Goop and the Self Care Myth

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If you’ve spent any time at all on the internet over the last several months, then you know that there is an oversaturated trend of self care.

Everything from face masks to fragrances to fuzzy slippers have been slapped with the label, self care.

Remember this!? 11.2M views!

And if you’re a female with access to the internet, then “self care” will trigger one word: Goop.


Yes, I’m talking about the uber luxury lifestyle brand of none other than Gwyneth Paltrow herself.

Photo: Fortune

And when I say uber luxury, I mean, the products that she hawks on you will set off your gag reflex, and you’ll throw up in your mouth a little bit. Call me old fashioned but…$125,000 for a set of 18K gold dumbbells? I mean…

This is not to throw shade on Goop, truly. In fact, I applaud Gwyneth for creating such a well-respected lifestyle brand that is both informative and aspirational.

With that said, I did some digging to see what the “Goopy Queen” of wellness, health, and beauty had to say about self care.

And, silk toothbrushes and lady-parts steamers aside, the majority of what I found on Goop fell…well, flat. I learned about an oil that “anchors the spirit back into the body.” I found out about the power of aligning my energies to create positive vibes. And even, why some women swear by “earthing” – or the practice of getting your bare feet in contact with the earth for a period of time per day.

And after plowing through numerous episodes of her podcast, with guests from everyone from Oprah to Julia Roberts to Chrissy Teigen, I finally had to turn off the podcast and walk away.

I felt completely discouraged.

If this is the self care from the top “guru” herself, then we are in a world of hurt, people.

Because let me be crystal clear: self care does not come in a bottle or a jar. True self care is so much more than that.

I’m going to be honest, I consider myself somewhat of an expert in self care. Not because I’ve tried every beauty product on the market, or am well versed in sleep studies. Nope.

I am an expert in self care because it was such an instrumental aspect of my recovery from anorexia.

You see, the concept of self care was so totally foreign to me, when I first began my recovery. And to be clear, it wasn’t called “self care” back then. That is a buzzword that has been born out of influencer marketing in the last year or so, as an effort to push gimmicky beauty products with names that include “Bae” or “Obsession.”

No, self care was genuinely that: caring for myself.

During my anorexia, self care was non-existent, for the sole reason that, not only did I not respect or nourish my body, but I truly hated it. I hated myself.

Most people think that anorexia is just some rich white girl’s diet gone awry, but the weight loss is merely a manifestation of the inner turmoil going on inside. It’s an outer manifestation of the hatred she has for herself. So yes, she is withholding nutrients from her body, but she is also doing a myriad of other behaviors, that all stem from that inner wound. That inner hatred.

For example, I would isolate myself from loved ones, because I felt unworthy of love. I would sleep on the floor, because I felt I didn’t deserve the comfort of a bed. I would only allow myself to buy and wear ratty clothing from Goodwill, because I felt I didn’t deserve to wear nice things. I’d punish myself with exercise; the list goes on and on.

So for me, one of the greatest hurdles for my recovery, was to relearn how to be kind to myself. How to care for my body.

And while, yes, treating myself to a good smelling foot lotion, or taking an extra five minutes in the shower to exfoliate with a special sugar scrub was part of that new adoption of self care, the real work came from the inside, out.

Sitting her, ten years later, healed and whole and living abundantly, I can tell you with firm authority, that you cannot buy true self care on the shelves of CVS. The tools for self care, are in fact, not tangible at all.

Because true self care is all about your soul.

Yes, Gwyneth was onto something, when she was championing oils that get in touch with your spirit, but spoiler alert: no oil can do what we truly need.

Only Jesus can.

My true healing from my anorexia came when I invited Jesus into my heart to clean up the state of my soul. To heal my spirit.

I needed a total-heart-take-over. It took intentional, quality time, seeking the Lord through the Bible. And through worship music. And through prayer. And I’ll be the first to tell you that this was not easy, or comfortable, or frankly something that I necessarily looked forward to all the time.

There was no way to root out the lies I believed in my mind, other than filling it with so much truth that there was no longer any place for it to live.

And I continue that practice to this day. It’s how I stay in recovery. It’s how I keep my mind on Jesus, and grow in relationship with Him.

It’s the secret to my self care: spending quality time with Jesus. 

It doesn’t have to be lengthy or super heady. Sometimes I’ll listen to a worship song. Or a podcast. Sometimes it’s just spending time reflecting on the Gospel — which I do every morning on my Oh What a Beautiful Morning! Video Series that I put in my free newsletter.

Because the thing is: when my soul is in the right state, then everything else falls in line. Fears, anxiety, stress, anger, loneliness, doubt, exhaustion — all those things that society’s “self care” routines are trying to “cure” can only truly be alleviated by a heart at peace.

A heart that is in tune with Jesus.

And I can assure you, you won’t find that in the articles of Goop.

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107 responses to “Goop and the Self Care Myth”

    • Thank you friend. Yes! Me too. God is so good and I am forever grateful for His healing 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    • Hey again, friend! yes!! that is so true — the BEST care! and hahahaha that’s hysterical 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    • Hey Ryan! thanks so much – you’re absolutely right about that — Jesus IS the new age, the old age, the present age, the age to come!!! 🙂 hehe Hugs and love xox

  1. Miss Caralyn I love it when the Lord speaks the words in my heart from the heart of another person living life in Jesus. There are more words however they are elusive at the moment.

    Dear Jesus thank you for Miss Caralyn, sharing how she allows herself to be loved by You, deeply, passionately, transformatively. May she continue in this Beauty. Amen.

    • Thank you so much Teri, oh I am so glad this resonated with you. And thank you for the beautiful prayer. I am truly touched!! Hugs and love xox

  2. Thank you Caralyn, for another terrific post, saying Jesus Christ is the only way to Life and Wholeness.
    I do believe that every response to every post of yours could start that way.
    You are a blessing to many, and I truly believe that our Heavenly Father is Blessed, and smiling down on you, as you give Praise, Honour, and Glory, to His only Son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth to be a sacrifice for our sins. I am sure our Father looks to the throne on His right, and says to Jesus, “She loves you so much Son, she tells everyone about you.” Let’s Bless her some more.
    Thanks again Caralyn for showing each of us the Truth, and demonstrating strength and boldness in sharing Jesus.

    Also, I just finished watching your video from last Thursday, and I accept your challenge.

    God Bless you, Beautiful Servant Of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Luv, 😀❤️🌹😘

    • Hey George! thank you so much! haha – yes – always gotta point it back to the One! 🙂 Thank you for such affirming words 🙂 I am truly touched. So grateful for your friendship! And oh nice! Yes! Challenge accepted! Hugs and love xox

  3. Everyone finds a buzzword or phrase and then tries to capitalize on it. What did you write about some time ago? Clean foods? I only wish Jesus could be the mod buzzword instead of a profanity! As always, a pleasure to read.

    • Hey Jeff! I think you’re definitely right about that. Jesus as the buzz word — if ONLY that could be! wow – what a world that would be, right?? Thanks for stopping by and always giving me a wonderful little nugget of wisdom to chew on. big hugs to you and Julie xox

  4. You could not have said it better than using the term “total-heart-take-over”. It reminds me of 2 Corinthians 5:17 which teaches us that if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation. I’m thankful that I have a new purpose, a new heart, and numerous other new things because He has washed me whiter than snow.

    • Thank you so much Matthew. Yes! That is one of my all time favorite verses! Yes! Amen to that. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you friend, me too!! 🙂 God is good and I thank Him so much for His healing! Hugs and love xox

  5. Awesome post, very informative as I had no idea about Gweneth Paltrow and her self-care line, but you had me hooked with how self-care is time with Jesus! You are so right!!! When your soul is healthy everything else falls into line!!!! I love that!!!! Thank you!!!!!

  6. Self care is not what we find in a bottle or in a store shelves . It is what we see when Looking in a mirror Looking back at us. Love this article. Very well presented.

  7. PTL, Caralyn! How beautiful your relationship with God is.
    And to share Him and His wisdom with so many who need it… who need Him! <3
    I especially loved your picture quotes on being good to your own body.
    Compassion is something hard to come by, especially from ourselves.
    Praise His name for being willing to shower us with it so that we can learn to do the same.
    Me and God love you, Caralyn! Just as you are!

