wellness theories

Bella Hadid and Jen Batchelor Know Wellness Is a Work in Progress

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Courtesy of Kin Euphorics

Wellness is a work in progress,” says Bella Hadid, who recently opened up about her experience with anxiety and depression on Instagram. Hadid, who joined CEO Jen Batchelor as the co-founder and partner of nonalcoholic adaptogenic drink company Kin Euphorics over the summer, found a can of the Kin Spritz in her fridge in 2019. She still has no idea how it got there — “The universe placed it there,” she told Vogue — but today, she says the drinks, which are made of “herbs, nootropics, and botanics” like ​​rhodiola rosea and reishi mushroom, make her feel “better, more energetic, and less stressed.”

The supermodel also does therapy and meditation, among other practices, and has been journaling since she was 13: “I was the kid with headphones in my ears, listening to my music, with my journal in the back of the class, drawing, writing, and quoting lyrics.”

Batchelor practices hot yoga and abhyanga, an Ayurvedic massage. But she’s adamant about encouraging rituals that speak specifically to each person. She wants people to remember, “Wellness is not meant to be a cure-all; it’s not meant to be a Band-Aid. It’s meant to be a series of individualized tools, people, ideas, herbs, whatever it is, that help you find yourself so that you can contribute more of yourself to the world.”

Below, Batchelor and Hadid break down their essentials.

On their definitions of wellness:

Bella Hadid: You’re not going to be the No. 1 health guru, 24/7, every single day of your life. But it’s about the process of wanting to be your best self. It’s about your gut being connected to your brain and then your brain essentially being connected to everything else.

Especially when I was working so, so much, I would work out literally for my mental health because I would feel so overwhelmed and so unable to do anything that working out was the only thing [that helped]. Then I realized that the nutritional benefits of what I was eating and meditation and cryotherapy and sinking my feet into real grass or dirt, which is so grounding, all of those things are steps to get to my best self.

Jen Batchelor: The sad part about the western world is that we’re so performance-driven. It’s always about, “Am I doing this right? Am I good with this? Do I have enough products?” It’s like checking every box of every wellness product, but wellness is such an individual journey and you have to have grace for yourself.

On therapy:

Bella: I was never somebody that was very open and talked about my feelings. I was more of the therapist for all of my friends, and I would allow myself to take it in and it made me happy; I always thought in another life, I’d be a therapist or a psychiatrist because I enjoy helping people through their own problems. But then I realized I wasn’t looking inward and that was affecting me.

With therapy, it is really cool to be able to know that there’s someone in the world that is able to put my whole timeline of trauma in a row and she remembers it and she understands it, and if I bring new issues to her, she’s able to then link them back to other issues. I am able to still be that safe place for other people but also remember that my well-being is important too, which is hard for us all to remember sometimes.

On yoga:

Jen: I discovered hot yoga when I was 21 — not to date myself, but I’ve been doing it for over a decade. There’s a beautiful little studio in East Austin, where I am, called Yoga East Austin. We get in there and we sweat our asses off, but it’s more than that, right? Bikram — or whatever yoga you practice — requires you to move a bit slower and more methodically and more intentionally. I literally envision the sweat as a vehicle to get out things that I’ve experienced, heard, read, ate, drank.

On journaling:

Bella: Poetry is where I find my greatest therapy, but I started reading The Artist’s Way almost a year ago and that really kept me on my journey of journaling. Every morning, I would have to write three pages, basically a stream of consciousness of whatever I woke up thinking about. I think it’s especially important to journal in the morning because we wake up and whether we had a bad dream or you have anxiety over something that you feel is going to happen — or anxiety over something that already happened — those are things that you carry the whole day. For me, my anxiety manifests into not getting things done and dwelling on them, and so being able to let out those emotions, especially when your brain is still processing, is crucial.

On abhyanga:

Jen: Abhyanga, which is an Ayurvedic practice that involves self-massaging your body with oils, is absolutely easy to do if you cook at home. All you need is an oil — you can use the olive oil you have at home — your hands, your body, and hot water. The purpose is to move the lymph, which is considered part of the immune system and is primarily responsible for maintaining fluid levels in the body that we need to function as “well-oiled” machines.

Using both hands in a circular motion, move the lymph up, down, up and down, just spend five minutes on the legs and five minutes on the arms, wherever it feels good. I mean, think about how little time we really spend with ourselves. We can go months not touching the back of our legs in a generous, intentional way. When you shower, I assume we touch every part of our body, but not intentionally, right? Abhyanga is just such a loving way to treat yourself, and then it just happens that it has all these incredible physiological benefits.

On meditation: 

Bella: There are some guided meditations that I love on Insight Timer; they are the ones that really stuck with me and when I don’t listen to them is when I start to get in my head. “Making Your Life Sacred” and “Taking Your Power Back” remind me of gratitude and how sometimes things can be going wrong and you almost have to sit in it and live in it and understand that is the roller coaster that is life.

Another one is called “Deep Sleep Guided Meditation.” I have the nighttime scaries and anxiety every night. So what I do is I have a Kin Lightwave, I listen to my sleep meditation, and I’m asleep in literally eight minutes. I don’t know how this combination works for me, but it is perfect. It helps put my mind to rest and realize that everything else can wait.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

Bella Hadid Knows Wellness Is a Work in Progress