Selena Gomez took some time off last year, but now she’s back with a vengeance, ready to take on the world.
In the new InStyle cover story, Gomez opens up about the time she took off after cancelling her tour last October to get treatment for exhaustion.
“I went away for 90 days, and it was the best thing that I ever could’ve done,” Gomez says. “I had no phone, nothing, and I was scared. But it was amazing, and I learned a lot.”
The time off was important for Gomez’s emotional health. “I was in the countryside and never did my hair; I took part in equine therapy, which is so beautiful,” she says. “And it was hard, obviously. But I knew what my heart was saying, and I thought, Okay, I think this has helped me become stronger for other people.”
Of course, after her time off, Gomez was expected to jump right back into work and public life.
“When I came out, I was asked to go to the American Music Awards, and everyone around me was like, ‘Do whatever makes you comfortable.’ I didn’t want my fans to have a negative view of taking care of yourself,” Gomez says, “so I just went in head-on, and I’ll tell you, the first time stepping on that carpet was so overwhelming. I felt like my back was sweating.”
The 25-year-old superstar isn’t shy about taking care of her mental and emotional well-being. ““I go to therapy. I believe in that and talking about where you are,” she says. “But I’m in a really, really healthy place.”
Keeping in good mental health isn’t just about work, though. Gomez, despite being the most-followed person on Instagram (over 124 million at the moment), is aware of the way social media can weigh heavily on her emotions.
“Because of social media, because of all the pressure that girls have, it’s so difficult. It’s good to be connected, to see things, and to get a sense of what your friends are up to. But it also allows people to think they need to look or be a certain way,” Gomez says. “Now it feels more zoomed-in – you have ugly people trying to get negative things from you, and the energy makes you feel bad about yourself. You can’t help it. It’s very hard to find out who you are during all that mess and pressure.”
One thing in her life that is a positive is her relationship with Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd. But even there, Gomez is quick to stress he’s only one part of her life.
“I don’t depend on one area of my life to make me happy,” Gomez explains. “It’s really important for me to love and nourish my friends and family and make sure I never get influenced by a guy… I’m lucky because he’s more of a best friend than anything else.”
Gomez is also a producer on the hit Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”, which has generated a lot of controversy over issues of suicide and mental health, but she says that controversy is a good thing. “I think if our show is able to start a conversation at the dinner table,” she says, “even if it’s just ‘That’s terrible’ or ‘That was great,’ it’s still starting a conversation. It scared people, but it’s really important.”