What Crystals Can I Use For Depression?

Medically reviewed by Majesty Purvis, LCMHC
Updated April 19, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

People have long been fascinated by crystals and the unique properties with which they are thought to be imbued by the earth. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in the healing potential of crystals, primarily driven by claims that these minerals can provide a wide range of benefits when it comes to our mental and physical health. Purported to help balance the energy in our bodies, crystals are used by some for defense from disease, stress relief, and emotional wellness.

While there is no evidence that crystals provide benefits for our mental health on their own, they may produce a placebo effect that leads to real improvements in symptoms of certain conditions, such as depressive disorders. Below, we’re discussing which crystals are used for depression, how they are thought to alleviate emotional challenges, and what science has to say about their use.   

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With the right help, you can limit the effects of depression

What are healing crystals?

Healing crystals are minerals that are believed to have properties that can influence the flow of our body’s energy and provide various benefits when it comes to our mental and physical health. When held or laid on the body, crystals are thought to help us rid ourselves of negative energy and cultivate healing energy. Believers hold that each crystal has a vibrational energy field that interacts with the body’s own energy field, helping it stay aligned. A balanced energy field is then thought to help prevent disease, improve mood, and provide an array of other benefits for the body and mind.

The idea that our bodies have energy fields that can be aligned through certain channels is associated with various religions (e.g., Hinduism, and Buddhism) and healing practices (e.g., Chinese medicine). And the belief that crystals have healing properties that may influence us is centuries old

However, the use of crystals to alleviate symptoms of mental and physical health conditions—including depression—is not supported by science. Most experts suggest utilizing conventional forms of treatment for depressive disorders, which include medication and therapy. While crystals are not considered harmful, using them as a primary treatment method for depression is not recommended. 

Is there evidence that crystals work?

Though the practice of using crystals to improve one’s health dates back millennia, there is no scientific research that points to their benefits for mental or physical well-being.

Most mental health and medical professionals believe that crystal healing is a pseudoscientific practice, and the evidence seems to confirm this. In one commonly cited study, a researcher had 40 people hold a real crystal and 40 people hold a fake one while meditating for five minutes. Afterward, participants who held both the real and fake crystals reported experiencing similar sensations

While science may not back the notion that crystals themselves have healing properties, the belief in their efficacy may lead to real mental health improvements via the placebo effect. The placebo effect is a widely recognized phenomenon that occurs when an individual experiences measurable improvement in their well-being after a treatment that does not have any real therapeutic properties. It is thought that the placebo effect helps explain the perceived benefits of healing crystals. 

The belief that crystals work may provide someone with optimism and motivation they might not have had otherwise. This change in mindset can affect the way they feel and behave, leading to improvements in certain challenges associated with depression. This phenomenon can be so powerful that even people who know they’re taking a placebo sometimes report experiencing reductions in depressive symptoms

Even without experiencing measurable benefits, however, an individual may believe that a neutral substance is working. Confirmation bias is a common form of cognitive bias that can cause us to look for proof that corroborates our existing beliefs. Those who believe in the efficacy of crystals, then, may interpret any available evidence in such a way that their beliefs are confirmed. 

Many mental health experts have theorized that anecdotal evidence of improvements in depressive symptoms following crystal use may be attributed to associated practices. Often, people use crystals as part of a holistic approach to wellness that may include strategies like meditation, relaxation exercises, and other practices that have been shown to alleviate depression. For example, crystal healing is often implemented alongside mindfulness meditation and deep breathing exercises, which are proven methods of reducing depressive symptoms. Improvements in depression, then, may be misattributed to the crystals.  

The use of crystals to influence the flow of energy in the body has been linked to bioenergetics, a form of energy medicine focused on the “manipulation of bioenergetic fluxes to positively affect health.” However, there is thought to be a difference between energy medicine which focuses on measurable energy, known as veritable energy medicine, and energy medicine which focuses on unobservable energy, which is referred to as putative energy medicine. Crystal healing deals with the latter. 

What is putative energy medicine?

