If there’s one thing the past couple of years have taught us, it’s the power of self-care. Whatever it might mean to you, taking time to focus on yourself and your wellbeing couldn’t be more important.
According to Google Trends, searches relating to self-care have increased by a whopping 1125% over the past 5 years, as more and more of us turned to the internet for advice on how to look after ourselves. But how does this vary around the country?
To find out, we analysed Google search data for 30 of the UK and Ireland’s biggest cities, looking at a wide range of terms split across four different self-care categories: food and drink, mental health, pampering and relaxation, and physical health. We then combined this with population figures to reveal which cities are the most interested in self-care.
Bristol is the self-care capital of the UK!
Bristol claims the title of self-care capital of the UK. The city came out on top for all four of our categories, proving Bristolians are searching for self-care more than anyone else in the UK, giving them a perfect score of 120.
Manchester took the number two spot, with a self-care score of 113. The Northern Powerhouse had the second highest searches per capita for physical health and pampering and relaxation terms, with more searches than any other city for massages, pedicures and skincare tips.
Dublin came in third place, with the Irish capital earning a self-care score of 108. The city reported the second highest searches per capita for mental health terms and the third highest for pampering and relaxation terms.
Fourth place goes to Liverpool, with a self-care score of 105, while Glasgow follows closely behind with a score of 102.
What is the UK searching for when it comes to self-care?
As well as looking at how different cities across the country compare, we also looked at UK search volume as a whole, to see exactly what we’re searching for when it comes to self-care.
Focusing on food and drink
Eating well and making sure you drink enough water are some of the simplest acts of self-care you can do, giving your body the fuel it needs. There are over 110,000 searches each month for “water bottles”, 33,100 for “healthy recipes” and 12,100 for “superfoods”.
While the Great British Bake Off might make it seem stressful, for many people, baking is a form of relaxation and self-care. There are over 40,500 monthly searches for “baking” and a further 18,100 for “baking recipes”.
A growing number of Brits are looking for some extra help on top of their diet, with 33,100 monthly searches for “vitamins” and 22,200 for “supplements”.
Mental health is just as important as physical health
There are a whole host of ways you can look after your mental health, with hundreds of thousands of Brits searching for help and advice each month.
There are over 74,000 monthly searches for “house plants”, as more people try to introduce some greenery to their surroundings. A recent study actually found that having vegetation at home can boost emotional wellbeing and reduce physical and emotional stress.
Meditation continues to be a popular form of mental health self-care with over 60,500 monthly searches, along with “affirmations” (49,500 monthly searches), “therapy” (49,500 monthly searches) and “mindfulness” (40,500 monthly searches).
As we spent an increasing amount of time in our own homes over the past couple of years, Brits were searching for ways to look after their mental health without leaving the house. There are 18,100 monthly searches for “adult colouring books”, 14,800 for “breathing exercises” and 8,100 for “online therapy”.
Don’t forget to treat yourself
As a nation we love to treat ourselves, and a bit of pampering can be a great form of self-care.
After lockdown restrictions were eased, there was a rise in people looking to book themselves in for some pampering, with 90,500 monthly searches for “spa near me”, 74,000 for “spa break” and 33,100 for “beauty salon near me”.
Getting a bit more specific, there are 40,500 monthly searches for “reiki”, 27,100 for both “pedicure” and “massage”, 22,200 for “facial” and 14,800 for “manicure”.
And for those looking for some at-home pampering, there are 60,500 monthly searches for “relaxing music”, 49,500 “skincare”, 40,500 for “essential oils”, 22,200 for “essential oil diffuser” and 22,200 for “scented candles”.
Healthy body, healthy mind
Finally, let’s not forget about the importance of looking after our physical health.
There are over 368,000 monthly searches for “gym near me” and over 165,000 for “swimming pool near me”. For those looking for a bit of guidance, there are 27,100 monthly searches for “personal trainer near me” and 4,400 for “exercise class near me”.
Yoga continues to be a popular way to boost our physical and mental wellbeing, with over 60,500 monthly searches, while “pilates” is searched for over 49,500 each month.
Take Home Message
There’s never been a better time to start practicing self-care, whatever that may look like to you. You could be planning a spa trip, meditating, going for a swim or cooking your favourite meal – just take some time to look after yourself.
If you’re looking for some help taking care of yourself, our 5HTP capsules can help improve your sleep, mood and appetite, while our vitamin D gummies are a convenient and delicious way of boosting your vitamin D levels throughout the darker winter months.
We compiled a list of over 50 different terms relating to self-care, split out across four different categories. We then used Google Keyword Planner to track the average monthly search volume over the past 12 months for each term in 30 of the biggest cities in the UK and Ireland, then used population data to calculate the number of searches per capita. We ranked our 30 cities based on their total searches per capita for each category, before combining these to give our overall self-care scores.