Do Crystals Just *Not Work* on Some People?

Photo: Stocksy/Kara Riley
Talk to anyone who’s into crystals, and they’ll quickly convince you that gems are the holy grail of woo-woo wellness swag. Need to slay a big presentation? Make like Olympian Adam Rippon and tuck some lucky tiger’s eye in your pocket. Want to call a little more love into your life? Sleep with a hunk of rose quartz under your pillow, à la supermodel-turned-beauty boss (and Well+Good Council memberMiranda Kerr. Or, for a refreshed complexion, you could massage your face with a tourmaline roller like the one Khloe Kardashian swears by.

Yet all this gemological glorification makes it extra disappointing if you’re anything like me—someone who’s amassed a large collection of crystals but doesn’t have a connection with any of them. When I hold them in my hands, I don’t feel heat or buzzing, like so many other people do. (Including my own mother.) I’ve tried placing them around my home, wearing them as jewelry, and stashing them in my bra, but they have zero effect on my mood. Honestly, I get more of a boost from surrounding myself with fresh flowers and art as opposed to, say, one of my many dime-sized pieces of amethyst or citrine.

Perhaps some of us just aren’t crystal people, in the same way that not everyone can digest dairy or tolerate cats.

All of this led me to wonder whether I was doing something wrong—Using incompatible stones? Caring for them improperly?—or if my crystal radar might be in need of a tune-up. Or perhaps some of us just aren’t crystal people, in the same way that not everyone can digest dairy or tolerate cats.

To find out, I tapped a few experts for their thoughts. Because, the thing is, I want to be a crazy crystal lady—and I have a feeling I’m not the only one. Those who believe in their power say that crystals' symmetrical atomic structures carry healing frequencies that can help to recalibrate human energy when we're near them. Okay, so the "healing" part hasn't been backed up by mainstream scientists, who generally chalk up gems' impact on people to the placebo effect. But if what crystal evangelists say is true, then why wouldn't you want an army of little energy healers at your beck and call?

Read on for reasons you might not be feeling the crystal love—and some tips on how to deepen your connection.

Do crystals just not work for some people?
Photo: Energy Muse

Don’t expect energetic fireworks right away

If you pick up a crystal and hear crickets, the first thing you need to remember is that you’re not alone and you shouldn’t give up. In fact, some of the wellness world’s biggest crystal devotees experienced the same thing early on in their journeys.

Well+Good Council member and spiritual guide Kelsey Patel is one of them. “If you’d told me 10 years ago that I’d be spending thousands of dollars on crystals, I’d be like, ‘You’ve lost your damn mind,’” recalls the former government worker. “It was only when I started opening up to reiki and energy healing and meditation that I could start to feel a connection.”

And you don’t even need to go that far down the metaphysical rabbit hole to start reaping the benefits of crystals, adds Heather Askinosie, co-founder of Energy Muse jewelry. Often, the first bond you’ll feel with a stone won’t be a vibrational one, and that’s totally fine. “My gateway was a visual connection,” says Askinosie, the co-author of Crystal Muse. “When I saw a crystal, the color shifted me. Then, as I started to learn to meditate, I would hold a crystal because I felt like I could get grounded by holding rocks. The more I integrated them in and didn’t expect anything out of it, [my relationship with crystals] developed.”

It’s this lack of expectation that’s key, Patel echoes. “Crystals are the most potent when we don’t try to do what our Western minds love to do: control and overanalyze,” she says. “Don’t get in your head about it.” And think of it like dating. It often takes a few hangs before you click with someone on a deep level, so don't immediately write off a stone if you don't feel sparks right away.

Do crystals just not work for some people?
Photo: Energy Muse

Be aware of what may be coming between you and your (potential) crystal BFF

That said, there is a way that people often block their crystal connection—by not slowing down and creating enough room for it to happen.

Sometimes this is a matter of opening up physical space, says Crystal RX author, Style Rituals founder, and shaman Colleen McCann. “I was recently with a client at the crystal store, giving her a private lesson on how to flex her intuitive muscle by learning to pick crystals on her own,” she tells me. “Yet she wouldn’t put her cellphone down, had a very heavy bag on her shoulder, and had her dog with her, who wasn’t behaving. We could say her present state was creating physical distraction.” (So I guess that means I should move my crystal collection off of my cluttered work desk, then?)

