Celebrity status comes with wealth and success but it also means a lack of privacy and a certain degree of social responsibility.
Research has shown that celebrity endorsement can influence the effectiveness of an advertisement. An article published the results of two studies that looked at celebrity impact on nonprofit advertising. The first study showed that a celebrity’s connection had a significant association with the intention to volunteer time or donate money and source credibility. The second study showed that attractiveness was a source of credibility dimension and had a main effect on intention.
Here we take a look at a list of celebrities who have openly shared their psychedelic experiences and how they impacted their mental health, world perspectives, and overall mental health and well-being.
1. Sting in Have a Good Trip
Sting broke into the music industry as the lead singer, songwriter, and bassist of The Police in 1977. The English musician has received numerous accolades including Grammy Awards, Brit Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Emmy.
He was interviewed in the 2020 Netflix documentary Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics. He shared the following:
“I don’t think psychedelics are the answers to the world’s problems, but they could be a start.”
In the interview, he talks about the most meaningful trip he took while taking peyote. He reflected on mortality:
“What the experience does is it presents you with the idea of mortality…your own mortality, the mortality of the planet … that is the central issue of consciousness…For me, the meaning of the universe cracked open.”
2. Chelsea Handler on Ayahuasca
Comedian Chelsea Handler is known to be candid about her personal experiences with drugs. In her 2016 Netflix docuseries, Chelsea Does, she attends an ayahuasca ceremony in Peru and consumes a hallucinogenic drink. During the experience, she recalls childhood memories and has a valuable lesson about her relationship with her sister.
During her guest appearance on Ellen, she shared,
“I had all these beautiful imageries of my childhood and me and my sister laughing on a kayak, and all these beautiful things with me and my sister,’ she said. So [my experience] was very much about opening my mind to loving my sister, and not being so hard on her.”
3. Steve Jobs Inspired by LSD
The co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple is one of the most impactful leaders in American history. He was known for his pioneering the personal computer revolution and has openly shared how LSD played an important role in creating his success.
“Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important — creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”
4. Kristen Bell on Psilocybin for Self-love
For decades, the American actress and mom of two struggled with depression and anxiety. She’s tried multiple treatments to manage her mental health condition. Then after reading How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan, she decided to try psilocybin as a different approach.
In an episode of the podcast Hypochondriactor, she talks about how her experience transformed the way she viewed her body and allowed her to love it for what it does. She shared that her depression and anxiety have improved and now come in waves.
5. Aaron Rodgers Confronts Fear with Ayahuasca
Recently, the Green Bay Packers quarterback shared how psychedelics changed his life by helping him confront his fear of death and improve his mental health:
“I definitely had a fear of death…and ayahuasca, and psilocybin actually, really helped me with that and relieved a lot of the stress around the idea of needing to accomplish things before I actually die … and taking away some of that fear. I think when you’ve seen the other side, it makes the idea of death more of a passage and less of an ending.”
He is scheduled to speak about psychedelics at the Psychedelic Science conference held at the Colorado Convention Center in June 2023.
6. Miley Cyrus Heals with Ayahuasca
In an interview with The New York Times, the singer, songwriter and actress shared how ayahuasca helped her emotionally heal and made her question who she was.
“I think ayahuasca is a healing thing…I loved what it did for me. We all think we’re good people, but I wanted to know in my heart, in my deepest soul. I wanted to know what outrides what: Am I really the person I think am?”
7. Daniel Carcillo Recovers from TBI with Psilocybin
Daniel Carcillo is a retired professional hockey player who has won the Stanley Cup twice. During his career, he suffered multiple concussions which led to a lasting traumatic brain injury (TBI) with debilitating effects including thoughts of suicide, sleeping problems, anxiety, depression, and slurred speech. He credits psilocybin for healing his brain injury and transforming his life.
“I used psilocybin in a traditional mushroom ceremony to wake up the different regions of my brain that were shut down due to physical and emotional trauma. I was hopeless and suicidal after thinking I’d tried all treatment options for TBI. I’m living proof that you can live an optimized life after traumatic brain injury & trauma.”
8. Susan Sarandon in Support of Psychedelics
American Actress Susan Sarandon has been transparent about her views on psychedelics and why they’re not new to her.
She didn’t shy away from talking about her experiences in an interview with The Daily Beast:
“I’m not new to the idea of mushrooms. I don’t really like chemical things, really. Timothy Leary was a friend of mine, so that acid was nice and pure, but I’m not really looking for chemicals, and I don’t like to feel speedy. But I’ve done Ayahuasca and I’ve done mushrooms and things like that. But I like those drugs in the outdoors — I’m not a city-tripper…You want to be prepared and not have responsibilities. It does remind you of your space in the universe — your place in the universe — and reframe things for you. I think you can have some very profound experiences.”
When asked specifically about LSD, she responded,
“It’s not going to solve all your problems. But, yes, I’m totally supportive of that means to reframe your universe.”
9. Kacey Musgraves Finds Creativity with Psychedelics
The award-winning singer has been vocal about how psychedelic therapy changed her life.
She shared with Rolling Stones in a 2021 interview that her experience was like “mental and spiritual labor” and compared it to “10 years of therapy in one sitting”.
During an interview with Zane Lowe, she revealed how her psychedelic journey helped her heal from her divorce and stimulated her creativity for one of her albums.
“I was like, I want the chance to transform my trauma into something else, and I want to give myself that opportunity even if it’s painful…And it was completely life-changing in so many ways, but it also triggered this whole big bang of not only the album title but the song Star-Crossed and the concept — you know, me looking into the structure of tragedies themselves as an art form throughout time.”
10. Paul McCartney Sees God on LSD
As seen in an old interview, the British musician explains why he told the truth to a reporter about trying LSD for the first time in 1966. More recently, he shared how he saw God on a psychedelic trip to the Sunday Times.
“[The experience] was huge. A massive wall that I couldn’t see the top of, and I was at the bottom. And anybody else would say it’s just the drug, the hallucination, but we felt we had seen a higher thing.”
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Coscarelli, J. (2015, August 31). The Long, Winding Interview With Miley Cyrus. ArtsBeat. Retrieved from https://archive.nytimes.com/artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/31/the-long-winding-interview-with-miley-cyrus/
Herrington, A. J. (2022, December 22). Aaron Rodgers Says Using Psychedelics Helped Ease His Fear Of Death. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajherrington/2022/12/15/aaron-rodgers-says-using-psychedelics-helped-ease-his-fear-of-death/?sh=25f246742978
Holloway, A. (2021, March 29). Former NHL enforcer Daniel Carcillo has started a psilocybin company to help people with brain injuries. Financialpost. Retrieved from https://financialpost.com/financial-post-magazine/former-nhl-enforcer-daniel-carcillo-has-started-a-psilocybin-company-to-help-people-with-brain-injuries
Quinn, B. (2018, September 2). Paul McCartney “saw God” after taking drugs during Beatles heyday. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/sep/02/paul-mccartney-saw-god-after-taking-drugs-during-beatles-heyday
Stern, M. (2014, July 24). Susan Sarandon on Her Love Affair With David Bowie, Woody Allen’s Creepiness, and Psychedelics. The Daily Beast. Retrieved from https://www.thedailybeast.com/susan-sarandon-on-her-love-affair-with-david-bowie-woody-allens-creepiness-and-psychedelics
Wheeler, R. T. (2009). Nonprofit Advertising: Impact of Celebrity Connection, Involvement and Gender on Source Credibility and Intention to Volunteer Time or Donate Money. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 21(1), 80-107. https://doi.org/10.1080/10495140802111984