Veritable energy medicine is based on the fact that our bodies have pathways for facilitating the process of energy metabolism. According to bioenergetics, if these pathways become blocked, we may experience illness. Energy therapy aims to release these blockages to enable healing and promote regeneration and wellness. This is often accomplished through techniques like light and radiation therapy. This form of treatment is well studied and considered a legitimate form of care for certain types of illness. 

Putative energy medicine is related to energy fields that are not measurable. These include the energy fields that are purported to be influenced by crystals. Because they aren’t observable, evidence of their existence is primarily anecdotal. 

Depression is a serious mental health condition that can severely impact functioning and potentially present serious risks. If you believe you’re living with a depressive disorder, a healthcare professional can help you develop a treatment plan that works for you.  

Crystals used as complements to depression treatment

Despite the lack of evidence supporting their efficacy, crystals are still thought by some to provide benefits that can lead to improved mental health. Through purported improvements to mood, energy levels, and emotional control, crystals are believed to have a positive effect on depression symptoms, with different minerals providing their own unique benefits. 

The following are crystals that are said to address certain challenges associated with depression.  

  • Kunzite, a light purple form of the mineral spodumene, is thought to have calming properties that can alleviate stress.
  • Jade, a green gemstone, is said to promote healing through the restoration of an individual’s emotional equilibrium. Also known as the “crystal of tranquility”, jade is thought to promote mental clarity. 
  • Citrine, a golden-hued crystal, is linked to the promotion of joy and the release of negativity.
  • Obsidian, a type of volcanic glass, is said to provide a grounding anchor and offer relief for distressing memories, encouraging more positive emotions. 
  • Tiger’s eye is purported to foster self-confidence and strength, in addition to helping an individual maintain equilibrium. 
  • Ametrine, a combination of amethyst and citrine, is believed to balance the mind and emotions while promoting a positive outlook.
  • Lepidolite, a purple-colored crystal, is said to have calming properties, relieving anxiety and panic attacks. It is also thought to improve self-esteem.
  • Lithium quartz is said to help balance distressing emotions, alleviate panic attacks, and provide emotional support throughout one’s wellness journey.
  • Apatite, a blue-green stone veined with copper-colored tinges, is thought to help foster improved communication, mental clarity, and self-expression. 

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Conventional treatment for depression

Though there are a variety of alternative approaches to alleviating the symptoms of depression, psychotherapy and medication are the recommended first-line treatment options. Research suggests that both modalities are effective when treating depression

Psychotherapy can help individuals address the emotional effects of depression, develop coping strategies, and identify the sources of their feelings. A common therapeutic modality is cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on helping individuals reframe negative thought patterns that may be underlying depressive symptoms. 

There are several different types of medication for depression, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Always consult with a healthcare professional prior to starting or stopping any medication. 

Online therapy for depression

The results of an increasingly large number of studies show that online therapy is an efficacious and convenient form of care for those living with depression. For example, in one study, researchers concluded that online cognitive behavioral therapy led to “significant reductions in depressive symptoms”—improvements that were sustained a year after treatment. In addition to addressing unhelpful thought patterns, cognitive behavioral therapy may incorporate other therapeutic approaches, such as mindfulness meditation, to enhance its effects in a more holistic way. 

If you are interested in exploring holistic approaches to therapy for depression with a licensed professional, you may wish to consider online therapy. With an online therapy platform like BetterHelp, you can work with a licensed therapist remotely, which can be helpful if depression makes it difficult for you to leave home. BetterHelp will match you with a mental health professional based on your needs and preferences, allowing you to connect with an empathetic therapist who respects your beliefs regarding holistic care, spirituality, and similar approaches to mental wellness. 

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With the right help, you can limit the effects of depression


Crystal healing is a practice based on the belief that certain minerals can balance our body’s energy and improve our well-being. While there is no scientific research backing their therapeutic effects, crystals may alleviate feelings associated with depression through the placebo effect. If you’re looking for help addressing depressive symptoms or similar concerns, online therapy can be instrumental in supporting your mental health journey. With the right tools and guidance, you can manage depression and continue down the path to mental wellness.
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