The Goop “medicine bag,” sold on the infamously expensive lifestyle website founded by Gwyneth Paltrow, does not contain medicine at all, at least not by the traditional definition. Rather the product, listed under the site’s “Cosmic Health” section, is an assortment of rocks in a monogrammed “G” drawstring pouch. The colorful crystals, which resemble the type of souvenir pebbles one might purchase at the welcome center gift shop of a national park, include citrine, amethyst, and quartz. The Goop medicine bag can be yours for the low, low price of $85.
Goop is not the only celebrity-helmed lifestyle brand to latch onto the spiritual—or cosmic—wellness trend; it’s simply the most widely scorned. In fact, crystal healing is making its way to the mainstream according to Audrey Hope, self-described “healer to the stars” and spiritual counselor at the Seasons rehab center in Malibu.
“The world is kind of in trouble right now,” Hope told The Daily Beast. “People are really suffering, and so, they’re looking for other ways to heal, so they’re exploring [crystal healing].”
Supposedly, crystals work to promote wellness by raising the internal vibrations of your body and fostering the flow of positive energy. “If you want the secrets of the universe,” Hope said, “you have to think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” She added, “I don’t know if you know this, but even Hitler used 440 Hz of chaos to create people into mind control.”
So, there’s that, whatever it means.
According to Hope, crystals are meant to act as a “tuning fork” for the “instrument of your body.”
She walked me through the various uses of different kinds of crystals. Black Tourmaline is supposed to halt negative energy and act as a sort of protective shield. If you want to manifest your dreams, you have to get amethyst, says Hope. Placing a rose quartz on the right side of your front door or by your bed is thought to bring love and compassion.
So, what is it like to be a healer to the stars? Unfortunately, Hope wouldn’t get into detail about the celebrities she has worked with. She mentioned the fashion designer Marc Jacobs, because he has spoken out about his experiences in rehab (“Beautiful guy, beautiful guy”). She also counts Chester Bennington, the front man of Linkin Park who died of suicide in 2017, as a former client.
“It’s amazing how people suffer,” Hope told The Daily Beast. “They have money, they have fame, they have everything, and they suffer, just like you and me.”
Seasons, where Hope works, is one of many highly-rated luxury rehab facilities in Malibu. It more closely resembles a Tuscan villa than a medical center, complete with cypress trees and a swimming pool. Nearby Cliffside once had Lindsay Lohan as a client. Promises has an impressive list of past celebrity clients including Ben Affleck, Robert Downey Jr., and Charlie Sheen, according to The New York Times.
Outside of rehab facilities, celebrities are also wholeheartedly embracing the crystal-healing trend. In 2017, The Hills: New Beginnings star Spencer Pratt started his own line of crystal sets called Spencer Pratt Rocks. The webpage for the product is now defunct, but he still uses the gems for interior décor and once ordered a custom birthday cake decorated to look like a crystal. Miranda Kerr and Jenna Dewan have touted the healing power of the precious stones on Instagram. We even have a presidential candidate, Marianne Williamson, whose résumé includes spiritual teacher and author.
Audrey Hope’s distinctive New York accent comes as a surprise, given that her job is just so, well, SoCal. But her East Coast sensibility seems to instill her with a sort of quasi-self-awareness about how her line of work may come across to other people. “I always say I’m a New Yorker, right?” she said, as if to set herself apart from the rest of the Rehab Riviera crowd. She believes the words we use to talk about spiritual counseling make people skeptical. “It needs new words,” Hope explained, “because five minutes with someone, they’ll see that there’s no airy-fairy. It’s the real deal.”
Crystal healing is considered pseudoscience by most medical doctors and scientists. But that doesn’t seem to be dampening its popularity, especially among the Hollywood set. It’s Gwyneth’s world and we’re all just living in it.