OW - Gen Z

A-Gen-Z Series

Healthcare As Self Care

In a world that’s pushing them to the brink, Gen Zers have embraced healthcare and wellness services as both a locus of control and a protected space for self-nurturing

A painterly illustration of a large face floating above someone meditating. The large face is peaceful and smiling with flowers in their hair. At the bottom of the picture, a person meditating is wearing flowing robes of cream and gold. The color palette is muted with mint greens and pastel blues. Large magenta butterflies are on either side. The scene is peaceful.

as likely as other generations to struggle with mental health issues


as likely to go to social media for medical information


wears a fitness or sleep tracker


more likely than other generations to discuss menstrual cycles in the workplace


believe employers should provide period products, and 46% believe women should have menstrual leave


as likely to share personal health information in exchange for guidance on how best to navigate the health system

Key takeaways

Healthy habits aren’t translating to happier minds. Gen Zers may be more invested in their physical and mental health than previous generations, but they face higher rates of mental health conditions and struggle with emotional and overall wellbeing.

Exploring the outer limits of wellness with alternative treatments. Not afraid to experiment and explore new ways to manage their health and wellbeing, Gen Zers are trying alternative treatments and techniques, including psychedelics.

It’s OK to not be OK. Known for inclusive and progressive attitudes, Gen Zers openly discuss previously taboo topics and break societal norms. They are actively destigmatizing various issues across mental and physical wellness.

Reproducing the conversation around reproductive health. Leading the charge for better reproductive healthcare, Gen Zers are advocating for more open discussions on women’s health and are challenging traditional expectations.

Social media as a healthcare resource. In an age when medical professionals double as health influencers, Gen Zers tap social media platforms for health information and advice.

Steps only count when they’re tracked. From tracking their daily steps and distance traveled to monitoring their sleep patterns and heartrates, Gen Zers value the sense of control that comes from being able to measure their data and embrace technology that provides insight about their own health.

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“This report shows that we’re acknowledging something that has been repressed within generations in the past but it’s also showing that we have more work to do in terms of deepening our connection to each other and to ourselves”

How to create healthcare offerings that resonate

Support mental health and wellness. Prioritizing mental health and overall wellbeing, Gen Zers are eager to engage in wellness practices. With mental health as a DIY experience, companies should consider incorporating wellness stipends as well as researching the type of support that would be valued by employees.

Offer alternatives. With Gen Z’s open-minded and experimental nature, they are willing to supplement the medical establishment with alternative treatments. As they embrace holistic care, businesses should consider prescribing alternative treatments and techniques that reduce stress and anxiety.

Good vibes = good healthcare. For Gen Zers, good healthcare is inclusive, affirming, nurturing, soothing, and restorative. Companies should move away from the sterile environment to healthcare that feels like visiting a spa — but in this spa, you access cutting-edge medical research and techniques, and are always fully seen, heard, and respected.

Take a proactive approach to reproductive health. With Gen Zers speaking their minds and crushing taboos, this generation is bringing much-needed awareness to women’s health issues. They want employers to provide paid menstrual leave, access to period products, and resources for fertility preservation.

Online, connected healthcare is a must have. These digital natives value dialogue, connectivity, and convenience. Providers may benefit from offering a range of digital tools as well as frequent communication through channels such as email, text, and practice-specific portals.

Social media: a permanent source of health information. Gen Zers increasingly turn to social media and influencers for health advice. Providers may benefit from staying on top of topics trending on social media in order to discuss and address health related ones.

“When I was younger, mental health was not as widely discussed. At 16, I struggled with depression and family made it seem like it was my choice. My mom would say things like, ‘Just go to school and you won’t be depressed.’ I think the world is getting better at addressing mental health issues.”

—22, part-time student/bartender, she/her, New York

A-Gen-Z Case Study

Fighting stigma, one reel at a time: using social media to promote mental health and shatter stereotypes

Dr. Jake Goodman is a psychiatry resident and mental health activist with a significant presence on social media. With more than 1.9 million followers, he uses his social media platform to fight stigma and to empower those struggling with mental health challenges to seek help. On his Instagram account, he shares personal insights and experiences, including his own journey with mental health medication and being rejected by medical schools, to show his followers that they are not alone. Through informational videos, he addresses topics such as how to talk to parents about ADHD and the reality of mental health challenges such as social anxiety. By doing so, he works to change the perception of mental health.

Elyse Myers is a writer, comedian, and musician who has become known for her relatable and comedic content on social media. She has been called “The Internet’s Best Friend” for her ability to connect with her audience of over 5 million followers with humorous stories and personal anecdotes. She is open and vulnerable about her experiences with ADHD, anxiety, and imposter syndrome in hopes that by discussing her experiences, others can feel more comfortable doing the same. She uses her platform to advocate for mental health and to remind her followers that they are not alone.