Selena Gomez Talks Mental Health and Rare Beauty at Sephora

Even on a busy Tuesday afternoon filled with interviews, Selena Gomez has a serene glow about her. Wearing a sleek low bun and her signature winged eyeliner, she starts the video call by warmly asking how I’m doing.

For someone who’s been in the spotlight since the age of nine, the singer and Only Murders In the Building star is refreshingly honest about how she herself is doing, specifically about her journey with mental health. After an episode of psychosis in 2018, she spoke about seeking treatment, telling the L.A. Times: “I don’t wish it on anyone, but… as much as it was painful, [it] actually led me to discovering my diagnosis. I sought help. I believe in medication. It has completely changed my life.”

She’s channelled her struggles into a passion for helping others with their own mental health struggles, including her young fans—Gomez has 430 million Instagram followers and 59.5 million TikTok followers. That’s why she founded the Rare Impact Fund in 2020, the same year she launched her makeup brand, Rare Beauty: to help young people receive access to mental health resources.

This month, in honour of World Mental Health Day, Gomez is partnering with Sephora for a project called Make a Rare Impact. On October 10, Sephora will donate 100 percent of all Rare Beauty product sales to the Rare Impact Fund. The money will funnel to partner non-profits, including Jack.org in Canada, an organization that trains youth in mental health promotion and prevention activities.

So if you’ve been eyeing Rare Beauty’s viral Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, a beauty editor favourite for its easy-to-blend pigment, or the lash-boosting Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara, next Tuesday is a good day to make your move.

We caught up with Gomez to talk standing up for herself and how she makes it through tough days.

selena gomez interview sephora rare beauty
Photo: Courtesy of Rare Beauty

We caught up with Gomez to talk standing up for herself and how she makes it through tough days.

You’ve been very open about dealing with depression. How did you begin to work on your mental health?

“I think what has truly helped me is learning about it. I started learning about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. And I started to really understand, or at least try to understand, why I was feeling these emotions. Then later on, finding out I have a diagnosis of bipolar wasn’t scary to me. It felt like I understood what was happening and then I could try to find the right people to help me and guide me through it. So I feel very fortunate, which is why I think it’s so important for me to give back.”

You’ve mentioned that you have a really healthy relationship with your therapist, who you see regularly. What would you say to someone who’s just starting therapy?

“I would say you have to go back. When my friends have tried therapy, they’ll go for two or three sessions. But that’s not going to be even the beginning of understanding and trusting someone. It’s also terrifying, so I have compassion for that. I would say it is scary, but if you take time and you’re able to see a therapist, that’s incredible.”

What three things do you do for yourself when you wake up feeling particularly low on any given day?

“I call my 10-year-old sister, or I ask for her to come over. I have a different relationship with my sister, because I’m 31 and we have a bigger [age] gap. She sees the world in such a pure way and that’s one of my biggest joys. It just reminds me from the perspective of a 10-year-old how life feels, for that brief moment you’re on the phone.

Or I’ll watch something that feels good, because I’m a visual person and I love absorbing information that way. I like watching the Bob Dylan documentary [No Direction Home]. I’ll put it on every now and then because I love listening to music. And The Beatles: Get Back is really good as well.

And then lastly, but more importantly, I seek help. If I know that I’m in a place where I don’t feel good, I will call a friend, I will tell my team, I will be honest with everyone around me and say, ‘Hey, I need a moment. I need to figure this out really quick.’ It’s all about standing up for yourself and figuring out what works best for you.”

selena gomez interview
Photo: Getty Images

You’ve said that the mental health crisis is one of the most serious issues young people are facing today. What can we do to support youth who are struggling?

“If people don’t understand how important this is to this generation, and don’t know the statistics, I would encourage them to look into that. Because I feel like this is something we can truly change. And by affecting people and really giving them tools and skills… I mean, it sounds so stupid, but we could change the world. If anything, I just want to make people feel great, and feel seen and heard and loved.”

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