Vanessa Hudgens Considers Herself a Witch

She loves nothing more than to experiment with the moon, herbs, and stones.

vanessa hudgens for doing well
(Image credit: Future)

There’s no right way to “do” wellness, but Marie Claire’s Doing Well offers a glimpse into the self-care mantras, therapies, and affirmations practiced by industry trailblazers.

Vanessa Hudgens is high on life. The High School Musical alum co-hosted the Oscars red carpet pre-show with Julianne Hough, and took that opportunity to reveal her pregnancy to the world, debuting her bump in a dramatic fitted black gown by Vera Wang. For the newly married Hudgens—who said "I do" to husband Cole Tucker in December—feeling happy, fit and well has always been a priority, and it’s fair to say it will only get stronger in the coming months.

The 35-year-old is also prioritizing the health of her unborn child. In fact, Caliwater, the cactus water brand she launched with her friend Oliver Trevena in 2020, recently launched a new line of kids’ drink pouches aptly called Caliwater Kids. "Our friends realized that their kids were taking all of the Caliwater before they could get to it," Hudgens tells Marie Claire.

When she’s not making sure she (and the kids in her life) stay hydrated under the California sun or promoting her new movie, French Girl, Hudgens considers herself a witch. She loves nothing more than experimenting with herbs and stones or meditating amid wildflowers. She’s also a fitness fanatic and can often be found at SoulCycle or Solidcore or simply out on a walk with her toy poodle mix, Darla.

On a phone call from Arizona two days before her pregnancy announcement, Hudgens expands on her "whimsical" approach to wellness.

The wellness trend I haven't tried yet but want to:

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When it comes to wellness, I've given almost everything a go, and the things that I haven't, I'm just not really the biggest fan of. For instance, I understand the perks of doing ice baths, but I would rather not do it and I'm OK with that. My mental health is great and I don't need to do it. But power to the people who do.

A wellness practice you swear by that some might find "woo woo"

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Meditation and manifestation go hand in hand for me. Doing both is a really great way just to decompress, recenter and refocus. For me it's kind of ritualistic. I do consider myself a witch and I love working with the moon and with herbs and with stones and, you know, everything has a meaning and an energy and the more you learn about what everything has to offer, the more you can use its energy to bring forth the things you want in your life. I love the idea of [meditating] every day, but that's just not practical. I might try to do it at least once a week, like a good deep meditation. But when it comes to manifesting and meditating and having a whole ritual together, that normally happens once a month.

Vanessa Hudgens poses in black attire

Vanessa Hudgens is comfortable in her own skin—she enjoys relaxing and meditating with wildflowers.

(Image credit: Vanessa Hudgens)

No matter how hard you try, you just can't get into:

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Ice baths would probably be one of them. IVs, I just—I cannot, I can't get into it. I hate the feeling of the drip going into my arm. Like, I understand how good it is for you but it just really icks me out.

Your ideal wellness routine:

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Honestly, just a walk outside—whether that's a hike or taking Darla on a walk. It always grounds me and makes me just really present, which I feel like is the whole point of wellness. Working with flowers, whether that's putting together arrangements or admiring wildflowers or sitting and meditating with wildflowers, that sets my spirit ablaze. I just love it. I feel so connected with nature when I'm surrounded by flowers. Baths, I take a lot of baths. I feel like that's another really great way to decompress. I had a healer once tell me—water is obviously an amazing healer, but especially for me, it's something that I need in order to balance me out. Ever since then I have been taking so many baths and swimming—there's a reason why I love going on vacation somewhere tropical and swimming in the ocean. It's just, I don't know, so connecting.

Low-brow feel-good hack:

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I love essential oils so much, whether it's jasmine or lavender in the evening—or a little citrus is like a mood elevator. I just love essential oils. I feel like they're a really great way to pick yourself up and bring yourself into the present. I think that the more you can activate your senses, the more it brings you into the present.

High-brow feel-good splurge:

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A good lymphatic massage, I feel. I think that we have all been victims of retaining water and there's nothing better than getting a lymphatic massage and just kind of flushing out the unnecessary retention that we have. It just makes me feel lighter.

The best way to describe your wellness vibe:

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Laid-back, free-spirited, and… whimsical.

Vanessa Hudgens on a walk in LA with a friend.

Vanessa Hudgens wellness routine includes walking or hiking in Los Angeles with friends.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Who you look to for advice:

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Honestly, myself most of the time—because I feel like we are all gifted with intuition and inner wisdom, and the more that we can silence our mind and tap into that, the more we can become acquainted with ourselves, but also tap into that wisdom. I feel like we're given everything that we need. It’s just being able to silence the mind, to be able to listen to it.

The wellness apps we'd find on your phone:

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I've got all my fitness ones. I've got Mindbody. I’ve got SoulCycle. Corepower Yoga. AllTrails, which is such a necessity. I have The Sculpt Society. I've got Solidcore.

When you need to reset:

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I'll go on a walk, bring my phone, put on a song, let it play in my back pocket and just, like, breathe, and try to take in the details of everything around me.

Your current state of mind:

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I'm trying to get the right word. I feel… in wonderment.

Your mental health focus right now:

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I'm just innately a very happy person. I feel like I've also been very fortunate to listen to my inner intuition and genuinely do the things that make me happy. And I think that life is about perspective and what you focus your energy and attention on is where you are going to bring yourself to. I like looking at the positives and the beauty and the magic of life. And therefore that's where life takes me. I think that I was born with a real sense of wonderment.

When and where you feel the happiest:

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Surrounded by flowers. Being in nature. Being at home, being with the people I love, or being at a festival.

Vanessa Hudgens, Nikki Reed, Brooke Burke and Roselyn Sanchez for Caliwater

Brooke Burke, Nikki Reed, Roselyn Sanchez, and Vanessa Hudgens for Caliwater.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Caliwater)

Wellness advice you've received that...isn't great:

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That you have to be super regimented in your ways. I feel like that leaves no room for freedom and life to happen.

The thing you'd tell your younger self about wellness

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Just to play with it and see what fits.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.