The rise of the death wellness movement

A designer death industry has come to life to cater to the growing number of people seeking alternative approaches to dying.


May 9, 2019

You know what they say: You only die once (YODO) — so you might as well do it right. Or so the thinking goes in the “death wellness movement.” 

A growing number of services in the dollars-for-death business are shifting the focus from funerals and services to designer death experiences.

The death business is killing it 

It sounds creepy, but there’s a thriving cottage industry around dying. Death doulas — who, like birth doulas, support patients — operate in at least 6 states. 

Death Cafes across the country let people gather over tea and cake to talk candidly about dying. A number of companies help elderly people produce “legacy videos” before they pass.  

There’s even a death festival of sorts in San Francisco, Reimagine End of Life, that offers spiritual and scientific programming to end taboos related to death. 

But can everyone afford a designer death? 

Dying isn’t always cheap. The average American funeral costs about $9k, and although death doulas’ fees vary, some packages could set families back a few thousand dollars a week. 

Other death services like legacy videos can cost as much as $7k, pushing premium postmortems out of reach for many.

But even if not everyone can afford the white-glove dying experience, the death wellness movement wants to shift culture to provide support and positivity to all people in their final days.

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.