    • Thank you Gail. You’re kind to say that. And you’re so right – we need more compassion in the world! Awww thank you! 🤗 Love you Gail! Hugs xox

      • oh my gosh you’re the greatest, thank you Gail!! That seriously brought a huge smile to my face. I will definitely be keeping you in my heart and prayers as you make your way through it 🙂 sending massive hugs xo

      • Wow! I found it in my box today! 🙂 The card says it’s been there since Saturday. THAT’S what the Lord kept urging me to go check my box for! 😉 I was so excited! It was like we unexpectedly ran into each other at the somewhere and did our “Hey, Girl! How are you!!” 😉
        I’ll be praying for you too. Even the welcome note you wrote was so touching and an indication that we BOTH will be bearing our souls.
        God bless you for reaching out to others. I praise God for His healing… and for getting all of the glory! Because the young lady He rescued insists it be that way! <3

  8. Sometimes you have posts that just touch the soul where it needs to be touched. This is definitely one of them, I do not mean this in an unrighteousness judgmental tone but I pray you leave the Catholic faith, or at least study the theological deficiencies it possesses. Every-time I read a blog post from you concerning recovery and what has rooted you throughout it sounds like a true Protestant, but then a post comes out expressing the fundamental belief you have in the aspects of the Catholic faith that I, as a infallible scripture professing Reformed Baptist Protestant, just cringe at.
    Keep up the blog as I always find many things you write helpful even from a man who has never suffered from EDs but definitely self-esteem problems. May I direct you to a blog post I wrote on the subject of self esteem?

    • Hi Daniel, I’m glad this resonated with you. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I’m sorry that you feel so negatively towards the Catholic faith. I think that all Christians can be so focused on that which differentiates us, that we forget that which unites us: Jesus. Yes, I love being Catholic, but there’s also so much about the Protestant faith that I also love, namely their charismatic worship style! I grew up going to a nondenominational summer camp for two weeks at a time that really shaped my relationship with Christ. The way i see it is that we are all on the same team, with the same goal and destination. Hugs and love xox

      • Well, there is one place where I think we are at odds as well (ha!), I’m actually more of a high liturgical guy myself. The charismatic style of a Lord’s day church service is not my cup of tea. I’ve seen and read of many Anglican or confessional Reformed church’s services and I love ‘em… something of a carry over from the old 16th-17th century Catholic stuff.

      • ah, gotcha. I see. I love how there are so many different styles of worship. A lid for every pot, hah! Different styles, same Lord! Amen! Hugs and love xox

  9. Wow!! This is the reason i never miss to read your posts.Thank you for choosing to stand on and by Gods word no matter what. This reminds me of our sermon this Sunday from the Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Our minds have been filled with so much lies from the world and unless we know(by renewing our mind to what the God says) we end up often falling victims of these lies. Now seriously how can an oil anchor the spirit back into the body? Indeed like He has said, My people are destroyed because of lack of knowledge. Thank you for sharing the truth. I really look forward to meeting you in person one day. You are such an inspiring soul. Be blessed.

    • Thank you Sandra!! Oh gosh what a kind thing to say. Thank you 🙂 oh I LOVE that verse fromRomans. Amen!!! Haha I thought the same thing about that oil! Aww thanks friend. You’re awesome!! Big hugs xox

    • Thank you so much 🙂 I love that so much — saying no is definitely a major form of self care for sure! Hugs and love xox

  10. I cannot support Goop because of her outwardly perpetuating the stereotype that women and moms have to drink to “survive.” It’s absolutely ridiculous that someone in her position would do this and I’m not about to support and perpetuate it myself!!

  11. SO true— only JESUS can heal. the TRUE self care is not products and taking time to have a bath… which is a topic that often comes up for me- as a new working mom…. who has been trying to help my husband heal from losing his mom to cancer last december. He still hasn’t healed- and it is because he pushed Jesus away. I continue to pray— because i KNOW the answer to his healing is God. I feel he is getting closer again….

    • Thank you so much! Yes! Only Jesus!! oh gosh, I’m so sorry to hear about his loss, I will definitely keep him and you and your family in my prayers. big big hugs xo

  12. Yes yes yes!! Amen amen amen!! Jesus is the true physician and healer! Thank you combating these lies that so many of us who have suffered with self hatred and self harm can fall into the traps of the quick fix or self induced self reliance and sufficiency when we didn’t create ourselves He did! So bathing in Him and grounding ourselves in His word is the only way we stay in recovery, and grow to be more like Him and the beautiful princess or handsome prince that He created us to be!! Xoxoxo

    • Hi Amanda! Aw, thank you so much for this beautiful response! I’m so glad it hit home with you. You’re right — bathing in Him – I love that so much 🙂 big big hugs xox

  13. Yes, this is it exactly:

    “There was no way to root out the lies I believed in my mind, other than filling it with so much truth that there was no longer any place for it to live….