In other cases, it could be about quieting your mind enough to let the crystals’ high-vibe energy come through. “I highly suggest getting outside in some kind of nature or listening to sound,” says Askinosie. After you’ve done that, she suggests placing a few stones on your body for 11 minutes when you lay down in bed at night. “Even if you don’t have this big experience of ‘Oh my god, I feel the love,’ you’ll feel slight energy shifts,” she promises. “Maybe you’ll notice you’re breathing a little deeper, or maybe you’ll feel a little calmer than you did 11 minutes ago.” Crystals or not, there's no doubt this is something we could all use a little more of.

Do crystals just not work for some people?
Photo: Molly & Co Photography for Kelsey J Patel

Take a cue from Marie Kondo

According to Askinosie, another part of my problem might be the fact that I own too many crystals—and most of them were gifted to me, rather than ones I chose for myself. Her solution: Adopt Marie Kondo’s “does-it-spark-joy” decluttering method.

“I think you should look at every single one of them, and ask, ‘Which ones do I absolutely love and resonate with?’” she suggests, adding that I should give the rest away to other people. “Too much of anything can make us confused.”

The crystal advisors also suggest working with just one crystal at a time, rather than grabbing a new one each day based on, say, which one matches your outfit. (Um, guilty.) “Pick one and start to hold it during meditation and work with it,” says Patel. “If you give yourself permission to listen and feel, it will tell you when it’s time to move on to another crystal.”

Do crystals just not work for some people?
Photo: Molly & Co Photography for Kelsey J Patel

Switch up your crystal selection strategy

This intentional approach also translates to buying crystals. Patel warns against going to a massive gem show or a celeb-approved crystal emporium just because that’s what’s popular on Instagram. “Sometimes I go into a huge shop and because it’s so overwhelming, I can’t feel anything right away—it’s too much,” she says. “Go where you have the most energy that drives you there.” That may mean foraging for them in nature, checking out a high-vibe jewelry shop, or buying them online—say, as part of Patel's Magik Vibes subscription boxes. (All of the experts I consulted for this story have their own digital crystal shops, FYI.)

“It’s perception, like 'Laurel' and 'Yanny.' What a crystal does for me and what it does for you can be completely different.” —Heather Askinosie

If you do find yourself in a brick-and-mortar shop (or even better, a summertime outdoor market), spend time holding crystals in your hands and note which ones you’re especially drawn to, rather than choosing them based on looks alone. Askinosie recommends not reading the descriptions of what each crystal is meant to do. “We’re in such an information-driven society, but the whole purpose of crystals is to feel,” she says. “It’s perception, like 'Laurel' and 'Yanny.'  What a crystal does for me and what it does for you can be completely different.”

Patel has a different take on this, however. “If you’re a very left-brained person, you may want to know the meaning of a crystal, even if you’re not feeling its resonance,” she says. Just by knowing what a crystal's meant to bring forth in you—peace, abundance, protection—can sometimes cause you to feel those feelings when you look at it, especially if you're not particularly sensitive to your surroundings.

Do crystals just not work for some people?
Photo: Glacce

Use your crystals in new ways

Okay, so perhaps you've got a chunk of clear quartz on your coffee table—that's a great place to start. But high-vibe stones aren't necessarily meant to just sit there and look pretty, McCann points out. “Get interactive with your crystals—there are lots of ways to work with them.”

For instance, she says, you can work them into your beauty routine with Crown Works’ crystal hair comb or Pacifica’s Crystal Crush makeup line. If you’re musically inclined, you could throw your friends a sound bath with crystal singing bowls. Or you could sip on crystal-infused H2O with a bottle by Gem Water or Glacce.

Do crystals just not work for some people?
Photo: Stocksy/Rob and Julia Campbell

Find the healing modality that does work for you

And what if you’ve tried all this, and you’re still just not that into crystals? That’s probably a sign that you should move on and explore other healing tools. “I believe that in the way that we’re all different learners—kinetic, visual, audio—the same is true with healing,” says Patel. “There’s nothing wrong with people who can’t feel something with crystals, just like there’s not something right with people who do.”

“I believe that in the way that we’re all different learners—kinetic, visual, audio—the same is true with healing.” —Kelsey Patel

McCann agrees with this sentiment. “Simply put, we are all like snowflakes and therefore have different pathways of connection, healing, and attaining information for ourselves,” she says. “We all love gelato, but we all don't like the same flavors, right?” If you’re not a crystal person, she says, you may end up resonating with essential oils, breathwork, sound baths, or floatation therapy instead.

And don’t shy away from revisiting the world of gems in the future if you’re suddenly called to do so. “Crystals have been around longer than all of us and they’re not going anywhere,” Patel says. “You don’t need to do something right now just because it’s trending.”

It turns out size does matter when it comes to crystals—and so does the difference between man-made and natural stones

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