If you’re well-versed in the health and wellness space, you’re familiar with Melissa Wood-Tepperberg: the mindfulness maven taking the fitness world by storm.
Founder of MWH and host of the Move With Heart Podcast, Wood-Tepperberg is a profound thought leader, meditation teacher, certified yoga and pilates instructor, and health coach.
Beloved by the diverse community she’s cultivated through her unique approach to fitness and mindfulness, Melissa remains at the forefront of the health and wellness conversation.
An innate digital entrepreneur, Melissa began filming and sharing her workouts from her living room using only an iPhone and a simple tripod in 2015.
Her commitment to helping others better their sense of self resonated far and wide, leading to the launch of the first MWH app in 2019.
The MWH platform has a growing library of 500+ workouts in a variety of styles (pilates, yoga, meditation, pre & postnatal, etc.) and has touched the lives of everyone from Melissa’s supporters to celebrities like Keke Palmer, Claire Holt, Cara Delevinge, and Shanina Shaik.
Continuously innovating to meet its members where they are, MWH has something for everyone at every touchstone of their journey.
We sat down with the industry trailblazer herself to discuss the evolution of MWH and ways to live a more mindful life.
MWH is a wellness platform “on a mission to create a more mindful way of life, accessible and attainable for all.” How is your brand democratizing the fitness space?
Since the beginning, the mission of MWH has remained the same - making mindful movement and meditation accessible and attainable for all. We just launched our platform evolution which now has even more for our MWH members (at the same $9.99/month or $99/year price point) to open up access to all things health, wellness, and lifestyle. We introduced MWH Creators across new and expanded categories including pre & postnatal, sculpt, meditation, pilates, yoga, barre, and more, all based directly on member feedback and requests. We also officially added nutrition and lifestyle to the MWH member experience to provide a strong foundation for all those seeking it - this includes recipes, video tutorials, and an overall mindful approach to support you in building a better, stronger relationship with yourself.
MWH “isn’t just about building a body you desire; it’s about building a stronger, better relationship with yourself.” In what ways does your platform promote the importance of self-love?
This platform is all about committing to yourself and staying consistent. No matter where you are in your practice, MWH is about meeting yourself right where you are and doing something every day to take care of not only your physical health but most importantly your mental. I always say some minutes are better than no minutes because the power of mindfully moving your body has the impact to change your entire day.
You started as a fitness guru, and have now evolved into a lifestyle influencer for all things health and wellness, food, and fashion. How has finding your niche enabled you to create a much bigger social media empire?
Everything starts and ends with the MWH community. What the business has evolved to today has been entirely driven by the feedback from my members and followers. The focus has never been on numbers, it's been on expanding the reach of impact to anyone that is looking to elevate every single aspect of their life. I created MWH because my practice changed my life - the fact that it resonates with so many people is truly what drives me each and every day.
Your brand focuses on the conflation of mental and physical health. In what ways do these two work hand in hand? What are some examples from your personal life that illustrate this intersection?
Wellness to me is finding true alignment with yourself. I am such a believer that you cannot focus on improving one area in your life without pulling back and taking a good hard look at the foundation of it all. Waking up in the morning and doing something to strengthen my mind first and foremost, is where I find this immediate sense of inner peace. In addition to meditation, I feel as a society we hold so much inside of ourselves, so it's really crucial to move that energy and find a movement practice that makes you feel really good from the inside out.
Many believe that sharing what you eat in a day is reinforcing restrictive diet culture. How do you foster conversations about food without reproducing those unhealthy narratives?
A lot of what led me into the wellness space is the horrible relationship that I had with food. The more that I worked on my inner healing, I learned to discover that what I actually had was a bad relationship with myself. Food was the catalyst of coping with everything that came up in my life. Where I have arrived today is what I call food freedom, and that is what I share in the hopes it can help anyone else (always with the reminder that if it’s not for you, move on). Freedom with food starts from finding this freedom within. I ate a plant-based diet for years but woke up one day wanting things that no longer fit in that box. This taught me to move away from labels and to start really listening to what intuitively felt good to me.
Your brand is centered around body positivity, however, some argue that your physical appearance is not attainable for all. How do you promote this type of messaging while simultaneously acknowledging your pretty and skinny privilege?
It's very easy to judge a book by its cover. However, no matter what someone looks like or what they have in their life, it does not determine someone's self-worth. People have their own personal struggles that don’t always live on the surface for everyone to see, which is why taking care of yourself is an inside job that reflects every area of your life.
What personal choices have you made to lead a more mindful life?
Being at the worst place in my life gave me the opportunity to look deeper within and get really honest and real with myself about the tools that became my coping mechanisms that no longer served me. From there, it’s constant check-ins with myself (my daily practice) - it’s not always easy, but I have found consistency and commitment work.
You are very transparent about the challenges you have faced in the past. How does your past inform your present identity?
While my past has shaped me into the woman I am today, I no longer let my past define who I am. No matter who you are or what you're going through, we all have an opportunity to make a change…but it's up to you.
What is one thing you wish you could say to your younger self?
There is a realm of infinite possibilities on the other side of fear. When you keep your head down and you do the work - and don't compare your journey to anyone elses - you envision it, you believe it and I promise you can become it.
How is the Melissa Wood Health brand shifting the health and wellness landscape at large?
I created MWH to show there is another way. To anyone out there who is willing to give this way of life a try, it has the ability to transform your entire life from the inside out… It has for me and so many of our MWH members. I can honestly tell you that I am a completely different version of myself from committing to taking care of myself and I always say, don't trust me, try me.
Photography by: Courtesy MWH