Here's where to find your fix of wellness in sunny San Diego.
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Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.
The term “wellness” has become pretty broad these days. From buzzy supplements to CBD-infused everything, it seems like everybody is trying to sell the word in one way or another. So, when a place comes along that embodies an authentic approach to wellness, we get pretty excited. And then, of course, we share it with you.
Well, here it is, Denver: the real deal. It’s called Honey Elixir Bar.
Jocasta Hanson was working as a bartender and studying to become a therapist when her best friend, Boulder chef Matt Lackey, died in a climbing accident on Mt. Princeton. The tragic loss caused her to experience a journey of grieving and healing that serves as part of the inspiration for Honey. Her friend’s passing was “a powerful experience of how community heals together,” Jocasta shared with Fitt. That realization inspired Jocasta to put her grad school studies on hold. “I wanted to create a place that would hold the space for those looking for a healing connection—a place to gather, or a space to celebrate,” she says. Combining this desire with her passions for psychology, nutrition, health, art, and design, Honey was born.
Honey serves a creative and carefully crafted collection of drinks that nourish—a lineup of flavorful and functional sips, from kombucha and smoothies to chai and kefir. When it comes to ingredients at Honey, you’ll see it’s all about intention. Whether you’re craving a warm cup of calming cacao or a craft cocktail infused with antioxidant-rich ingredients like turmeric and goji, this café has something to satisfy.
Honey offers healthy snacks, too. In browsing the menu, expect small plates that pack a powerful punch, like sliced apple with house-made raw nut butter, a local honey sampler with gluten-free bread, and a seasonal soup and salad. The eatery tends to rotate in some vegan sweets from local bakeries too.
But it goes beyond a healthy menu for Jocasta. She doesn’t want Honey to be just another juice bar or kombucha spot—she aims to create a space that embraces all aspects of health, from how you nourish your body to how you nurture your brain. So, in the spirit of cultivating community and connection, and in addition to serving up those healthful sips, Honey offers workshops and hosts group meetings for those sharing common experiences, like a workshop focused on how the Jun (a fermented tea similar to kombucha but made with honey rather than sugar) she serves at the cafe can benefit gut health or a group meeting for those experiencing grief from the loss of a loved one.
Thought was put into every aspect of Honey, from the way tables are arranged to facilitate conversation to the acoustics that allow the sounds of voices and music to fill the space. Good vibes (literally) emanate from its core, with words of intention lining the ground beneath the flooring. Jocasta hopes to highlight the talents of the community, too, with rotating art exhibitions and a retail space stocked with goods from local makers.
Collectively, Honey Elixir Bar is a new concept to Denver. A healthy cafe redefining wellness, and a gathering space redefining community. And with a place that packs purpose and intention in every square inch, we had to ask—why the name Honey? Jocasta shared several reasons for choosing it, but her favorite one? “Honey is alchemized sunshine,” she says. “Bees turn the power of the sun into liquid gold.”
So, come in. Share a laugh. Let this place fill you up.
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.