo activities are swelling to sizes society has never seen. Going for a walk? Now they can go with 600 new friends. Meditating? Now they can sit in silence alongside thousands.

While this is a multi-faceted mentality touching on trends ranging from the loneliness epidemic to hyper-local communities, the concept ultimately stems from consumers’ deep desire to get the most out of life.

After experiencing such extreme isolation and health threats throughout the pandemic, consumers want to experience extreme enjoyment, extreme health, extreme connection – and even extreme entertainment, as covered in our Next-level Hedonism analysis. This is what living a life of more intention looks like: building a deeper connection to oneself, to each other and to the environment.

Loneliness is on the rise as many young people work remotely. About one in four Gen Z workers in the US report feeling lonely at work, much higher than the 13% of all workers who say they do, according to a new report by SHRM. They don’t have the built-in social structure that they did pre-pandemic, including the ability to connect with colleagues at the water cooler during the day and go out together after work. This absence of casual acquaintances is encouraging them to go out on the town after work and at weekends, eager to explore, network and build meaningful friendships.

Published by:

22 August 2023

Author: Carly Ettinger and Olivia Houghton

Image: The Big Quiet, US


The Big Quiet, US

Intentional walking

In New York, women are getting together en masse as part of a new club, City Girls Who Walk. From ages nine to 90, hundreds of women get together every Sunday at 12:00pm ET to walk at locations across the city, such as Central Park and along the Hudson River. It was started by Millennial, Brianna Kohn, after she moved to the city and found it difficult to make friends and navigate the urban social scene. It turns out she wasn’t alone in this feeling: many Millennial and Gen Z women are searching for connection.

The walking group has grown so big – sometimes featuring groups as big as 600 women – that it looks more like a protest than a Sunday stroll. The organisation offers a warm, welcoming, inclusive atmosphere, a safe space for participants to show up as their true selves and do something healthy, positive and meaningful together – network.

It’s an extremely simple concept that’s having an important impact on its participants. In an interview with Elle magazine, Fernanda Grace, 37, says of her experience: ‘These strangers have become amazing friends… they have become the most wonderful adventure buddies I could have ever wished for.’ 

Meditation en masse

Meditation – a traditionally solo activity – is getting social. As young people explore what spirituality means to them, they are turning to new and interesting outlets that allow them to connect on a more meaningful, often spiritual, level, yet also ground them. But rather than seeking out these moments of silence alone, they are going in groups – of thousands.

Mass meditations are taking place in person at some of the biggest stages in the US, such as Madison Square Garden, the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, Fenway Park in Boston and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. hOm, an Ohio-based immersive sound experience, is hosting what it calls The World’s Largest Sound Bath and City-wide Meditation in September 2023. The event is attempting to set the Guinness World Record as the largest, in-person sound bath ever at the Field in Columbus, Ohio – which seats more than 20,000 spectators. Instagram gurus like Jay Shetty and brands like The Big Quiet are also leading in-person meditations for audiences of thousands.

‘These strangers have become amazing friends… they have become the most wonderful adventure buddies I could have ever wished for’
Fernanda Grace, 37, City Girls Who Walk attendee

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