Selena Gomez says she's 'happier' after being off social media for over 4 years: 'It makes me feel normal'
Selena Gomez is taking her passion for mental health advocacy to new heights.
On Monday, the singer, actress and entrepreneur celebrated the launch of her multimedia company Wondermind alongside her two co-founders, her mom Mandy Teefey and fellow mental health activist Daniella Pierson. The new platform aims to be a free resource to help users navigate their own mental wellness.
The 29-year-old, who has spoken candidly about living with bipolar disorder, says she wants to use her own experiences as a conduit to help others, particularly as it pertains to the toxicity of social media.
"I haven't been on the internet in four and a half years," Gomez said in an interview with Good Morning America. "It has changed my life completely. I am happier. I am more present, I connect more with people. It makes me feel normal."
Last year, she told InStyle she "created a system" where she doesn't know the passwords to her social media accounts — a step she said was necessary in order to focus on herself.
The Only Murders in the Building star explained that "growing up in the spotlight has definitely taught me so much."
"I can't believe that I am where I am mentally just because of how I took the necessary steps in order to kind of remove myself from that because it's just not normal," she said.
Gomez, who has spoken candidly about living with bipolar disorder after publicly revealing her diagnosis in April 2020, says her mental health journey has been "freeing."
"I started to have a relationship with myself," Gomez said. "I think that's the best part. I've probably been the happiest I've ever been."
With Wondermind, Gomez says she wants "people to be understood and seen and heard. It's OK to not be OK."
"If I'm known for anything I hope it’s simply just for the way I care about people," she added. "Those days where I don't want to get out of bed, if I had something like Wondermind, even if it took me a minute to get into it, it's just there. And there's something that’s really comforting about that."
Now, as the star is getting closer to turning 30, she hopes to take all the lessons she learned in her 20s and apply them to a better future.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to step into this chapter. Alone, independently, strong, confidently," she said. “That's all I really want, you know?"
This isn't the first time Gomez has spoken openly about her mental health.
In an interview with Elle magazine last year, she touched on the public scrutiny she faced over the years — including a very public breakup with Justin Bieber, undergoing a kidney transplant due to her lupus diagnosis and seeking mental health treatment.
"I don't even know what they really believed I was doing — drugs, alcohol, running around, partying," she explained of the negative press she endured. "The narrative was so nasty."
At one point, she had to have a heart-to-heart with herself just to make it through.
“My lupus, my kidney transplant, chemotherapy, having a mental illness, going through very public heartbreaks — these were all things that honestly should have taken me down," she said. "Every time I went through something, I was like, 'What else? What else am I going to have to deal with?'"
Then she realized her purpose: "'You're going to help people,'" she told herself. "That's really what kept me going."
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