    “It’s the secret to my self care: spending quality time with Jesus.”

    After 2 or 3 years of desperately trying to root out the lies myself, I am finally learning the simplicity and miracle of focusing on Jesus and his opinion of me. The change in focus is both a tough, gritty decision and an “easy” free gift that no one other than Jesus can help a person to do. I love Him for it and am thankful. The road is still long, but it is real and possible now, with Him.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so glad that this resonated with you and that you have found the freedom of focusing on Jesus! Will definitely be keeping you and your journey in my prayers, friend 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  14. I loved the line where you said “There was no way to root out the lies I believed in my mind, other than filling it with so much truth that there was no longer any place for it to live.” That was absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing truth with others!

    • Hi Sami! oh, thank you so much! Yes! Let it overflow with His truth!! So glad it resonated with you, and that you stopped by this afternoon! big big hugs to you xo

  15. Another great post! As I’ve said before I love that you write from the heart and personal experience. I’m to frugal to buy into products from Gwyneth Paltrow and Kylie Jenner, lol! They’ve really got people fooled 🤣😂🤣 . God is good and he never leads us astray. So happy for your recovery. Everyone has a story and because you share yours you give others hope! ❤❤❤❤🤗🤗

    • thank you so much Lane 🙂 haha I’m right there with ya! I’ll buy my products from Sephora with a 20% off coupon! hahahah amen – God is good. Thank you for such kind words 🙂 big big hugs xo

  16. Truth! Oh if only more people would get this vital truth, then we could keep a whole lot of money in our pockets! Jesus already paid the ultimate price on the Cross and He is readily accessible 24 hrs/day. Thank you for this! It’s refreshing!

    • Thank you so much Charlene! So glad this resonated with you. Amen to that! Readily accessible! Hugs and love xox

  17. That’s exactlu how I feel regarding my depression and anxiety. I always check myself spiritually when I start to feel that way and try to ask God to help me to have more gratitude or to increase my trust in him. It’s an ongoing battle that may always be there but, I lean into Jesus and he carries me through <3

  18. Loved the post. just a note, the ‘earthing’ is a part of witch craft, but for a chronic pain person we call it ‘grounding’. It helps with the amount of electricity a spine can store.. Having contact with grass and dirt is just like a wire attached to your home to cut down on electric surges. If you have over active nerves running in your body, it truly helps. If you ever were to meet me I would be barefoot, lol.

    • Thank you so much Zettie – interesting! thanks for the clarification!! haha I’m glad you’ve found some relief in grounding! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  19. I love what you have to say. It is so important to honor our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit BUT if we don’t take care of our soul health, nothing else really matters!!! That being said, a hot bath with salts and essential oils is amazing too 🙂 🙂

    • Thank you so much Sierra 🙂 Gosh, that really means a lot. That’s so true – Soul health!! haha — I am all about a hot bath and a face mask 🙂 hehe Hugs and love xox

  20. All the focus on products for self care seems to show that we all are still looking for the magic, silver bullet that will fix everything. There’s a lot of that that goes on in the fitness business; everyone has a new program and a new method and a new piece of equipment that is always promised to be the last one you’ll ever need. I fell for that for the longest time until I realized that there is no magic, silver bullet unless you want to count work and time as the bullet. For me, personally, that meant, eating less and exercising more and looking at variations for the classic exercises, like pushups and pullups, and learning from my sister what dancers do to strengthen their core.

    It’s human nature to want a shortcut and if there is a smarter, easier, faster way to do something-that still gets the job done well-that’s great. But most time we have to rely on perseverance and spirit, like General Washington said.

    • Hi Nathan, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re so right – shortcuts never get you to where you truly want to go! Hugs and love xox

  21. For those who have an interest in the Bible it tells us our bodies are temples. So we really do need to look after them don’t we? Just imagine dumping trash into a cathedral, we’d never do that but we do it to our body temple. All of us do to a certain extent. The self-care gurus are interested in money not people and they use psychology to manipulate us into thinking self-care is what they offer. Companion to true self care is others care. That is a wholistic approach. Your helpful book is an outgrowth of self-care into others care. You’re on the right track there.

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