Selena Gomez tells GLAMOUR that ‘therapy, cooking & surrounding yourself with good friends who want the best for you’ are key to managing her mental health

“Cooking also taught me that it’s not about perfection.”
Selena Gomez On How Cooking Helped Her Mental Health For Our Place Collaboration

Selena Gomez is the moment. Not only has she produced chart-topping, record-breaking music and curated sell-out beauty and fashion brands, she's also a staunch humanitarian who makes it her mission to give as much back as she gets.

But, refreshingly, Selena is never afraid to admit that amidst the fame and fortune, life has thrown curveballs her way and, just like the rest of it, her mental health can get the better of her.

The 30-year-old has candidly spoken about how, in 2015, she received chemotherapy after being diagnosed with lupus, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition that attacks body tissues and organs. Two years later, she shared with fans that she’d had a kidney transplant after the condition caused her kidneys to shut down. And in 2020, she revealed she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She’s also been open about her struggles with anxiety and depression - and now she's let GLAMOUR in on the secret weapon she uses to help manage her mental health: cooking.

Speaking exclusively to GLAMOUR UK to celebrate the launch of her limited-edition Summer Collection with Our Place, Selena said: “Cooking is an escape for me where I can forget about anything that happened during the day and just focus on the meal I am making. When I do cook I am usually do it with people I love or am cooking for friends or family so, in general, I view cooking as something very joyful.”

As someone who grew up in the fast and fickle world of showbiz where image is deemed everything and perfection is expected, Selena adds that her time in the kitchen has helped quash the perfectionist in her. “[Cooking] also taught me that it’s not about perfection and if you’ve  seen my cooking show, I put all my failures in the kitchen out there for everyone to see because cooking is all about trying things and just having fun with it.”

It's perfect timing, then, that the fledgling chef has once again teamed up with our favourite kitchenwear brand to make all of our home cooking dreams come true with a range of aesthetically-pleasing cookwear (yes, including her iteration of the pan that amassed a 50,000-strong waiting list).

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“I’ve loved designing this collection with Shiza & the team at Our Place,” Selena tells us. “Much like the first collection, colour was a really important part of the design process. The new colour duo, Cielo and Tierra, capture a light, airy, earthiness I associate with summer. They also feature new gold finishes which I love! I also love that this collection features more tools for any level of cook. The Always Pan and Perfect Pot are my do-it-all cookware. The minis are adorable and really convenient! We also included the Oven Pan/Griddle Pan (for casseroles and cookies, of course). This collection is all about encouraging people to cook.

“Our Place is unique because I feel it’s such an approachable brand and cooking shouldn’t be intimidating, in that they meet people where they are on their home-cooking journey. This partnership has been personal for me in so many ways.  Not only do they not mind that I’m not a professional chef, but they’ve encouraged me to get back to the recipes of my childhood—the ones that made me want to learn to cook in the first place. Being yourself is what I think cooking at home should be all about.” And it was this authenticity that made the brand's founder, Shiza Shahid, so excited to work with the Hollywood starlet. “She really embodies the Our Place ethos: it shouldn't be be perfect, it should be fun,” Shiza told us. “It's been so special to have the support of someone like Selena so early on in our business journey. People don’t know that away from the music, she is a boss entrepreneur and start up whisperer, which I think speaks to a side of Selena that not many people know.”

As well as cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Selena says she's a ‘big believer in therapy and taking social media breaks’ and has learnt that ‘surrounding yourself with good friends who want the best for you’ is key. “I do love being at home especially when I am in Los Angeles.  I have been fortunate the past few years to spend more time in NYC for work and most recently I was in Paris the last couple of months. Being in those cities definitely pushed me to be more social which I think is a good thing. The thing that remains common no matter where I am is that I always have my friends around me which brings me joy,” she adds.

The homebird reveals that when she's hosting a dinner party, the people around her table are usually “my best friends, my nana and papa, my mom, step-dad and my sister Gracie.” So has she got a memory of her favourite ever dinner party? (anyone else picturing Taylor Swift, Cara Delevingne and Katy Perry dancing on the table?) “There’s not one that stands out but my favourite dinner parties are usually centred around celebrating something special for one of my friends, whether it be a birthday or celebrating an accomplishment in their life and I love the holidays,” she said. “Cooking holiday meals are definitely one of my favourites and the vibes as I am sure you can imagine are you usually pretty chill which is my vibe.”

She may cite ‘pretty chill’ as her vibe but Selena is well on her way to world domination. She has received countless accolades for her music and acting, has broken 16 Guinness World Records, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020 has has over 400 million followers on Instagram. So what's next? “There’s so much I want to do still professionally but I  hope my biggest achievement will be helping to destigmatise mental health and raising the $100 million goal we’ve set for my Rare Impact Fund to expand mental health services and education for young people around the world.”

Selena, we bow down.

The Our Place x Selena Gomez collection is available now. Run don't walk.