Selena Gomez opens up on the importance of mental health: “I have to take care of myself and not feel guilty about it”

Since cancelling her 2016 tour early to seek treatment for depression and anxiety, singer/actress Selena Gomez has regularly spoken out on the importance of mental health. Now, Selena has opened up once again to theBusiness of Fashion magazine about her mental health journey, discussing the importance of being educated on mental health and the things she thinks young people should know about mental health.

On the importance of learning about Mental Health:

“When I took time to learn about my feelings and my frustrations, and where things stemmed from, there was this huge fog lifted from my life because then I understood it,” Selena explained.

I think it should be a part of middle school. You know how in kindergarten they teach you the smiley face and the sad face and the angry face — ‘these are the feelings you’re feeling.’ I love that, but I think it should be more sophisticated and brought into middle school and high school because it is something that we need to figure out. People are struggling with something every day and they think, ‘Oh it’s just high school, or I’m not great enough, or it’s because I’m so great.’ It’s all about learning. I hope we are the generation that gets to bring that up a little bit more, but I do believe it’s always been there,” she said.

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On the important things people should know about mental health:

“First [is] to educate yourself, to ask somebody that you respect,” Selena said. “Don’t say, ‘Oh I should ask everybody around me in my class if this is something I should do,’ but ask somebody you respect. I asked teachers, coaches, managers, people that I respected [because of] the way they’ve lived their life. I asked them, ‘How did you get to this place? What were you like when you were 25? What were the things that you were thinking about?'”

On surrounding yourself with like-minded people:

You are who you surround yourself with — 100 percent,” she said.

If you’re around people who think that stuff is dumb, that think it’s ridiculous — ‘You’re crazy! You’re fine!’ — but you don’t feel that way, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate that,” Selena said.

It’s a lonely journey to really figure out where all this stuff is coming from. And to detach from it. It becomes an addiction, it becomes a habit, retraining your mind to not go to these negative places when you say something wrong, do something wrong, when you wear a certain thing or represent a certain culture. But it is lonely, I had to lose a lot of people in my life to get there.

“You have to figure out the people that are in your circle,” Selena continued. “I feel like I know everybody but have no friends. [Laughs] I have like three good friends that I can tell everything to, but I know everyone. I go anywhere and I’m like, ‘Hey guys, how’s it going?’ And it feels great to be connected to people, but having boundaries is so important,” she said.

You have to have those few people that respect you, want the best for you and you want the best for them. It sounds cheesy, but it’s hard.”

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On whether she would have experienced the same issues if she wasn’t famous:

“I think I would have all of the same issues,” Selena said. “I think mine are amplified just a little bit only because of the public aspect, but I do think they’re very similar. When it comes to the internal stuff — the insecurities, growing up, friendships, family, mental health, all of that stuff.”

On how she copes so she doesn’t fall back into a bad place:

“Balance the power of saying no and self-care,” she said. “I have to take care of myself and not feel guilty about it. I will say no when I need to say no, and I will make sure that I will not overdo everything because I feel like if I don’t accept everything that’s happening then maybe it seems like I’m ungrateful, or I’m not doing enough. I just have to take care of myself. Therapy, faith, hard work, kindness. That’s it.”

Be sure to check out Selena’s full feature in the new issue of Business of Fashion!

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Selena Gomez opens up on the importance of mental health: “I have to take care of myself and not feel guilty about it”

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