Can Wellness Heal the Workplace?

Human resources departments try on some new perks: meditation, sound baths, energy consulting and hypnotherapy.

On a rainy Thursday afternoon, in a plush pink conference room in Manhattan, a group of colleagues formed a meditation circle. As they sat in their own silence, sirens and traffic wailed below. “Bathe in the joy of truly loving yourself,” a former Tibetan Buddhist monk advised them.

Over the course of an hour, the participants — co-workers at WayUp, a company that matches employers with recent college graduates and students — were guided through deep breaths, spoke to each other about “flow” and “powerful creative states,” and completed a self-hypnosis exercise.

They bonded over their challenges with sleep and overworking. At the end of the session, one employee mentioned his chest feeling less tight; another described a pinch in her back dissipating.

“That was awesome,” said Brandon Santulli, the office manager at WayUp. It was his first time meditating. “I feel very energized now,” he said, “and that’s not usually how I feel until I get another cup of cold brew.”

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