Best Business Ideas for 2023: Wellbeing

We always want to improve our health and wellbeing, making this one of the most recession-proof business ideas for 2023.

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Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young

Following 2022, a year that almost gave 1666 a run for its money, we were all hoping for a bit of respite from dismal news headlines to protect our physical and mental health in 2023. What do we have instead? Oh yes, the promise of a global recession.

Consumer reports show there is a very real need for wellbeing products and services that can help cheer up spirits. While people do cut back on expenses in a downturn, spending has so far defied the odds with businesses like JD Sports and Ten Entertainment Group Plc (which runs bowling alleys) reporting good profits over December.

All this means that firms which can provide a product or service that makes the general public feel good – for an affordable price – will be onto a winning formula this year.

But where are the best opportunities? How can you make the biggest impact and stand out from your competitors? Our guide will take you through the most exciting and original wellbeing business ideas for 2023.

Green fingers

Mind’s report into the impact of coronavirus on mental health found that 75% of respondents said spending time outside was their most popular coping mechanism during COVID-19 – and this newfound love of nature hasn’t gone away.

Greater awareness of the climate crisis, combined with proven research into the mental health benefits of being outdoors, means that more of us are getting into planet-friendly gardening. Alongside beautifully pruned lawns, house owners are also striving to garden in a way that prioritises the local eco-system.

The success stories are specific – but obvious. Businesses that offer recycled materials and other natural resources for gardening are in mode this year. So too, it seems, are wild bird feeders. According to a market report, the global bird feeder industry (yes, that exists) is estimated to grow by 6.5% from 2022 to 2031.

George Davies is founder of For Peat’s Sake!, a startup that provides a compact, lightweight, and dry alternative to peat compost.

Davies notes that gardening “is a very fulfilling practice which offers us peace of mind, away from the stresses of modern-day life.”

Marketing a new material to shoppers takes some clever strategising. Davies has utilised the company’s online channels to educate users on why peat, a common material used in gardening soil, is so harmful to the environment. Also, why For Peat’s Sake’s coconut-based alternative is more convenient for consumers.

“Our primary aim is to give growers a superior alternative to peat compost, and to help them continue growing plants without the environmental consequences of mass peat harvesting,” says Davies. “Plastic-free and easy to carry, [we] also make gardening accessible for urban dwellers, senior citizens and those lacking storage space in their apartment.”

Convenience is an area that Power Sheds knows a lot about. The Bradford-based company was founded by Jack Sutcliffe and Simon Holborn, who spotted that no one was creating fast-delivery sheds.

“Taking inspiration from the ‘mattress in a box’, we have developed a modular garden shed, which can fit on a pallet. This means that we can deliver a shed using a national pallet delivery network to anywhere in the UK with next day delivery,” explains CEO Sutcliffe.

With consumers wanting to maximise space and spend more time outdoors, the market was ripe for disruption. Power Sheds’ wooden works of art have been a huge success, and Sutcliffe is predicting similarly good fortune this year.

He cites sustainable materials like composite fencing and meditative ‘garden sancturies’ as the industry’s hot buys for this year. And, like many other sectors, the gardening world is not immune to the current cost of living crisis.

As society shifts focus to cost-effective technologies, we expect to see an increase in smart gardening gadgets that save people money and time as well as produce healthier plants,” Sutcliffe nods. “For example, smart sprinkles that schedule irrigation depending on weather and can determine breaks and leaks.”

What are some green-fingered business ideas?

Guided tours with a twist

Urban dwellers are looking for fun experiences away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, where they can experience the English countryside. You could host a Bridgerton-esque country house crawl, or tap into the growing sustainability trend and take an ethical beekeeping tour.

Gardening club

Gardening has had a huge resurgence as consumers search for a digital detox to get their hands dirty off-screen. You could offer some in-person or virtual teaching sessions to those both with and without their own green space. Corporate activity days can be a particularly big money-spinner here.

The science of diet

We know nutritional science is not a new business idea. Diet shakes, fakes, and low-cal bakes have populated supermarket shelves for donkey’s years.

But the body positivity movement has meant that the wellbeing diet industry is moving away from pills and supplements that can make you look good. Instead, the focus has shifted towards using scientifically-backed data to manufacture products that help you to feel, and live, better.

In 2022, 38% of Brits said they use vitamins and dietary supplement products daily. Savvy entrepreneurs have acted swiftly, leveraging this emerging customer need to provide smart new wellness solutions. Some have even combined with other trends to produce supplements suitable for specialist diets like veganism.

One firm that’s take personalisation to a whole other level is Nourished. Melissa Snover, cofounder and CEO of Nourished, got the idea from her own nutritional journey. Weighed down by the multiple vitamins and supplements she was having to take each day, she decided: “there must be a more convenient way to get all of my specific nutritional needs into my everyday diet.”

Using patented 3D printing technology, consumers can choose up to seven layers of ingredients to build a super nutrient gummy that exactly matches their health requirements.

Judging by Nourished’s success (it came sixth in the Startups 100 Index 2023), this idea is on the up. But will Nourished’s towering stacks of healthy supplements stand out from the crowd in 2023?

“In a saturated market, a unique selling point and unique messaging will help businesses stand out,” Snover states. “As we collectively continue to develop more flexible lifestyles [this] means a greater focus on specific health circumstances, from menopause to vegan diets, high-impact athletics and more.”

