Hiking Is Healing: Behind the Outdoor Wellness Movement

Women everywhere hike to heal. For this short film, Merrell teamed up with two women to share what it’s all about.

For some of us, spending time outside is a group activity. And for some, it’s a place to find solace. For many, it’s both. “We Hike to Heal” is all about channeling that connection with nature and each other.

In 2018, Kenya and Michelle Jackson-Saulters combined their shared interests (and differences) to create The Outdoor Journal Tour, and most notably, an event series called We Hike to Heal.

With We Hike to Heal, they strive to empower women through journaling, meditation, and spending time in the outdoors. Events are intimate by nature and focus on three essential ingredients — being outside, journaling, and meditating.

The event series combines one of the most common reasons for wanting to get outside (to find peace, whether inner or outward) with other mechanisms of healing. This, in turn, fosters a community among its participants.

More on The Outdoor Journal Tour

The program started organically. Kenya Jackson-Saulters was meditating on a mountain with some friends and noticed that some nearby strangers wanted to join.

Since then, Michelle and Kenya have hosted hundreds of groups of women together in the outdoors through their organization.

This past week, they hosted a special #wehiketohealweek honoring Black healing for women in their community and across the country. To check out future events, you can find The Outdoor Journal Tour here or on Instagram.

Produced by Merrell, Faith Briggs, and Whit Hassett, and with art by Latasha Dunston

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Mary Murphy
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Mary is based in Denver, Colorado, but frequently travels abroad. Her outdoor interests span from climbing to landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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