We asked Jennifer Hudson, who stars in Netflix's upcoming original series Sandy Wexler (premieres April 14), to share the story behind her cherished collection of heart-shaped energy stones.

Jennifer Hudson Why I Love
Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty

“I’ve always loved hearts. My favorite necklaces have heart charms on them, and the base of my mic stand is shaped like one," said Hudson. "Six years ago, I discovered heart-shaped energy stones and began keeping them with me to stay centered. I’m extremely sensitive to the energies of my surroundings and the people around me. I can walk into a venue and sense if a show is going to go well. Now, even in the craziest moments, I’m able to channel my most peaceful state by holding a stone. I have about 20 of them total, and I always take a few with me everywhere I go, from the recording studio to the red carpet. The only time I’m without one is when I’m onstage, but an energy stone is always the last thing I touch before walking out to perform. I really believe they help you when you need them most. I figure that everything I do comes from the heart, so why not carry hearts too?”

Why I Love
Credit: Time Inc. Digital Studio

For Hudson, each heart holds special meaning. “Different stones are supposed to bring different energies,” she explained. “I feel closest to [my] jade stone (pictured at top), which is associated with peace. It’s the one I have with me most often. But there's actually a pretty crazy story behind that stone, because [in 2011] it disappeared for a while. I was in New York City recording my I Remember Me album, and I had that stone with me the entire time. The night before the album release party, I put it on my nightstand—and when I woke up the next morning, it was gone. My team and I searched all over and flipped the hotel room inside out, but it was just nowhere to be found."

"Two years later, I was back in New York to record my JHUD album. My assistant and I were walking near the same recording studio, and he suddenly stopped and said, ‘Jennifer, look.’ I looked down, and I saw the same exact heart-shaped stone sitting in the street, not far from where I'd lost it. It was beaten up, and it had obviously been in the rain and run over by cars. The whole thing was pretty bizarre, but somehow I just knew that it was mine.”

For more stories like this, pick up InStyle's April issue, now on newsstands and available for digital download.