Developing products based on particular customer needs might sound more complicated. But as Snover reveals, it’s actually a much more cost-efficient manufacturing route.

“By making each nutrient gummy for each individual customer we’re able to hold significantly less stock than traditional manufacturing methods, and so don’t have to dispose of any unsold or expired products,” she divulges. “What’s more, our streamlined production process also significantly reduces our carbon footprint.”

Social media is furthering the trend, by helping people to be more aware of lesser-known ailments like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), which has been found to affect between 10-20% of the UK population.

Gut-friendly startups like Boundless Activated Snacking, a Startups-100 listed company for 2023, have seen great success this year as online nutritionists and dieticians helped to inform consumers about the symptoms and causes of the condition.

“People are more and more aware of the importance of the gut and how we need to look after it – not only for physical wellbeing but for our mental health too,” says Cathy Moseley, founder of Boundless. “I am super proud to be one of the brands that are forging forward with this movement. Gut all the way.”

So what’s Moseley’s number one piece of advice for others looking to start a nutritional company? “Know your customer needs,” she says simply.

“I suffer from dairy and gluten intolerances. Everything I found on the free-from shelves were either tasteless, or packed with a load of added sugar. With the rise of consumers choosing a more balanced lifestyle I knew there was a need to make a product that covered allergens and tummy issues, but that also tasted amazing.”

What are some business ideas for science-backed dieting?


Dropshipping is an easy business to start as it means relatively few overheads and is very scalable. You don’t need to handle any supplements yourself – you just need to make the sales and pass orders on to your supplier. To strengthen your consumer base, you could also offer regular prescription-style delivery services.

Nutritionist coach

This is a fairly simple business idea but it has lots of different applications. You could work with consumers or businesses to provide scientific diet advice for personal clients or employees.

Mindful drinking

There has been a pushback against drinking over the past decade. Historical data shows that UK adults appear to be drinking less year-on-year. Meanwhile, a Drinkaware survey 2022 found that 30% of people surveyed had been concerned about someone else’s drinking in the past 12 months.

As a result, many new businesses have emerged in the market to promote healthy and happy relationships with alcohol, in a new trend that’s been labelled by some as ‘mindful drinking’.

There’s certainly a market for it. According to charity Alcohol Change UK – the founders of the Dry January movement – almost nine million people took part in the initiative this year. That’s compared to 6.5 million in 2021. So-called ‘sober-curious’ consumers are taking up a large space at the table. Their demand is driving impressive innovations in the sector.

For example, the ‘nolo’ (no- or low-alcohol) startup CleanCo, which recently secured almost £6m in funding, promotes what it describes as ‘hangover-free’ drinking through its delicious non-alcoholic spirits.

Apps like DrinkControl can be set up to track your consumption. Others, like community forum Monument, give support and encouragement to those who are trying to reduce their dependence on alcohol.

All of these tools allow users to become more aware of how much they are drinking, and work to minimise negative health effects such as hangovers.

Then, there are those who want to quit drinking due to its negative health impact. Tonnes of healthy beer and wine brands are popping up all over the country as consumers get beer-belly fear and look for low-calorie drinking options.

For example, Jubel Beer. Launched in 2018, Jubel was born on the ski slopes after founder Jesse Wilson found cider too sweet, and lager too bland. JUBEL contains 63% less sugar than a fruit cider and is on par with most skinny tonic waters. It’s also gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

“It’s not a legal requirement for alcohol brands to list their nutritional information,” Wilson expounds. “We’ve had the wave of awareness around how much sugar sneaks into soft drinks, but the awareness is only just getting going about how much sugar and calories are hiding in alcoholic drinks.”

Wilson reveals that the leading fruit ciders contain around 8.8g sugar per 100ml, which is very close to a full fat Coca-Cola. But that’s not to say it doesn’t rival the all-American brand for taste.

“Taste is the number one priority for consumers, and still trumps calories when it comes to what drinks they want to consume,” says Wilson. “There’s a reason why food [brands] consisting of nothing but leaves of lettuce don’t exist – there’s no consumer pull for them. For a drinks brand to be sustainable, it has to be something that people want to come back to over and over again.”

What are some business ideas for mindful drinking?

Mocktail mixology

Virtual and physical cocktail classes have become a common leisure activity, but few offer specifically alcohol-free sessions. In line with the demand amongst firms for more inclusive workforces, this could be a winner for anyone with hospitality or bartending experience. Anyone for a virgin margarita?

Sober event planning

The event planning business is becoming increasingly diverse, offering experiences for everyone to get involved. If you want to make your mark in the space, consider the specialist area of alcohol-free parties, weddings, and galas.

Final thoughts

Post-COVID, and with the stress of today’s many bleak headlines, looking after our mental and physical health is today’s zeitgeist. But don’t feel you need a degree in health sciences to succeed in this sector.

Running a wellbeing business is really all about translating your positivity and enthusiasm into your service or product offering, so you can help consumers feel happier and healthier with themselves.

Wellbeing is also a competitive space. If there’s one lesson to take away from our success stories, it’s about doing your research and finding a niche. By providing a service that consumers are genuinely seeking, new businesses will stand out from the market and grow by leaps and bounds in 2023.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.
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