You Need a Bath

Soaking is easy, necessary therapy

Nora Zelevansky


Photo credit: Carol Vaziri for Ayla

In my travels, recently, I’ve noticed an unsettling trend: even the swankiest new hotels are installing rain showers in place of bathtubs.

I consider this both a travesty and a personal affront, since one of my great joys is running a hot bath and partaking in whatever scented body washes and (in the best cases) bath salts are arranged by the hotel sink. For me, luxurious soaks are a favorite part of vacation, a signal to my body and brain to let go.

And yet this new hotel trend does raise a fair question: if I find baths so relaxing, why don’t I take them at home? Occasionally, I’ll hop in the tub if I’m nursing a muscle ache or injury and my kids do it all the time (complete with their favorite bath bombs!)

So, why must baths feel like such a luxury for us as adults?

The short answer is that they shouldn’t — especially these days. In a time when we’re all trying to manage insurmountable levels of stress, for those with tubs, baths can be a simple way to calm the mind, body and spirit. And, in 2022, the options are myriad and rich, with benefits, ingredients, and even scents that far surpass your basic bubblebath.

Baths for All

First, let’s debunk the myths: baths are not just for rich blonde ladies with sloppy updos and flutes of champagne. In fact, companies like TOA Water are specifically working to “reclaim people’s bathtubs,” integrating unexpected scents like tobacco, cocoa and sandalwood to appeal to a variety of tastes. Baths can benefit everyone. (Yes, even you, dude!)

The Physical: Detox

Depending on the ingredients in the products you use, baths can help rid the body of physical, as well as mental, stressors. The Sea Soak by Ayla, for example — inspired by traditional Irish seaweed baths used to treat everything from rheumatism to sluggish circulation — is created from responsibly harvested Big Sur salt and Santa Cruz seaweed.

While the bath is relaxing (it comes with a guided meditation!), it’s also almost rigorous in its physical remineralizing and purification. The kelp includes nutrients like chlorophyll, magnesium, anti-inflammatory fucoidan and iodine that get your blood…



Nora Zelevansky

New novel: COMPETITIVE GRIEVING (Blackstone). New nonfiction: ROLL RED ROLL (Hachette ). Bylines: NY Times, T&C, WSJ etc.