The way that hypnosis and hypnotherapy are typically portrayed in movies and on stage makes it seem dubious.
You would be forgiven for thinking that hypnosis is not to be taken seriously, or even that it causes you to lose control.
However, the image of hypnosis is changing, thanks in part to celebrities coming forward to praise hypnotherapy for its role in their lives.
In truth, it's a viable alternative therapy that helps people to change negative thinking patterns, and it can't make you do anything you don't want to do.
From weight loss to improved confidence, beating phobias and overcoming procrastination, hypnosis is proven to help with dozens of common obstacles to personal fulfillment.
If you're curious about particular famous people who have adopted hypnosis to support their success, there are plenty. Here are some of the actors, singers, musicians, politicians and television personalities who endorse hypnotherapy.
Celebrities Who’ve Used Hypnosis To Quit Smoking
It's notoriously difficult to stop smoking once you're addicted. As you may know from personal experience, it's common to relapse and end up returning to cigarettes in times of stress.
However, since it is our subconscious thoughts and desires that make us more likely to keep smoking, hypnotherapy is the ideal treatment for this habit.
Through hypnosis, your subconscious cravings and buried positive thoughts about smoking can be exposed and changed.
Hypnotherapy can help to replace positive associations with negative ones, making you actively dislike cigarettes or feel an aversion to them.
It's no wonder that celebrities are turning to hypnotherapy to help them quit smoking - the evidence shows it is effective.
For example, one study of approximately 3,000 smokers found that around 22% of the participants did not have a cigarette for at least a month after their hypnotherapy treatment. Similarly, there is research that suggests you are up to twice as likely to stop smoking for good if you use some form of hypnotherapy.
Let’s take a closer look at seven prominent famous people who have kicked the habit thanks to hypnotherapy.
As well as going on the record to say that hypnotherapy can help you quit smoking, Ellen shared her experience with smoking cessation hypnotherapy on her show. She worked with famous hypnotherapist Paul McKenna, but there's good evidence to believe that even self-hypnosis at home can help you quit smoking more easily. According to Ellen, she may not have been able to quit without the help of hypnosis.
Ashton Kutcher is enthusiastic about the effects of hypnotherapy, noting that he used it to stop smoking and that he really believes it works. He used a self-hypnosis recording, and as far as we know he hasn't returned to the habit since then. In addition, he endorses hypnosis for focus and concentration, and is an advocate of creative visualization for personal success.
The enormously talented British singer claims that she used to smoke up to a pack a day! Understandably worried about the long term impacts on her throat and general health, she turned to hypnosis to try and end her addiction. Reportedly, hypnotherapy helped her stop smoking right away, around the time her hit single “Hello” first came out.
Academy Award winner Matt Damon is world famous for his compelling performances and political activism. However, what's less commonly known is that he smoked heavily for almost two decades, and really struggled to quit. When he was a guest on The Tonight Show, he discussed how tough this process was for him, and credited hypnotherapy for his eventual success. He praised it as the best choice he made, and emphatically endorsed its effectiveness.
Although actress Drew Barrymore used to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, she wasn't happy with this and was willing to try just about anything to stop. Hypnosis ended up working well for her, leading her to permanently quit the habit. This is another success story that underlines how hypnotherapy can make a difference even in the most challenging cases.
Last but not least, former US President Barack Obama stopped smoking after thirty years.
Concerned for his health and wanting to be a good role model for his daughters, he was determined to quit.
While he admits to the occasional relapse and has also tried nicotine gum, has now been largely smoke-free for eight years
Celebrities Who’ve Used Hypnosis For Weight Loss
Like smoking, weight loss is associated with deep subconscious cravings and limiting beliefs. Consequently, it's a great candidate for treatment by hypnotherapy. In fact, it's one of the most commonly reported goals in hypnotherapy sessions, along with beating phobias. Once again, there is good reason to believe that it can work, if you are committed to the goal of losing weight. For example, in one study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, researchers reported that female participants on average thought that their hypnotherapy made weight loss up to 30 times easier.
In the image-driven world that celebrities occupy, maintaining a healthy weight can be a source of anxiety. However, hypnotherapy can help when other strategies have failed. Here are some of the most impressive success stories.
Although you wouldn't guess from his adult physique, Lord of the Rings star Orlando Bloom struggled to stay away from sugar when he was a child. His mother enlisted the help of a hypnotherapist to help him cultivate a different attitude to candy, and it worked. He was able to lose weight, and seems to have stayed in great shape since then. This suggests that even in childhood, hypnosis can have long-lasting positive implications.
Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York
It is widely claimed that Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has used hypnotherapy to make it easier to lose weight and prevent future weight in. There are also rumors that hypnosis has helped her overcome negative habits like biting her nails. However, Ferguson herself is yet to comment on these claims, or on the efficacy of hypnotherapy.
Lily Allen has undergone a significant physical transformation with the help of weight loss hypnotherapy. She lost an incredible two dress sizes thanks to her hypnotherapy sessions, boosting her confidence and improving her health. She says that she now feels positive if she goes to the gym, and experiences negative emotions if she stays away—all thanks to hypnosis.
British model Sophie Dahl was originally marked as being "plus sized", but she decided that she wanted to lose weight and change her lifestyle. With assistance from a hypnotherapist, she descended to a UK size 8 and has kept the weight off for around a decade so far. She claims that her need for dieting was minimal thanks to the changes in attitude induced by her hypnotherapy.
Finally, famous for being Geri Halliwell of the Spice Girls, she’s apparently also a staunch advocate of hypnotherapy - especially for weight loss and general fitness.
She is vocal about the importance of asking for help when you need it, and hopes others will learn from hearing about her personal struggles.
Celebrities Who Used Hypnobirthing
There are many different ways to approach labor, depending on the mother's values and preferences. One particularly common problem is anxiety about and during labor, with women often fearing that giving birth will be a horrible, agonizing experience for them. However, studies show that hypnosis is a promising way of reducing nervousness. It can also help women to control their feelings, thoughts, and (to a certain extent) pain during the process of labor.
On average, research shows that women who use hypnotherapy or self-hypnosis during labor typically ask for fewer medical interventions and tend to describe labor as more positive.
Hypnotherapy for labor - or "hypnobirthing" - is growing increasingly popular among celebrities, who are helping to spread the word to other expectant mothers.
A mother of six children, world-famous actress Angelina Jolie reportedly relied on hypnotherapy to help her remain calm and centered when she gave birth to her twins. She apparently chanted and entered a hypnotic trance, which was allegedly a pre-arranged part of her birth plan. Angelina's experience was during a caesarean section, so it's worth noting that hypnobirthing isn't just for "natural" labor.
Actress Jessica Alba has also talked at length about using hypnobirthing exercises twice, when she was giving birth in 2008 and then again in 2011. She used a form of self-hypnosis that she likened to experiencing meditation, and she claimed that it helped her stay calm. Jessica also noted that hypnobirthing made it easier to focus on her breathing, making labor easier.
Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge
Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, mother of three children, has apparently used a hypnobirthing approach in all three cases. This suggests that it isn't only the idea that is attractive to mothers, but that hypnobirthing helps enough that they want to return to it in future pregnancies. Many women note that it transforms their perspective of labor, helping them to trust their own bodies.
A final advocate of hypnobirthing is actress Busy Philipps. After doing a lot of reading about the options available to her, she decided that self-hypnosis techniques would offer her the best chance of feeling calm and in control during labor. However, she has also acknowledged the importance of accepting that plans can change once labor begins, and encourages women to not feel bad about deviating from what birth should be like.
Celebrities Who’ve Used Hypnosis For Sports Performance
There is increasingly compelling evidence that hypnotherapy (and other visualization-based techniques) can enhance sports performance. After all, good performance doesn't just depend on physical capabilities - it also depends on being in the right mental zone to play well. In this respect, hypnotherapy can help in a number of different ways. For example, it can help nervous individuals feel calmer when playing a sport, and it can also boost focus and concentration.
Perhaps most noteworthy is the impact that hypnosis can have on a performer's "fixed mindset." This term refers to the player's assumption that they can only do so much - hit a golf ball so far, move so fast on a football field, or lift so much weight. By helping to get rid of these limiting beliefs and replace them with newer, more positive beliefs, hypnotherapy can put sports performer into what is called a "growth mindset." While their bodies remain the same, they have a determined, confident attitude that encourages them to do better.
Here are a couple of the best examples of champion sportspeople who have used hypnotherapy in this way.
As noted above, golf star Tiger Woods is a staunch advocate of the power of hypnosis, and he has used it for more than keeping fit. He has talked about using hypnotherapy to become a better golfer, and his record speaks for itself. He first tried hypnosis in his teens and it has helped him to get rid of anxiety so that he can give his best possible performance on the course. In addition, he visualizes every move he makes on the golf course before ever hitting the ball.
