"I am a believer of therapy," the 26-year-old pop star says.
Selena Gomez is a big believer in putting her mental health first.
Appearing in her first interview of the year for Coach's new "Dream It Real" podcast, the 26-year-old pop star opened up about why she took a break from social media and the limelight in September of last year.
"Last year, I took a lot of time off. I think that I needed a moment to myself because I do feel like I was growing and changing," she explained, later adding, "Gosh, if I knew what I know now ... I am a believer of therapy. So I think that I have had opportunities where I kinda reflect on the younger me, and I think that a lot of the times, I wished that I could hug my younger self. I wish I could have done a lot of things and experienced things maybe a little differently, but I go to therapy."
"It is [hard], but it's amazing," she added of her experience with seeking mental health help. "It's hard for people to open up, but I think it's just one of the most important things -- to get to know yourself. Not saying everyone in the world has to do it; I'm just saying it's helped me understand myself and my childhood a lot better."
Speaking specifically about her break from Instagram, Selena said, "I love having a platform to communicate with people; however, I just don't think that it's healthy to spend too much time on it. I noticed, with me, I got kind of depressed looking at these people who look beautiful and amazing. It would just get me down a lot, so I just think taking breaks is really important. But just know that most of it isn't real, and I hate to say that because I don't mean to be rude, but it's unrealistic in a lot of ways. For me, I want to protect the youngest generation because they're exposed to so much information, and I feel like that causes a lot of anxiety. Sometimes people are exposed to too much, and I think you should really protect what you're seeing, and you should be really mindful of how it makes you feel."
"I also don't like that it can be sometimes about appearance, too," she added. "I don't really appreciate people judging me on my looks. I just think that the world today -- with so much exposure to everything -- it's great to dress up and to feel beautiful and to do those things. And I'm flattered when guys are like, 'You're pretty.' It's just, I would love someone to just love me for the person that I am. That's just what's important to me."
During a discussion about poverty, Gomez said she would "love, love, love the generation I'm in and younger to see that -- to not just see what's on the highlight on the 'gram, but to maybe see what people are walking through and maybe just understand that their situation is hard."
The singer also shared an important message with her fans, the Selenators: "You're enough. You're absolutely enough. If you deal with things that are difficult -- like family issues or anxiety or depression or substance abuse -- I just think that you're never too far gone. I really believe that... You are valued. Even if you feel absolutely alone, there are millions of people that feel that way."
"I've spent years of my life trying to navigate who I am and overcome so many obstacles, so I don't think it's easy, I just believe in people," she added.