COMING SOON: Your Free Marketing Health Check

Why health and wellness marketing?

My personal story behind MarketingWell.

It started with my own health and fitness journey. First, as a teenager, then a young woman in the nothing-tastes-as-good-as-skinny-feels 1990s, I was obsessed with weight loss. I would geek out on all the crazy diets and try out every fitness fad that made its way to my native Poland. Then, in my early 30s, I was diagnosed with some chronic autoimmune health issues.

There were two episodes when I needed to take a longer break from work in order to heal and recover. Both times the health crisis came after a period of intense stress in my personal or professional life. (First after divorce, then after working in a soul-destroying, toxic corporate environment for too long.) This made me curious about the impact of our lifestyle and emotional wellbeing on physical health. The famous mind-body connection.

I started to explore it and ended up working with some complementary health practitioners, as well as conventional doctors. I’ve always had trust in science and evidence-based medicine. But I was also very lucky to find both a first-contact doctor and an endocrinologist with a more holistic approach to health.

Over the years I started to eat better (and smarter – no more crazy crash diets) and to work out regularly. I discovered meditation, started to practice yoga, even incorporated some simple Ayurvedic rituals into my daily routine. Most importantly, I learned to listen to my body. And the results were mind-blowing.

Anna Zgadzaj at 3 passes trek
This is me at Cho La, one of the high passes in the Himalayas (5420m). Completing the challenging Everest Basecamp and Three Passes Trek had always been a Bucket list item for me, but at the height of my health problems I thought it’d never be possible. Yet there I was in 2018 – and it was the holistic approach to health and fitness (but also my supportive husband!) that helped me get there.

Later on, when my Dad suffered from a bad stroke, I immersed myself in reading and research yet again, to better understand his condition and to be able to help with his recovery. Over the years, learning about health and nutrition has become my passion. Yoga, fitness, outdoors activities, wellness – favourite ways to spend free time. All still completely separate from my work as an international marketing consultant.

This changed during the pandemic. That’s when most of us realised that health is a top priority, and how important it is to improve our resilience to disease. Health and wellness were on top of the public agenda, for the first time that I could remember. But for me (as for many others of course) it was also personal.

In March 2021 my parents both got covid at the same time. My Mum developed a severe form of it and ended up in intensive care. We were afraid we would lose her. While she was in hospital fighting for life, my Dad stayed at home on his own – sick, isolated and not able to look after himself properly. Luckily he didn’t develop any serious symptoms, and my Mum was released (somewhat prematurely) from hospital after 2 weeks. But the recovery process was stressful and very long.

A mission-driven workaholic, Mum had not looked after her own wellbeing for years, putting everyone else’s needs ahead of hers. The illness was taking its toll now, the lung inflammation would not go away. She worked diligently with her doctors, but we also consulted with the integrative nutritionist that I had worked with. As a result, she started to eat better, added some supplements, adjusted her daily routine… And she was amazed to see what a difference those lifestyle changes could make.

That was the lightbulb moment for me. I realised that so many people don’t understand the full power of everyday health and wellness practices, and how much impact they can have. It is estimated that lifestyle changes can prevent 80% of diseases that are the main causes of death in the Western world. And yet not much is changing.

Preventative health and especially “wellness” still seemed to be the domain of the privileged. Trendy boutique workouts, yoga retreats in Bali, expensive (yet not always proven effective) supplements and treatments… It attracted the same type of audience: predominantly well-off, educated (and yes, mostly white) urban women. Sometimes slightly kooky too (I’m looking at you, goop ;)).

But “regular” people, those in their middle age or older, those who don’t spend hours on Instagram and in chic urban health clubs were usually not included. Many would wait until the illness struck to regularly see a doctor – yet often (like in the case of my Dad and his stroke) it could be too late.

I felt compelled to do something about it, on a larger scale, beyond my family. To help promote holistic, evidence-based health and wellness among those who need it the most.

Going back to school to become a registered health practitioner was out of the question – it was too late at my age to start this long process. I briefly considered getting certified as a nutritionist or a health coach. But then I understood that there was a more effective way for me to contribute.

As a professional marketer I had the skills and experience to help those already working in this area reach more people and have a bigger impact. In fact, at the same time when my parents had covid, I was working on a big European chronic pain awareness campaign with a large multinational client. It was one of the most rewarding projects of my career. It just never occurred to me before that I could connect my personal passion for holistic health with my work as a marketer – but it totally made sense.

This is when the idea of MarketingWell was born: a boutique marketing consultancy for health and wellness brands. Especially for the smaller ones, who do not have access to top agencies or huge budgets. But they do need to get more visible, to be able to reach more people with their life-transforming, often lifesaving work.

The holistic approach to health has definitely been transformational for my family, and I’m excited to have found a way to integrate it into my work. And over time to help promote and share these concepts with as many people as possible. 

If you think we could work together, or if you just want to connect, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Anna Zgadzaj

Anna Zgadzaj

Anna Zgadzaj is a Digital Marketing Strategist with over 15 years of international experience and a passion for marketing that is authentic, human-centred and data-informed. She founded MarketingWell to help small health and wellness brands grow online in a way that feels right and brings real results. Learn more