The French Approach to Wellness

Wellness, or bien-être in French, is a relatively new interest to Americans. So how do the French approach wellness? Truthfully, talking about French wellness is kind of a funny thing because it’s always been ingrained in the culture without being named. 

I think the wellness movement took hold in the US so quickly because we tended to be a bit more overworked and stressed out than our European counterparts. But French women naturally take more time for self-care and wellness in their weekly routine.

Here are a few French girl wellness habits.

French Wellness

Let’s talk about some ways you can incorporate French wellness into your own life.

French Wellness tips Hotel Lutetia paris
Hotel Lutetia, Paris

Make Time For Yourself

The French approach to wellness involves making time for yourself every week, at least. On Sunday, almost everything is closed in Paris which makes this a great day to devote to self-care and wellness.

Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care is a key part of wellness. French women approach self-care in many ways. It could be physical self-care like getting regular haircuts or manicures and eating a healthy diet, but also mental self-care like spending time relaxing or seeing a therapist. Read more about French self-care.

Eat Healthy

This one comes as no surprise, but eating healthy is a key part of French wellness.

French women often shop for their groceries at local farmer’s markets and opt for whole foods as opposed to processed ones. They cook at home as often as they can. Meals are served in small portions and snacking is only done at a minimum.

The good thing is that while French girls maintain a healthy diet when eating at home, they still feel free to go “all-out” on the nights they eat at a restaurant with friends! After all, what good is following the French diet if it makes you miserable?

I started doing this as well and it’s made me so much happier. While I think it’s important to eat healthily, it can feel boring at times and forced. It’s nice to have a few nights a week where I don’t pressure myself to eat healthily and instead just eat what I feel like! It really helps with my overall wellness.

Black Coffee

French girls who care about wellness almost always drink their coffee black, if they drink coffee at all. A lot of French women drink hot water with lemon every morning instead of coffee. Either way, the health benefits of avoiding sugar and milk are integral to wellness.

Lots of Skincare, Little Makeup

When it comes to French beauty wellness, the French take a skincare-first approach. From exfoliating washes to night creams to sun protection, the French take their skincare seriously. 

Regularly washing your face, using a personalized serum, and following up with a proper moisturizing cream are key elements to the French skincare routine and also the French wellness approach.

Walk Everywhere

It’s true that the French walk to places way more often than Americans. 30 minutes of exercise daily is recommended for adults and the French often do this by walking everywhere they can. It helps that France is a very old country and many of the towns and cities existed before personal cars became a thing!

Limit Stress

While limiting stress often feels out of our control, the key to French wellness lies in living a stress-free life as much as we can. Give yourself proper time to accomplish your goals so you are not rushing to get things done at the last minute. 

Stay Hydrated

Our bodies are composed of 60% water and staying hydrated is necessary for our well-being. A product I discovered in France helps me stay hydrated even during the hot Parisian summers: water-based facial mists. 

French pharmacy beauty brand Avène makes a very popular facial mist containing mineral water from a natural source in the mountains of France. It’s called Avène Thermal Water and it helps give my face a moisture boost anytime it feels dry. 

Of course, staying hydrated is about much more than just misting our faces. It also involves drinking the proper amount of water we need every day as well as eating hydrating fruits and vegetables. 

Create a Comfortable Home

While hygge may be a Scandinavian concept, the French equally value creating a comfortable home as a part of their overall wellness, too.

From indoor house plants on their Parisian balconies to dried flowers and cozy loungewear, there are lots of ways to ensure your home life is as comfortable as possible.

After all, a happy and cozy home sets the foundation for everyday wellness. Shop the best French candles to create a calming Parisian atmosphere in your home.

Mental Health

The French healthcare system thankfully values mental health and thus, Parisians take care of their mental health as part of their overall wellness. I wish that taking care of your mental health by seeing a therapist for example wasn’t as harshly judged in America. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking to someone about your problems, but if you don’t feel comfortable going that route, try a mental health app to start.

I hope you gained some insight into French wellness! is an Amazon Associate and we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn a commission from purchases made at other retailers linked from our site.

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