Butthole sunning, dopamine fasting and potatoes: The 6 weirdest wellness trends of 2019.

Ah, 2019. It’s been… a year.

‘Climate emergency’ was named Oxford’s Word of the Year. We collectively decided Lizzo was our favourite person on earth. We watched reality TV shows in which people smashed fruit bowls and called a man a ‘dog c***’.

But honestly, the strangest part of this year has been the rise of some utterly bizarre wellness trends.

Here’s a few ‘wellness’ options that don’t require a position as compromised as… butthole sunning. Post continues below video.

Video via Mamamia

(Fun fact: A story I wrote about butthole sunning, yes, BUTTHOLE SUNNING, is my most read story of the year. Four years of student debt and a journalism degree was worth it, just for this).

Because we’re:

a. amused and

b. concerned,

We’ve rounded up trends that really took off this year, and it provides a very accurate reflection of the year 2019.

1. Butthole sunning.


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I can’t mention butthole sunning above and then not list it as the number one WILDEST thing we’ve come across in 2019, can I?

If you are uninitiated with the trend (lucky you), it really is as explicit as it sounds: It involves sunning ones… butthole by sticking the part of your body that evolution SPECIFICALLY decided not to place anywhere the sun can reach up to the big burning ball in the sky.

Why? According to butthole sunning connoisseur(?) Troy Casey, “30 seconds of direct sunlight injection to the anal orifice is equivalent to being outside in the sun ALL DAY!”

That’s… a bold claim with absolutely no peer reviewed research according to my thorough (and risky AF) googling of ‘butthole sunning’ and various other terms including one with the word ‘anus’.

I did find a satirical article about the importance of putting sunscreen on your butthole, which I wager a guess Mr Butthole Sunning has not done.

2. Dopamine fasting.

In November 2018, full-time life coach Richard, who runs the YouTube channel ImprovementPill, shared an instructional video on dopamine fasting and it’s really taken off during 2019, especially in Silicon Valley (because of course).

In the video titled ‘How To Get Your Life Back Together’, Richard explained that dopamine fasting involves a consistent period of doing absolutely nothing for 24 hours or more.

“In order for this to work, you have to treat it like a sort of holiday – this is an entire event that takes place from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep,” he explained.


In fact, he says the purpose of dopamine fasting is to have “as little fun as possible”. Richard is no friend of ours.

During the fasting period, participants are forced to abstain from all sorts of things, including but not limited to: food, internet, social media, television, Netflix, YouTube, substances including drugs and alcohol, games, music, books, masturbating, talking, and seeing friends. (We’re already screaming internally at the thought of this, to be honest).

On the other hand, however, you’re apparently able to drink water, walk outside, meditate, write using a pen and paper and participate in light exercise.

This sounds like like ‘wellness’ and more like ‘literal hell’.

Listen to The Quicky, Mamamia’s daily news podcast. Post continues below. 

3. Potatoes. <3

Image: Unsplash.

Screw dopamine fasting, because the humble potato has become a very important wellness warrior (that makes it sound like potatoes created an Instagram account full of inspo quotes and yoga poses. Would follow).

In 2019, potatoes started fighting back against their 'basic white carb' image.

The idea was first floated by Harling Ross, a writer at Man Repeller. Ross wrote that she was out walking with a friend, when that friend explained to her that the kale-based salads we scoff down at lunch are ruining our digestive systems.

That’s why everyone is so bloat-y and, erm, fart-y all the time.

Potatoes, on the other hand, are extremely easy to digest. They actually fill you up and they’re as cheap as… chips.

Potatoes are packed full of good stuff like vitamins C and B6, folate, potassium and magnesium. And they’re also great for anyone on a FODMAP diet.

All of this has been backed up by the team at Potato News Today, the internet’s preeminent ‘no-frills, no-nonsense daily account of breaking global potato news stories’, and I trust them with my hashbrown-loving LIFE.

So get out your masher and baking tray, because the glorious lil’ potatoes we know and love are back.

4. Sleep podcasts.

It is no longer enough to make yourself a cup of tea or count sheep if you're struggling to get to sleep.

Because it is 2019, and we now have the most 2019 way to help you get some decent shut eye: Sleep podcasts, a.k.a "slow lit".

We're not talking about the same kind of 'lit' as your 16-year-old cousin. In fact, it's the exact opposite of that.

"Slow lit" are podcasts designed to put you to sleep. They’re essentially very boring bedtime stories.

The most famous slow lit podcast? Drew Ackerman’s Sleep With Medescribed as "bedtime stories to help grown ups fall asleep in the deep, dark night".

The podcast dedicates its episodes to recaps and analysis of shows and films like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Good Place, which sounds interesting but we promise you, it's really not.


Ackerman has an awfully boring, monotone voice and constantly goes off on tangents and oghdfogj, oops sorry I just fell asleep on my keyboard.

5. Cross stitching.

cross stitching millennials
Images: Instagram.

My grandma taught me to cross stitch when I was eight years old so I'm 20 years ahead of the curve here.

But yeah, the old school stitching is now considered 'wellness' on account of it being 2019, meaning we're all riddled with stress and anxiety.

Poking a needle in and out of taut canvas creates a therapeutic repetitiveness which calms in a very different way to endless scrolling on social media. This is scientifically backed, which is more than butthole sunning can say. It’s the same with pottery. The repetition gently forces you to concentrate and be mindful of the present task, instead of watching a movie on Netflix, scrolling Instagram and adding 12 items to cart all at the same time.

It's peak wellness, but when you're done and back to your usual Insta-habits, your new cross stitched creation can create some damn good content.

6. Celery juice.

Late last year, a man started telling people to drink celery juice and people... listened.

He was Anthony William, the number one New York Times best-selling author who calls himself Medical Medium and says he "was born with the unique ability to converse with Spirit of Compassion who provides him with extraordinarily accurate health information that’s often far ahead of its time."

And yet... people still listened.

According to William, drinking a glass of celery juice every morning on an empty stomach is "truly the saviour when it comes to chronic illness", so in 2019, celery juice hit peak popularity.

This trend is perhaps best summed up by,

a. YUCK, and

b. A disclaimer on the Medical Medium website says in small print at the bottom of the page, that William "is not a licensed medical doctor, chiropractor, osteopathic physician, naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, pharmacist, psychologist, psychotherapist, or other formally licensed healthcare professional, practitioner or provider of any kind."

Shock. Horror.

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