Despite drawing criticism for the pricey entrance fee ($650 or $2,000 depending on how big you wanted to go), Gwyneth Paltrow’s In Goop Health summit in New York City on January 27 completely sold out. Even though the conference was held in New York, the vibe was more LA: The crowd—almost all women—wore either colorful, bohemian dresses or their best athleisure. And blonde. So many blondes.
So what exactly do you get with your golden ticket? (As in, literally golden—the ticket levels are called “turmeric” and “ginger.”) After spending all day at the summit, I’m reporting back with the full inside scoop.
Upon arrival, attendees traded their shoes for a complimentary pair of Minnetonka slippers before being shown to the main area, which was basically your hygge dreams come to life: Comfy, oversized seating; Moroccan-inspired rugs; and plenty of ways to detox. Want a Cote manicure? Done. A Sacred Acoustics meditation? Okay, sure. Ashtanga yoga? Why not.
What exactly do you get with your golden ticket?
Or, you could ignore all the activations and just eat: There was no shortage of (free!) food from some of the buzziest healthy brands and restaurants including Moon Juice, Brodo (known for its nourishing bone broth), Avocaderia (the first avocado-everything eatery), The Little Beet, Milk Bar, Nix, Fields Good Chicken, Clover Grocery, Two Hands, mason-jar only restaurant Ancolie, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s vegan restaurant abcV—to name just a few.
But the real stand-out moments came from the event’s seven panels and talks. Last year at the LA summit, the jade eggs Goop was selling (to, um, tighten things up downstairs apparently) were the talk of the day. But this year, psychics were the jade eggs of the summit. A medium delivered messages from passed loved ones to stunned family members; acclaimed astrologer Susan Miller made predictions for the coming year; a woman who had died and come back to life shared her vision of the afterlife. And that was all before Paltrow—or GP, as she was called throughout the day—invited Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler, Laura Linney, author Gillian Flynn, and former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth on stage for what turned out to be a provocative discussion about what it means to be a woman in 2018.
Keep reading for the inside scoop on Goop’s NYC summit.
1. Medium Laura Lynne Jackson gave a supernatural hint on who will win the Super Bowl
After starting the day with welcoming remarks from Paltrow and a meditation, medium and author Laura Lynne Jackson fluttered into the audience for several on-the-spot readings. (To a pair of sisters: “Something gold and engraved” is not being honored the right way.) She stopped to pass along a moving message to a woman whose mother had died of cancer. “She wants to thank you for helping with her crossing. You made it so beautiful for her,” Jackson said. Cue This-Is-Us-level crying from virtually everyone in the room.
“This is going to sound really weird, but does someone in your family really like Cheetos or chips? And football?” Jackson asked the same woman whose mother had passed. Yep; and someone in her fam is a huge Eagles fan. “Well, I’m supposed to pass on the message that he will be very happy,” Jackson said, which was met with lots of applause and laughter.
2. Orgasms are the secret to resetting your hormones and lowering cortisol levels
In a panel focusing on metabolism, experts Taz Bhatia, MD; Sara Gottfried, MD; Shira Lenchewski, MS, RD (Lauren Conrad’s go-to nutritionist); and Deanna Minich PhD, came together to give their best tips. A stand-out one from Dr. Bhatia: “There is no such thing as catch-up sleep,” she said, squashing the hopes of all who try to make up for a week’s worth of late nights and early mornings on the weekend. “Women need good, consistent sleep, which for most people means going to bed between 10 and 11 p.m. and waking up between 5 and 7 a.m.”
Dr. Bhatia explained that lack of quality sleep can cause hormonal changes. Fortunately, Dr. Gottfried chimed in with a way to fix that: “Orgasms are the best way to reset your hormones and lower cortisol levels,” she said. Now that’s worth missing some shut-eye for.
3. There is no gender or race in the afterlife
One of the most fascinating talks of the day was by Dying To Be Me author Anita Moorjani, who experienced spontaneous healing from end-stage lymphoma. After lying in a vegetative state for 30 hours, Moorjani woke up; she says that, from deep within her coma, she realized she had the capacity to heal herself. And that’s exactly what she did: Five months later, she was cancer-free.
“Illness is a wake-up call for when your life is not going in the direction you want.” —Anita Moorjani
Moorjani said when she was in “the other realm,” she realized she was living her life out of fear instead of love. “Getting cancer was always my biggest fear. I ate all organic and was very careful because I was so scared of getting cancer,” she said. “Illness is a wake-up call for when your life is not going in the direction you want. If you want to get better, focus on why you want to live. Find your purpose.”
Of course, everyone wanted to know what the afterlife is like. Moorjani described the other realm as one without delineations such as race, gender, or even culture. “What I experienced was unconditional love,” she said.
4. It’s normal for new moms to have dark thoughts about their baby
In a panel focusing on stress, psychiatrist Dr. Catherine Birndorf, MD—who recently opened The Motherhood Center in New York—talked about the lack of attention new moms are given (by their doctors, by their workplaces). This neglect is why, in part, so many new moms suffer from postpartum depression.
Then, she said something no one was expecting: “It’s normal to have thoughts about killing your kid,” she said, giving examples of putting your baby in the microwave or tossing him or her over a guardrail. Of course, she was quick to add that these dark thoughts don’t actually mean you want to harm your child—not at all. “It just means you’re anxious!” she said.
If you want to help your new mom friends, she offered up this advice: “Just look her in the eye, hold her gaze, and ask, ‘How are you doing?’ So many women are scared to open up.'”
5. What it means to be a female leader is changing
The climax of the day was a discussion hosted by Paltrow with Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler, Laura Linney, Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn and former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth about what it means to be a woman in 2018. “When I was growing up, you just had to duck and weave your way around inappropriate things,” Paltrow revealed. “It never occurred to me they were illegal.”
When asked why an uproar was happening now, Handler was the first to answer. “This is the reaction to recognizing what we’ve done,” she said, referring to the election of Donald Trump as president. “I hate people just sitting around and getting angry,” Barrymore chimed in. “Go fucking do something!”
“I do worry that if we exclude [boys and men] we will raise even angrier men. We have to extend a hand to them and invite them into the conversation. We have to show them how to be an ally.” —Elaine Welteroth
Linney admitted that when the Harvey Weinstein news first broke, she didn’t know it would spark such a lasting moment; she wondered if the rage would fizzle out. “The next generation of boys who will be men won’t let this fizzle out,” Welteroth answered, explaining how what’s happening now is affecting the younger generation of men and women. “But I do worry that if we exclude [boys and men] from the conversation we will raise even angrier men. We have to extend a hand to them and invite them into the conversation. We have to show them how to be an ally.”
“What I love about this moment [in history] is that it’s steeped in femininity,” Barrymore said, explaining that when she first became a producer, women in Hollywood leadership roles wore power suits and tried to come across as more manly. “We need to come up with a new word for ‘mentor,'” Handler chimed in. “It literally has ‘men’ in it! It’s too masculine. What [needs to happen] is more like friendship and being there for each other. We need to sing each others’ praises. The more we succeed, the more we all do.”