Steve Hooker holds an Olympic gold medal for pole vaulting, so you might assume that he hasn't needed much help along the way. However, he is on the record saying that hypnosis helped him to become even better at pole vaulting, and that it helped to reduce stress and anxiety he might otherwise have felt. He had many sessions with a sports psychologist who also taught him to use and refine visualization techniques. He came to the conclusion that pole vaulting has a significant mental component, and that thinking deeply is a requirement for doing it well.
Celebrities Who’ve Used Hypnosis For Personal Development & Career Success
As well as helping you to overcome issues like over-eating, smoking and anxiety, hypnotherapy can help to boost personal development more generally. It's commonly used to support career goals and reinforce a mindset that is conducive to success. After all, hypnosis can adapt just about any limiting beliefs you might have, and it can also strengthen positive beliefs you already have. In addition, some people use hypnotherapy to become more in touch with their own emotions and to create self-reflective habits.
An increasing number of celebrities are discussing their own positive experiences with this sort of hypnotherapy, and many of them say that it has been crucial in their journey to professional success.
Here are some inspiring examples.
Will and Grace star Debra Messing used hypnotherapy to help her get into the right mindset for underwater scenes in the film "Lucky You". Prior to her use of hypnosis, she was reportedly terrified of being underwater, but she didn't want this to hold her back from a fantastic role. She also says that hypnotherapy helped to save her life, as it pushed her to stop smoking for good.
As a football, model and philanthropist, David Beckham is a role model for many people. However, he found himself struggling with repetitive negative thoughts and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), so he turned to hypnotherapy for help. Combined with creative visualization and cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy played a key part in reshaping his mindset. He now feels he has the tools to stop unhelpful thinking spirals, and he has been empowered by his psychological work.
Sean Conney is a popular James Bond, but the Scottish actor has also used hypnotherapy to help further his considerable success.
While not much is known about the specific issues he tried to overcome or the ways in which he approached hypnosis, it's widely reported that he found it productive.
While you might not imagine that a prominent scientist would try an alternative therapy, Albert Einstein is known to have used hypnotherapy. In fact, he first came up with the ideas that led to his theory of relativity while he was in a hypnotic trance. He found that hypnosis enhanced his creative thinking. This is a good example of using hypnotherapy not to overcome an obstacle but rather than improve skills you already have.
Kevin Costner had his own hypnotherapist for many years, and (like Debra Messing) he used hypnosis to help himself overcome discomfort surrounding water. While he wasn't afraid of the ocean, his time spent filming "Waterworld" was causing intense sea sickness and slowing production of the movie. He reports that since his time working with his hypnotherapist, he no longer has any struggles with working in or on water.
Another world-famous advocate of hypnosis, Mel Gibson learned how to hypnotize himself and others.
Taught by Australian expert hypnotherapist Dr. Rick Collingwood over the course of 10 days, Mel Gibson is said to have picked up the skills very quickly. He was said to be keen to use hypnotherapy to help others.
It took a long time for Sylvester Stallone to get his big break in the movies, and some speculate that the success of Rocky (his breakout role) came partly from his work with a hypnotherapist. While he struggled with intense fear during the first days of filming, he used personalized "subconscious motivation recordings" to overcome his anxiety and give his best performance.
Celebrities Who’ve Used Hypnosis For Nail Biting
Nail biting can easily become a compulsion, particularly for those who do it during times of nervousness. However, this seemingly innocuous habit can lead to tooth and jaw pain, infected fingers and unsightly hands.
Since many people bite their nails without even realizing it, it's clear that there is a significant subconscious component to the habit. Consequently, hypnotherapy is an ideal tool for those who are struggling to bite their nails. Through hypnosis, you can develop a strong aversion to biting your nails, overcoming the habit entirely. In addition, it's possible to find and change the underlying anxious beliefs that prompt nail-biting in the first place.
As part of developing a polished, professional look, it's understandable that celebrities are particularly keen to leave nail-biting behind. Here are a couple of noteworthy cases in which famous people have quit the habit with the help of hypnosis.
In addition to using hypnotherapy to control her eating habits, Black Eye Peas singer Fergie has reportedly used hypnosis to help quit her habit of biting her nails. She has described herself as being "heavily into hypnosis", and says she finds her sessions extremely relaxing. She has mentioned that she sometimes hears the voice of her hypnotherapist encouraging her to make positive choices, and says that these lifestyle changes have stuck.
Finally, Eva Mendes is also said to have benefited from hypnosis sessions aiming to stop her from biting her nails. She has a history of endorsing hypnotherapy more broadly. In particular, the actress has confirmed that she has used hypnotherapy to combat and overcome a debilitating fear of spiders. This is another excellent example of how hypnosis can influence subconscious fears that hold us back.