The 9 Best Wellness Trips To Help You Recharge After A Burnout

by Emma McGowan
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As much as I’d like to believe that I could be the kind of person who embraces mindfulness and goes to yoga regularly, at 31 it’s time to admit that I’m just not. Sure, I’m decent at “self care,” but that more often than not looks like taking on a massive embroidery project while simultaneously watching The Office for the tenth time. Not exactly peaceful. Or mind-clearing. Plus, I’m a writer, so I’m usually juggling 15 different jobs at the same time. And so, burnout is a part of my life, showing up cyclically and crushing me down every six months or so. When I’m able, I’ll take a break to recharge. And if I have the time and money, nothing beats a trip away for making me feel human and excited about work again.

But before we get further into burnout, let’s define exactly what we’re talking about. According to University of California at Berkeley researchers:

“Burnout is a psychological syndrome emerging as a prolonged response to chronic interpersonal stressors on the job. The three key dimensions of this response are an overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.”

Basically, burnout is your body and brain’s response to too much work-related stress. It includes feeling exhausted, detached from your work, like you’re not good at anything, and like you’re unable to celebrate your wins. I can so relate. And I’m not alone in this. According to the authors of The Happiness Project, 50 percent of people from a range of professions are burned out. And according to the General Social Survey of 2016, that’s a 32 percent increase from the rates that were observed 20 years ago. Whether it's because we have the feeling of being on 24/7 as a result of technology, the gig economy, the lack of job security, or the increased price of everything — is hard to say. But the only thing I’ve found that truly gets me out of burnout is stepping away from everything — my jobs, my computer, my home, everything — and taking a trip.

The last time I did this, I spent a week at a yoga retreat in Guatemala with two of my best girlfriends and no wifi. I specifically didn’t buy a Guatemala SIM for my phone, so I couldn’t even access the internet. I did yoga twice a day, ate great vegetarian food, embroidered while looking at the spectacular view, and had deep conversations with my friends. With no internet and only solar-powered light at night, I was able to calm the whirlwind in my brain enough that when I got home, I felt ready to take on my hectic life again.

But look, not everyone can — or wants to — spend a week in rural Guatemala, right? So with that in mind, here are nine of the top wellness spots in the United States, as well as the best places to stay and eat, as determined by the travel experts at TripAdvisor. Next time you feel burnout coming on, why not pick one and schedule a trip? Your body and brain (and boss) will thank you.


Sedona, Arizona

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Sedona is a New Age spiritualism hot spot. You'll find yoga instructors, reiki practitioners, psychics, and healers of every stripe. The town is also known for its spas, wellness retreats, and amazing landscape.

Spa Hotel: Adobe Grand Villas — from $339 per night on TripAdvisor

Wellness Experience: Sedona Soul Tour — from $165 per person on TripAdvisor

Healthy Restaurant: Paleo Brio Healthy Kitchen


Hawley, Pennsylvania


Hawley, Pennsylvania, is nestled up in the Poconos and surrounded by lakes. It's a great retreat for people who love to unwind around forests and lakes. The little town is also great for antiquing!

Spa Hotel: The Lodge at Woodloch – from $778 per night on TripAdvisor

Wellness Experience: Take a wildlife boat tour at Lake Wallenpaupack

Healthy Restaurant: The Lodge at Woodloch (Restaurant)


Ojai, California

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West Coasters can escape the hustle and bustle with a trip to Ojai, which is known for its artist and artisan communities and New Age sensibilities. If your burnout is cured by reconnecting with nature, come to Ojai to experience

Spa Hotel: Ojai Valley Inn – from $436 per night on TripAdvisor

Wellness Experience: Shop local ingredients from Ojai Certified Farmers' Market

Healthy Restaurant: Hip Vegan Cafe


Amelia Island, Florida


Some people like mountains. Others like lakes. Still others prefer desert. But for those who want a true beach experience to unwind and refresh, Amelia Island, Florida, is where it's at. Come for the pristine beach views; stay for the farmer's market.

Spa Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island — from $489 per night on TripAdvisor

Wellness Experience: Self-Guided Kayak Tour of Amelia Island — from $35 per person on TripAdvisor

Healthy Restaurant: Burlingame Restaurant


Calistoga, California

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People have been coming to Calistoga to recharge for way longer than there have been cell phones. For the past 150 years, this Northern California town has been a hot spot for burned out people seeking respite in their geo-thermal, natural springs and mud baths. Oh, also? It's right in the middle of wine country. Can't beat that combo.

Spa Hotel: Solage, an Auberge Resort — from $670 per night on TripAdvisor

Wellness Experience: Full-Day Wine Country Bike and Wine Tasting Tour From Calistoga — from $159 per person on TripAdvisor

Healthy Restaurant: Solbar — Solage Calistoga


Lenox, Massachusetts


Lenox, Massachusetts, is another old school wellness retreat spot, popular since the late 18th century. Nestled in the Berkshires, this New England town boasts outdoor activities and well-known spa for pampering.

Spa Hotel: Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort — from $179 per night on TripAdvisor

Wellness Experience: Hike the wildlife sanctuary at Pleasant Valley Sanctuary

Healthy Restaurant: Alta Restaurant & Wine Bar


Palm Springs, California

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Sun worshippers should get themselves to Palm Springs, California, to soak up the rays in this town that boasts 354 sunny days per year. Bonus: With its mid-century architecture, this spot also happens to be the most Instagrammable on this list and the cheapest hotel recommendation!

Spa Hotel: Andreas Hotel & Spa — from $145 per night on TripAdvisor

Wellness Experience: Indian Canyons by Jeep plus Hiking Tour from Palm Springs — from $139 per person on TripAdvisor

Healthy Restaurant: Palm Greens Cafe


Park City, Utah

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Park City, Utah, is perfect for people looking to unwind without having to give up city-like amenities. With over 100 bars and restaurants, it's a great option for foodies and their historic, Old West architecture will please any history buff.

Spa Hotel: Westgate Park City Resort & Spa — from $186 per night on TripAdvisor

Wellness Experience: Stroll the scenic Union Pacific Rail Trail

Healthy Restaurant: Vessel Kitchen


Stowe, Vermont

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If green is your thing, go unwind in the heart of the Green Mountains. Enjoy fresh local foods (Vermonters have been doing farm-to-table for generations), spectacular views, beautiful hikes, and the country's fifth largest fresh water lake less than an hour's drive away.

Spa Hotel: Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa — from $191 per night on TripAdvisor

Wellness Experience: Bike the Stowe Recreation Path

Healthy Restaurant: Plate

Ideally none of us would ever get burned out from work. But we live in the real world, not the ideal world. So go ahead and give yourself that recharge time!