Boston University Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Boston University Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Eight Dimensions of Wellness

Wellness is being in good physical and mental health. Because mental health and physical health are linked, problems in one area can impact the other. At the same time, improving your physical health can also benefit your mental health, and vice versa. It is important to make healthy choices for both your physical and mental well-being.

Remember that wellness is not the absence of illness or stress. You can still strive for wellness even if you are experiencing these challenges in your life.

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness consist of the below components.


Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships.

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Satisfaction with current and future financial situations.


Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work.

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Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.


Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.


Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.


Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep.


Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

The concept that wellness is multi-dimensional, holistic, goes beyond symptom management, and is central to psychiatric rehabilitation was described by Dr. Peggy Swarbrick, an Occupational Therapist, a well-known researcher and a person with a lived experience. More about her initial concepts related to wellness can be found in this article:

Peggy Swarbrick, Dori S. Hutchinson & Kenneth Gill (2008) The Quest for Optimal Health: Can Education and Training Cure What Ails Us?, International Journal of Mental Health, 37:2, 69-88, DOI: 10.2753/IMH0020-7411370203

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has several publications, informational brochures and posters related to wellness. Those can be found at the SAMHSA website. And here.

The Center has created and studies a number of programs and services related to health and wellness which can be found in the research section of our website.