The shift towards wellness has been prominent in the past few years. Due to the substantial amount of information available to us through the Internet and social media, our society has become conscious of how social connections, everyday products, and even diets can affect our quality of life. Corporations have slowly realized that many people, especially young college students, are gravitating towards products and services based on self-care and a stronger sense of well being. Plenty of companies, brands and influencers have been a part of the growing awareness of wellness in today’s society. One particularly talented group of influencers—Francheska “Heyfranhey” Medina, Assante Smith and Dustin Ross—has managed to give their followers credible information about wellness in a way that their listeners would be willing to implement in their daily lives. They have accomplished this through The Friend Zone, a podcast focusing on mental health, wellness and hygiene.
Although The Friend Zone’s main focus is wellness, it focuses on fostering the idea of wellness in a nurturing and comforting environment. By delivering content with seamless transitions between wellness and pop culture, the podcast creates a space for those who are interested in mental health but still want to feel a part of conversations based in entertainment and current events. Speaking on every possible topic, from the last “Real Housewives” episode to self-reflection and manifestation, this podcast is a great way for people to keep up with pop culture and explore self-improvement at the same time.
The hosts aren’t just anyone, by the way. Assante, Dustin and Fran are all successful independent creatives in the music, wellness and film industries. The advice and commentary they give have allowed for the Obama Administration to recognize Fran’s work towards social good; for Dustin to make appearances in popular shows like Issa Rae’s “Insecure;” and for Assante to be well known as an entertainment curator in every big city in the U.S. Not only are they well experienced in their fields, but they also were actual friends before launching the podcast. Listeners are able to sense the genuine comradery due to how organic and comical the conversations get in every episode.
As a student, it can be difficult to balance self-care, academics, extracurricular activities and a social life all at once. The space The Friend Zone allows has the potential to create a sense of stability while being on the go, which may be all the balance that some of us need.