Join us on February 7, 2024, for the “Between Digital Wellness and Hellness: Negotiations, Appropriations, and Expressions” conference. One day event exploring the interplay between digital technology and wellness.
Featuring an engaging roundtable discussion with distinguished participants and dedicated scientific sessions, this conference aims to offer a place for scholars and practitioners to delve into cutting-edge research and insights. Attend in person at NOVA University of Lisbon’s Amphitheater 209 (Colégio Almada Negreiros), Campolide campus, or virtually via Zoom.
The esteemed Scientific Committee, including Professor Miguel Crespo (ISCTE), alongside invited experts, Professors Ivone Ferreira and Ana Viseu (NOVA FCSH), ensures academic rigour. Participation is free of charge but demands registration at this link.

Call for abstracts

Wellness is capturing greater attention. Its reach and perception extend beyond the physical dimension encompassing emotions, spirituality or intellectuality. It focuses on a proactivity Self who anticipates challenges and seeks a better version of itself. Social media networks, digital platforms and software have been playing an important role in the health and wellness sphere. In online environments, users seek information, share their thoughts and experiences and propose “recipes” or methods to achieve a better self. In addition to the forms of expression of wellness on social media networks, the number of mobile apps related to wellness has grown in digital stores. It is possible to find solutions inherent to promoting a wellness Self, whose functions can be as vast as monitoring activities and vital signs, the proposal of physical and mental exercises, emotional diaries, nutrition management, or increasing knowledge to mention some possibilities. We are open to contributions from scholars at all career stages. We look forward to submissions on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • The use of digital media for wellbeing expression;

  • Health in the digital context: good practices, institutional uses;

  • Wellness misinformation and disinformation;

  • Social media and mental health; 

  • Representations of wellness on media and social media;

  • Mobile apps: analysis, uses, trends;

  • Wellness as a business on social media;

  • Digital influencers and wellness;

  • Impact of online representation of wellness;

  • Collective imagery of wellness;

  • Online communities as spaces of wellness engagement;

  • Organizations, Companies and Wellness

  • Digital platforms detox.

We are happy to receive your abstract proposal (300 words max) until 15 December, 23:59 (CET)

WellApp Project

Between Digital Wellness and Hellness: negotiations, appropriations and expressions conference is an initiative of the WellApp – Wellness amplified or appified? Wellness management trending in everyday life digital platforms project. Hosted by NOVA University of Lisbon, and supported by iNOVA Media Lab.

The conference is funded within the scope of the WellApp project grant (ICNOVA/UIDB/004/2022/ WellApp) under the auspices of the research unit NOVA Institute of Communication (ICNOVA).

Read more about the project here.

Important dates

December 15th, 2023

Submission deadline

January 7th, 2024

Submissions announcement result

January 7th, 2024

Presenters registration opening

Assistants registration opening

January 17th, 2024

Presenters registration closing

February 5th, 2024

Assistants registration closing

February 7th, 2024

Conference day


Registration are now closed.


Between Digital Wellness and Hellness: Negotiations, Appropriations, and Expressions” a conference is a one-day event (9h00 – 18h00).

We proudly announce the keynote “Wellness and Disconnection: ideology, markets and practices“, by professor Ana Jorge (CICANT). We also will have a roundtable with specialists and experts: Susana Novais Santos, Ana Gomes and Ivone Ferreira. Read more about them below:

Ana Jorge

Ana Jorge, PhD, is Senior Researcher at CICANT and Associate Professor at Lusófona University. Ana works on Media and Cultural Studies, particularly researching on audiences, celebrity and influencer culture, digital culture, children/youth and families. For the last years, she has researched on digital disconnection, with funded projects Dis/Connect (2021-22) and On&Off (2023-24). She practices yoga, Pilates and meditation, while critically reflecting on the cultural and social construction of wellness as it intersects especially with digital media.

Susana NovaIs SANTOS

Susana Novais Santos is a neuroscientist, researcher, professor, ultramarathon swimmer, and open water swimming champion. She is a specialist in neural processes of decision-making, strategic planning, and high performance. At the young age of 16, Susana had the unique opportunity to learn meditation, tai chi and chi kung from a wise Chinese master, in Macau, where she lived for a few years. In love with Asian philosophy and culture, Susana is deeply interested in Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Extremely curious by nature, Susana has dedicated many years to the study of contemplative neuroscience, delving into the neurophysiologic effects of meditation. She has very successfully developed an effective program of meditation and mental e training for high-competition teams and athletes, based on neuroscience.

