5 Pieces Of Pseudo-Science That You're Wasting Too Much Time & Money Believing In

As a responsible adult, you are always looking for new, innovative ways to blame your problems on some cosmic force that has nothing to do with you or your own failings. At least, if you’re me that’s what you’re doing. Luckily, if you’re looking to the universe for pseudo-scientific scapegoats for your problems, the universe will deliver. I’m pretty sure that’s what The Secret was about. Anyway, here are the top 5 bullshit things adults use to not take responsibility for their actions. Feel free to use them any time you are inconvenienced in any way. It’s what Mother Earth wants.

1. Horoscopes

Horoscopes are universally recognized as the most bullshit thing that it is still somehow acceptable to still believe in. Like sure, you know instinctively that the the way the stars looked in the sky on the day you were born probably isn’t the reason for your shitty dating history, but every time you break up with a guy you still find yourself going, “Well, he was a Scorpio Sun, Gemini rising so like, it was never gonna work out.”

Now look, I don’t need to tell you that there is zero scientific evidence to back up horoscopes (unless you’re Pisces—those fuckers believe anything). But real talk, horoscopes are legit just too fun to let out of your life. Like, what would you rather do, admit that your inability to directly confront issues is causing you problems professionally, or blame the fact that you got drunk and smashed your phone screen on Mercury in retrograde? The answer is clear.

2. Crystal Healing

Depending on how many festivals you attend each year, you may or may not know that crystals can change your life. The basics of crystal healing (thank you Wikipedia) is that you can put different types of crystals on your body, and those crystals will then fill you with “healing energy.” In order to make the crystals their most powerful, you have to “charge” them by putting them outside during a full moon. So yeah, it’s bullshit, but it’s like, pretty bullshit. There are zero scientific studies to back up the ideas behind crystal healing, so feel free to tell your one friend who smokes too much weed sells crystals on Instagram to kindly fuck off. So no, that rose quartz crystal you hung around your neck is not going to make you any less attracted to fuckboys, but it does make a nice accessory, which is better than most pseudo-science.

Crystals are mostly useful if you want to act like you’re taking charge of your life but do not actually want to do any work. Have a giant paper due this week? Instead of going to the library, spend a ridiculous amount of time locating a Fluorite crystal (known as “The Stone Of Discernment And Aptitude”) and charging it under the moon. When your mom calls to ask, “How the paper is coming?” you can say, “I’ve been working on it all week!” and you’re like, not even lying.

3. Tarot Cards

Tarot cards, aka the most involved card game you could possibly bring to a middle school sleepover, are one of the most fun ways possible to not take any responsibility for your life or future. The only real science behind tarot cards is this: It is scientifically proven that in any group of five nice girls, one of them will know how to read tarot and will have a deck on hand, in the off chance that she could be relevant for a sec.

The basics of tarot are that you start out by asking the cards some kind of specific question, and then the tarot reader (aka Hot Topic girl with time on her hands) will interpret what the cards say and help you with whatever question it was that you asked. So, let’s say you fucked up and watched The Bachelorette finale without your friend and know she’s gonna be pissed, you could ask the cards what to do and then no matter what they say be like, “Oh well the Queen Of Lipstick was diagonal to the Knave of Vodka so I’m probably just gonna lie and say I didn’t watch it.”

4. Essential Oils

So like, before you send me your angry “LAVENDER IS PROVEN TO INCREASE MEMORY RECALL” email, chill. There are some benefits to essential oils beyond the fact that they smell good. Mostly, they can make you feel calm or “improve general well-being,” just like any other Yankee candle.

You know what aromatherapy can’t cure? Cancer. You know what people say aromatherapy can cure? Cancer. Do not use smells to try and cure cancer. If you have cancer, go to the doctor, not some chick from college’s Etsy store. That should be a no-brainer. If you want to use essential oils appropriately, wait until your boyfriend flips out on you for blowing his phone and tells you you need to “work on your anxiety,” then go out an buy a eucalyptus candle. When he gets home, you can be like “Look! I bought a stress relief candle!” and then he literally can’t be mad.

5. Reiki

Reiki is the latest trend in fake new age shit that is supposed to change your life. Like most things, it is expensive AF and backed by (you guessed it) no science, so if wasting money on bullshit is one of your fave pastimes (same), Reiki is probably for you. Basically, Reiki practitioners use a technique called palm healing—aka touching you—to transfer “universal energy” to your body for physical and emotional healing. So yeah, it’s kind of like a fancy-ass massage where zero massaging occurs. It also sounds vaguely sexual? The point is to manipulate your qi (life force) into treating your illnesses and psychological problems.

Sure. Whatever. So how can you use Reiki to avoid your actual problems? Easy. Call out of work for a “medical appointment,” but just schedule a Reiki session instead. Again, you’re technically not lying, and you get to look bougie af when you’re seen coming out of your Reiki practitioner’s office. 

Alise Morales
Alise Morales
Alise Morales is a comedy writer and performer. She is the writer of the Betches Sup Newsletter and co-host of the Betches Sup Podcast.