Selena Gomez Wants to Make 'Mental Fitness' as Normal as Working Out

We talked to the actress about the launch of Wondermind, her new platform designed to destigmatize and democratize mental health.

Selena Gomez Just Launched Her Own Mental Health Platform
Photo: Courtesy of Selena Gomez

Between shooting the second season of Only Murders in the Building and running her successful makeup line, Rare Beauty, Selena Gomez has been working on the project she's most ambitious for: changing the mental health narrative and creating more education around it. After teasing the multimedia mental health platform late last year, Wondermind officially launched today with its first email newsletter.

Wondermind's co-founders and co-CEOs are Gomez's mother, Mandy Teefey, the executive producer of 13 Reasons Why, and Newsette co-founder Daniella Pierson. Although they span three generations — Gen Z, millennial, and Gen X — they bonded over their shared passion for mental health, Pierson says.

"When Daniella, my mom, and I initially connected over our individual mental health journeys, we bonded over the fact that there are no accessible resources for people struggling with their own mental health," Gomez tells InStyle. "We also talked about how different each of our experiences is and the stigmas each of us has faced, which made us realize that there is no 'one size fits all' approach to mental health."

In 2020, Gomez opened up about her mental health in an Instagram Live session with Miley Cyrus, revealing she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She has previously discussed her struggles with anxiety and depression, which she's explained were side effects of lupus.

Selena Gomez Just Launched Her Own Mental Health Platform
Courtesy of Selena Gomez

"Our motto is you should see a therapist — we're not a replacement for a therapist, however, just like in physical fitness, if you're lucky enough to have a personal trainer, you can't just rely on that once a week and think you're going to get these crazy results," Pierson tells InStyle. "It's kind of the same with a therapist — any good therapist will tell you, you have to do the work in between."

This "homework," or daily practice of taking care of your mental health in small, but impactful ways, is what the founders are calling "mental fitness." Wondermind's ecosystem will include both content and tools for mental fitness (for example, daily journal exercises), as well as a forthcoming podcast, vetted by mental health experts.

"We believe that exercising your brain and mental health is just as important as exercising your body," Gomez says. How does she practice mental fitness? "What really helps me is reaching out to friends or family to talk through my feelings, and I also recommend working out — I've been doing a lot of high-intensity workout classes, like boxing, which allows me to release my energy!"

Selena Gomez

Another way she practices mental fitness is by limiting her time on social media. As she previously told InStyle, "Taking a break from social media was the best decision that I've ever made for my mental health. I created a system where I still don't have my passwords. And the unnecessary hate and comparisons went away once I put my phone down."

Despite sharing in an interview with Good Morning America that she hasn't "been on the internet in four-and-a-half years" in order to protect her mental health, Gomez is hoping to provide the kind of free online resources that could have helped her when navigating her own mental health struggles.

"I'm most excited about the community we're creating — I think it's so important for us all to remember that we're not alone. We wanted to create a space to encourage users to go to know that they're seen and heard, and that their feelings are valid," Gomez says. "I know how lonely and intimidating it can feel to ask for help but with the support of a community, it won't be as scary or taboo to discuss openly."

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