Ana Gomes

Ana Gomes, Health Coach with a graduation in whole person health and naturopathy believes that healthy days are happy days. She has focused the recent years on the consistent study of traditional medicine, bearing in mind the whole person concept, and the importance of bio-individuality. As part of her work, she has been developing wellness events and working with communities to improve well-being in schools.

ivone ferreira

PhD in Communication Sciences, Ivone Ferreira is Integrated Researcher at ICNOVA-Nova Communication Institute, a portuguese research center evaluated by the portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) with Excellent in 2019, where she coordinates belongs to the research group of Strategic Communication. Ivone Ferreira also created and coordinates the postgraduate "Internal Communication and Wellbeing at Organizations" at NOVA.FCSH and is national PI of the Erasmus + Nutriwellb focused in the combat of fake news about nutrition and well-being.

Detailed Programme

Please note that the Conference will happen at Lisbon time (GMT), online and at Nova Campolide Campus, Almada Negreiros Building (CAN), room 209 (2nd floor).

9h – 9h30

CHECK-IN (in person assistants and presenters)

9h30 – 9h45


Rita Sepúlveda, ICNOVA

Ana Marta M. Flores, ICNOVA/UC

9h45 -11h


– Ana Gomes, Health Coach & content creator.

– Susana Novais Santos, Neuroscientist, researcher, professor, ultramarathon swimmer, and open water swimming champion

Ivone Ferreira, Researcher (ICNOVA), professor (NOVA-FCSH)

Mediation by Miguel Crespo, Researcher (CIES), professor.

11h – 11h15


11h15 – 13h


commodification, performativity and influencers

Marketing ‘fit and healthy’ entrepreneurial bodies: An online study of Spanish fitness influencers

Lara Martin-Vicario, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Lee Monaghan, University of Limerick

#fitnessgonnafit Toxic fitness culture in Instagram

Valeria Radrigán, Independent researcher

The commodification of #wellness on Instagram

António Vasconcelos, Iscte

HEALTH & SOCIAL MEDIA: risk communication, disinformation and unsound advice.

Instagram as a source for #wellness misinformation: unclear claims, dubious results and personal experiences.

Inês Narciso, CIES, Iscte

Navigating COVID-19: How the Portuguese Health Authority Managed social media

Rita Espanha, CIES-Iscte – Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology

Francisco Garcia, CIES-Iscte – Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology

Nuno Martins, Research Institute for Design, Media and Culture. School of Design, Polytechnic of Cávado and Ave

Daniel Brandão, Communication and Society Research Centre, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Minho

Ana Barros, Portuguese Society of Pneumology

Branco Di Fátima, LabCom – University of Beira Interior

Contested Content and YouTube Health:  The “Liebscher & Bracht”-Controversy and its Reception.

Marius Liedtke, University of Salzburg

Chair Ana Viseu, ICNOVA, NOVA-FCSH.

13h – 14h


14h – 15h


“WELLNESS AND DISCONNECTION: ideology, markets and practices”.

Ana Jorge, Senior Researcher at CICANT and Associate Professor at Lusófona University.

Q&A: Miguel Crespo, Researcher (CIES) & Professor.

15h – 15h15


15h15 – 17h

DIGITAL WELL-BEING: Mobile devices, senior people & families.

Digital contexts and old age: explorations around physical activity and digital platforms.

Alexis Sossa Rojas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Representations of family well-being in the podcast “Tal Pai, Tal Panda”

Ana Kubrusly, NOVA FCSH

Francisca Porfírio, CICANT (Lusófona University) 

Cell phones as double-edge swords: the impact of mobile devices usage on the well-being of Portuguese youth.

Tiago José Ferreira Lapa da Silva, Iscte.

WELL-BEING CULTURE: strategies, behaviors & apps. 

The Apple Watch Activity App as Model of Activity. Tracing the Complexity of Simple Design.

Tobias Schmid, Tampere University.

Nudge Strategies to Promote Health and Well-Being: The Case of Thermalism in Portugal.

Vera Marina Pires Antunes, Universidade da Beira Interior.

“All on Your Own”: Technical Mediation and Therapeutic Culture in Psychological Self-Care Apps.

Helena Strecker, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

Paulo Faltay, Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE).

Paula Cardoso Pereira, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

Fernanda Bruno, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

Chair Ivone Ferreira, Researcher (ICNOVA), professor (NOVA-FCSH)

17h – 17h15


Ana Marta M. Flores, ICNOVA/UC

Rita Sepúlveda, ICNOVA

Contact and Venue

Nova Campolide Campus
Almada Negreiros Building
Room 209
For questions, please send an email to