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 90s, 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 late 20s, I was diagnosed with some chronic and autoimmune health issues.

There were two episodes when I needed to take a longer break from work, to take time off to heal and recover. Each time 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.) It 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 always trusted 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 fad diets) and to workout regularly. I discovered meditation, I started to practice yoga, I even incorporated some 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 one of the highest passes in the Himalayas. Completing the 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 my supportive husband!) that helped me get there.

Later on, when my Dad suffered from a bad stroke and yet again I immersed myself in reading and research, to understand his condition and help with his recovery. Learning about health, nutrition, fitness and wellness has become my passion. But it was 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. But for me it was also personal.

In March 2021 both of my parents got covid at the same time. My Mum developed a severe form of it and ended up in intensive care. We almost lost 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. 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 also sought advice from the integrative nutritionist that I had worked with. She started to eat better, added some supplements, adjusted her daily routine… 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 seems to be the domain of the privileged. Trendy boutique workouts, yoga retreats in Bali, expensive (and not always proven effective) supplements and treatments… It attracts the same type of audience: predominantly well-off, educated (and yes, mostly white) urban women. Sometimes slightly kooky too (hello 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 are usually not included. Many will wait until the illness strikes to regularly see a doctor – yet often (like in the case of my Dad and his stroke) it may 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 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 now 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 or chat, 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