Meet Hollywood's Go-To Mental-Health Gurus for Meditation, Microdosing and More

5:45 AM 1/17/2020

by Elycia Rubin

Ready for help? Here are four experts whom the industry turns to in order to help alleviate stress, depression, anxiety and other issues.

Unplug Meditation
Unplug Meditation
David Young-Wolf
  • For Breathwork

    Rob Starbuck

    "If meditation is like taking a bubble bath, breathwork is like power-washing a driveway,” says breathwork coach Starbuck of this powerful form of active meditation and intense breathing done lying down. Starbuck believes in its transformative abilities. "By breathing in this unique way, we are able to physically release the emotional trauma from many years ago, which is often the cause of stress, depression and anxiety today." Other top practitioners include Jon Paul Crimi and Ashley Neese.

  • For Microdosing

    Paul Stamets

    Steve Jobs was a proponent and Brad Pitt also recently alluded to microdosing — taking small doses of psychedelics such as LSD or psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) over the course of a few days to help alleviate depression and anxiety and boost creativity without the trip-inducing side effects. Many microdosers follow the writings of renowned mycologist Stamets. Meanwhile, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary recently invested in the microdose startup MindMed. "They are developing psychedelics that could help save lives," he says.

  • For Meditation

    Guru Betty

    "One of the most effective remedies for dissolving stress is meditation,” says veteran teacher Guru Betty, who has taught Mark Ruffalo and Abigail Spencer. Disney, Fox, HBO and Hulu have collaborated with Unplug Meditation — with studios in West Hollywood (above) and Santa Monica — to create programs for employees. Other studios in L.A. include DEN Meditation, founded by former NBC exec Tal Rabinowitz, and InsightLA.

  • For IV Ketamine Infusion

    Dr. Steven L. Mandel

    Paul Greenberg, CEO of digital video firm Butter Works, underwent infusions of the drug ketamine to treat a recurrence of his depression years after he had success with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). "The ketamine infusions have since become much more popular and pulled me out of my depression," he says. A top provider is Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles. "IV ketamine infusion therapy is the safest, fastest and most efficacious treatment for depression and suicidal tendencies today, bar none," says its founder, Mandel. “While ECT is valid, I believe it should only be tried last if the other treatments are unsuccessful.”

    This story first appeared in the Jan. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.