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Crystals are officially having a moment. It used to be that the power of rose quartz et al was something you only learnt about from your hippie-ish auntie, but now the benefits of crystal therapy are being touted by A-listers, including Victoria Beckham and Holly Willoughby.
Having first seen a spike in popularity in the 1970s, crystal healing has had a resurgence in recent years.
According to trends on Google, there's been a steady climb in searches for “crystal healing” in the past year, including “crystal healing shops near me.”
Why are crystals so popular right now?
Celebrities have no doubt played a part in the nation's ever-increasing penchant for peridot, with Adele, Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry joining a growing set of celebrities waxing lyrical about the benefits of shiny crystals.
But leading the list of crystal super fans is Holly Willoughby with her recent welling website reveal, inspired by her fascination with the moon. Her site, Wylde Moon, showcases an expert discussing the healing power of crystals.
Willoughby previously told This Morning viewers she placed a piece of green fluorite crystal beside her son Chester’s bed to cure his terrifying nightmares, often meditates before work while holding a crystal ball and her calming morning ritual involves a tealight, a crystal and incense in the kitchen.
The presenter has even got her co-host, Phillip Schofield in on the crystal act.
“I believe in the power of crystals," he said recently. "I spend far too much time around Holly, but she’s convinced me that there’s a lot in that."
Meanwhile Adele swears crystals decrease her anxiety onstage, Katy Perry sleeps with one in her hand at night and Victoria Beckham uses them backstage at her fashion shows.
So passionate is the singer turned designer about the healing impact of crystals that she even used them in one of her collections and revealed in an Instagram post that she carries "crystals with her all the time".
"I absolutely love that celebrities are promoting this kind of work," explains Jade Mordente, a spiritual wellness guide and mental health advocate.
"Spiritual practices have held connotations of being a little 'out there' or 'woo-woo' for so long, and with the influence of celebrities, these barriers are being broken down."
Watch: Crystal healing is huge in the self-care industry, but does it really work?
Of course the pandemic may also have played a role in the popularity of peridot et al.
The Terror Management Theory says that when individuals are confronted with the threat of mortality, they develop new ways to cope, which for some could be exploring the benefits of crystals.
"The pandemic left a lot of us questioning our direction in life," explains Mordente. "During the last 18 months, I've noticed a huge rise in the demand for tarot readings, crystal healing and spiritual guidance in general."
Mordente believes those initial weeks in lockdown gave people an opportunity to get off the treadmill of the daily grind and actually think about what they wanted from life.
The pandemic has also kickstarted a desire in some to reinvent themselves, and as they do so, they may also explore what gives them solace.
"Of course, a lot of us were also grieving loss or had major concerns around our health too, and so I believe many sought the comfort of knowing they were safe – and crystals could support us in that," she adds.
Spirituality has also become a big trend over the last couple of years.
"Carrying a crystal to support your mental health has become as normal as a therapy session and we are seeing them popping up in stores like Urban Outfitters and ASOS, making them so accessible to a mainstream market," Mordente adds.
The benefits of crystal healing
Crystal healing is a type of alternative therapy that involves using gemstones to bring balance to a person's life and mind.
While it is fair to say there isn't much official scientific evidence behind crystal healing, advocates point to its powers to boost happiness, health and calmness.
According to Mordente each and every crystal has its own unique benefits.
"Throughout our lives we will connect with different crystals at different times to support our mental, physical and spiritual health," she explains.
"It's all based on our own energetic frequency – what we need we will attract, and feel most connected to."
Generally speaking, Mordente claims that each crystal will radiate a specific vibration and energetic frequency that will connect with, and raise, our own.
"They work with us and our environment to release blocks, cleanse, protect and support our healing on a much deeper, subconscious level," she explains.
Mordente now sells a range of conscious crystals (meaning they are ethically-sourced and charged with Reiki energy).
"When I was curating the collection I nicknamed it, 'the crystals that have got me through the worst of it', because these were the ones I used for everything," she explains.
"From overcoming grief and heartbreak to healing trauma and finding my voice. And honestly, I don't think I would've overcome half of the stuff I did without them."
How to get started with crystal healing
While you may like the idea of building up a collection of shiny crystals, many are unsure how to get started in the practice of crystal healing.
Mordente suggests first spending a week or two journaling everything from how you are feeling to what you are dreaming about, then trying to pinpoint something she describes as "pain points".
"For example, you might be having issues with imposter syndrome at work, not feeling inspired or connected to yourself, or feeling a little low," she explains.
"Once you establish what you need support in, you can find a crystal that will give you just that. There are some incredible books out there, and I love the app Stone too."
As well as choosing crystals that could help heal the areas of your life most in need of attention - for example, rose quartz for love, amethyst to calm and citrine for motivation - Martina Liberson, energy healer and crystal expert, says it is perfectly okay to just gravitate to the crystal you're most attracted to.
"You are totally allowed to let yourself be drawn to the crystals you simply find the prettiest," she explains.
"There is no boss instructing you."
That said, if you're feeling a little lost, as so many of us are right now, she recommends starting your crystal collection with a clear quartz.