Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Reviews of The Gospel of Wellness by Rina Raphael

The Gospel of Wellness

Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care

by Rina Raphael

The Gospel of Wellness by Rina Raphael X
The Gospel of Wellness by Rina Raphael
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2022, 352 pages

    Sep 2023, 352 pages


  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Journalist Rina Raphael looks at the explosion of the wellness industry: how it stems from legitimate complaints, how seductive marketing targets hopeful consumers–and why women are opening up their wallets like never before.

Wellness promises women the one thing they desperately desire: control.

Women are pursuing their health like never before. Whether it's juicing, biohacking, clutching crystals, or sipping collagen, today there is something for everyone, as the wellness industry has grown from modest roots into a $4.4 trillion entity and a full-blown movement promising health and vitality in the most fashionable package. But why suddenly are we all feeling so unwell?

The truth is that deep within the underbelly of self-care―hidden beneath layers of clever marketing―wellness beckons with a far stronger, more seductive message than health alone. It promises women the one thing they desperately desire: control.

Vividly told and deeply reported, The Gospel of Wellness reveals how this obsession is a direct result of women feeling dismissed, mistreated, and overburdened. Women are told they can manage the chaos ruling their life by following a laid-out plan: eat right, exercise, meditate, then buy or do all this stuff. And while wellness may have sprung from good intentions, we are now relentlessly flooded with exploitative offerings, questionable ideas, and a mounting pressure to stay devoted to the divine doctrine of wellness. What happens when the cure becomes as bad as the disease?

With a critical eye, humor, and empathy, wellness industry journalist Rina Raphael examines how women have been led down a kale-covered path promising nothing short of salvation. She knows: Raphael was once a disciple herself―trying everything from "clean eating" to electric shock workouts―until her own awakening to the troubling consequences. Balancing the good with the bad, The Gospel of Wellness is a clear-eyed exploration of what wellness can actually offer us, knocking down the false idols and commandments that have taken hold and ultimately showing how we might shape a better future for the movement―and for our well-being.

Chapter 1
Why the Hell Is the Advice Always Yoga?

Can you remember the last time you felt free? Do you recall a time in which you weren't consumed by text notifications, computer install updates, grocery lists, school pick-ups and drop-offs, work emails, the news, and shedding "those last ten pounds"? Remember giving less of a shit? Being psychologically unburdened? And relaxed?

Neither do many other women. Modern life, for all its comforts and privileges, can feel wildly overwhelming. To be a woman today is to be stuck in a loop of unrelenting maintance.

I am, by all accounts, not a chill person. Type A is a more accurate description. My husband likes to motion for me "to take it down a notch" whenever I'm riled up by politics, line cutters, or nonsensical fashion. This is partially due to my own makeup but partially bred out of a chaotic career existence. And yes, let me preface all this by saying that I am overall a very fortunate person who is housed, fed, and not stuck in a war-torn...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!


Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A journalist who specializes in health and women's issues, Raphael is perfectly situated to investigate the massive wellness industry...Writing with authority and empathy, Raphael tells a disturbing story of taking a good thing and then overdoing it.

Raphael delivers an eye-opening, cautionary study of the contemporary, amorphous meaning of 'wellness.'

Publishers Weekly
Sympathizing with women whose dissatisfaction with the medical system makes them susceptible to pseudoscience, Raphael makes clear that "the status quo isn't cutting it" ("We go to yoga because we need a moment to slow down") and guides readers to a more critical consumerism and an understanding that systemic solutions and community focus are required. This astute and revealing investigation packs a punch.

Author Blurb Sarah Knight, New York Times bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
Next-level revelatory... You'll never look at an Instagram ad for organic face wash the same way again. I found myself repeating many anecdotes to friends while I was reading, which is always the sign of a good book.

Author Blurb Virginia Sole-Smith, author of The Eating Instinct
Raphael articulates why women go on yoga retreats, start cleanses, and think we can only feed our kids organic, from scratch meals…A smart, reassuring read that you'll want to keep on hand for the next time Instagram tries to convince you that this supplement or that expensive new workout trend is The One.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!


Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Gospel of Wellness, try these:

  • The Price We Pay jacket

    The Price We Pay

    by Marty Makary

    Published 2021

    About this book

    One in five Americans now has medical debt in collections and rising health care costs today threaten every small business in America. Dr. Makary, one of the nation's leading health care experts, travels across America and details why health care has become a bubble.

  • The Inflamed Mind jacket

    The Inflamed Mind

    by Edward Bullmore

    Published 2019

    About this book

    Worldwide, depression will be the single biggest cause of disability in the next twenty years. But treatment for it has not changed much in the last three decades. In the world of psychiatry, time has apparently stood still...until now with Edward Bullmore's The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression.

We have 4 read-alikes for The Gospel of Wellness, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Last Bloodcarver
    The Last Bloodcarver
    by Vanessa Le
    The city-state of Theumas is a gleaming metropolis of advanced technology and innovation where the ...
  • Book Jacket: Say Hello to My Little Friend
    Say Hello to My Little Friend
    by Jennine CapĂł Crucet
    Twenty-year-old Ismael Reyes is making a living in Miami as an impersonator of the rapper/singer ...
  • Book Jacket: The Painter's Daughters
    The Painter's Daughters
    by Emily Howes
    Peggy and Molly Gainsborough are sisters and best friends, living an idyllic life in 18th-century ...
  • Book Jacket: Beverly Hills Spy
    Beverly Hills Spy
    by Ronald Drabkin
    When it comes to espionage, not only is truth stranger than fiction, sometimes it can be downright ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
A Great Country
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
A novel exploring the ties and fractures of a close-knit Indian-American family in the aftermath of a violent encounter with the police.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The House on Biscayne Bay
    by Chanel Cleeton

    As death stalks a gothic mansion in Miami, the lives of two women intertwine as the past and present collide.

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Home
    by Crystal Hana Kim

    A moving family drama and coming-of-age story revealing a dark corner of South Korean history.

Who Said...

There is no science without fancy and no art without fact

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!


Solve this clue:

S B the B

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.