Rest, Reset and Repeat: The Best Mental Health Retreats Around the World

While mud scrubs and massages have their place, a new breed of retreats with a focus on mental health make a welcome addition to the world of wellness. These are our favourite.

Modern life isn't geared towards supporting our mental health: constant phone notifications, jobs that revolve around screens and a lack of time spent outdoors can all contribute to burnout. All too often, though, we look to spas and fitness retreats as a way of fast-tracking ourselves back into gear, all the while prioritising our physical health over our emotional wellbeing. With this in mind, we've rounded up some standout mental health retreats that are here to redress this imbalance, promoting emotional health through wilderness expeditions, surfing and more. From set programmes to tailor-made plans, these five mental health heroes are the ones you'll want to know about.

Mind over matter: five of the best emotional wellbeing retreats around the world

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Extraordinary Adventure Club

Best for: boosting mental resilience

Founded by ex-Royal Marine Calum Morrison, Extraordinary Adventure Club is a revolutionary retreat programme that combines wilderness expeditions with bespoke personal development plans designed by a collective of acclaimed coaches, psychotherapists and holistic practitioners. From trekking with nomads through the Sudanese desert to motor-biking across the Mongolian wilderness, each retreat will stretch you to the edge of your comfort zone with the intention of kick-starting a transformational journey. It might not feel like a holiday, but it may just be the most powerful thing you ever do for yourself.

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The Arrigo Programme

Best for: an emotional overhaul

Intuitive psychotherapist Fiona Arrigo is recognised as a radical among the wellness crowd for her soulful approach to emotional healing. Crafted from over 40 years of experience, The Arrigo Programme is her eponymous retreat set within the cocooning folds of rural Somerset, offering individual, group and couples' programmes, as well as a new Long Covid package designed to restore resilience and inner strength through biodynamic psychotherapy. Intended as simple spaces in which to "simply be", each of the retreat's self-contained lodgings are tended to by an "Arrigo Angel", who'll deliver your home-cooked meals, light your wood fire and allow you the room to pause, reflect and reassess.

Address

Somerset, address given on booking

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Euphoria Retreat

Best for: stress management

Approaching stress from the inside out, this 360-degree programme based in the Greek Peloponnese combines nutrition, meditation, reflexology and reiki to bring about a sense of energetic balance. Alongside your "Relax and De-stress" treatment schedule, you’ll also be encouraged to join group activities and attend lectures on the topic of stress, all designed to ensure you leave feeling fully equipped to face life’s daily pressures.

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Resurface

Best for: a wake-up call in the waves

Nicknamed "blue care", water-based therapies are having a moment in the spotlight and residential surf-therapy programme Resurface is taking centre stage. Blending a science-backed surf-therapy regime with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), over week-long stays in Morocco and the UK, each individually designed programme invites surfers of all levels to capture the cathartic power of the ocean for a transformative journey of self-discovery.

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The Strategic Space

Best for: recalibrating your personal goals

As humans, we're wired to make sense of the world by telling stories: The Strategic Space harnesses this by offering narrative therapy as a way to reframe mindsets. Led by narrative strategist Julie Hosler, retreats exist on an individual or group basis and can take place in a variety of locations, from French châteaux to Italian private islands, or a pop-up location of your choice. From rethinking your career to recalibrating priorities in your personal life, this retreat will offer fresh perspectives and allow you to focus on whatever is most critical to you at the present moment.

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