Ahead of the release of her upcoming album, Rare, Gomez covers WSJ. Magazine's annual Talents and Legends issue and discusses how she's worked to improve her mental health over the last few years.
Prior to seeking treatment, something she's been doing for more than six years, Gomez says she "had low self-esteem, and that’s something I work on continuously."
"My highs were really high, and my lows would take me out for weeks at a time," she explains. "I found out I do suffer from mental health issues. And, honestly, that was such a relief."
Getting treatment, Gomez says, left her feeling "empowered" as she "gained so much knowledge about what was going on mentally."
"I realized that there was a way to get help and to find people that you trust," she says. "I got on the right medication, and my life has been completely changed."
As for the hardships in her life -- which include a highly-publicized breakup with Justin Bieber and physical health struggles -- Gomez insists that she "was supposed to go through everything I’ve gone through."
Though confident in her mental health progress and care, Gomez is still cautious about doing things that could cause a set back. For Gomez, one of those things is social media, which she left for a bit before returning to promote her music.
"I took a break off [Instagram] for a year, maybe a year and a half. I’d rather stay away from anything that’s going to make me feel like s**t," she explains. "... I got back on [Instagram] because I was releasing music, but I just told my best friend Courtney [Lopez] yesterday, I’m going to have to take it off my phone again soon."
"They know I have an addictive personality, and it can be unhealthy," she adds.
In addition to struggles with her mental health, Gomez has also dealt with physical struggles including lupus, which resulted in having to get a kidney transplant. The surgery was meant to last two hours, but, once complications arose, ended up taking seven additional hours.
"The lupus was a huge thing that happened to me, then the kidney thing happened, and that was the scariest because, yeah, you could actually die," she says. "The moment I came out I remember starting to shake and my mom screaming and then being put back under."
"That’s what makes you go, 'You know what, I’m just so happy to be alive,'" she says.
Here's more on Gomez's health and her highly anticipated return to music: