In fact, last year, Gomez was at the White House meeting with ambassadors and activists, bringing the signature candor about her own experiences—including being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her 20s—that has helped take this historically stigmatized topic into the light and, perhaps most importantly, remind those who are struggling that they are not alone.
"I felt like once I found out what was going on mentally, I found that there was more freedom for me to be okay with what I had because I was learning about it," the Only Murders in the Building actress said at Mental Health Youth Action Forum in May 2022. "Bringing attention to mental health through media or just by talking about your journeys can help."
In fact, her promise to herself that sharing her story was going to help others became a mantra as she was dealing with major health crises in the past, including her 2014 lupus diagnosis and subsequent kidney transplant in 2017.
That was, as she put it, "really what kept me going."
And if you take a closer look at her business ventures, you'll see that this mission is woven throughout, whether you're one of the 426 million Instagram followers or if you're picking up a vegan, cruelty-free lipstick from Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez—where a percent of sales are earmarked for mental health care resources and education through her Rare Impact Fund.
"Mental health is very personal for me," Gomez told the audience at the White House, "and I hope that by using my platform to share my own story and working with incredible people like all of you, I can help others feel less alone and find the help they need, which is honestly all I want."
And, in honor of her birthday July 22, we're using our platform to celebrate Gomez and her refreshingly unafraid vulnerability.
Keep reading to find out what she's had to say:
A version of this story was first published on Friday, July 22, 2022 at 4 a.m. PT.