Selena Gomez Launching Wondermind

‘It’s gonna change the game’: Selena Gomez to launch Wondermind app to ‘gamify’ mental fitness

'I had to hit my rock bottom.'


Laiken Neumann


Posted on Mar 10, 2024   Updated on Mar 12, 2024, 6:18 am CDT

If you’ve kept up with Selena Gomez’s online presence, you’re familiar with her habit of announcing social media breaks—only to post again moments later. This typically happens when Gomez becomes embroiled in celebrity drama—a recent example is the speculative shade fans attributed to her with a lip-read conversation between her and Taylor Swift at the Golden Globe Awards in January.

However, the former Disney Channel star opened up about her diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and experience with psychosis in her 2022 Apple TV+ documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me.

As Gomez has become more vulnerable with her mental health struggles both on Instagram and in media, she launched Wondermind to increase access to mental wellness resources and decrease stigma.

And, Gomez announced at her South By Southwest Festival featured panel on March 10, the company will soon be launching an app.

Wondermind, founded by Gomez, her mother Mandy Teefey, and entrepreneur Daniella Pierson in 2021, is an online resource stressing the importance of daily mental fitness in the same way we focus on our physical wellness. Pierson described Wondermind in an email to Forbes as “a sexier, more entertaining competitor to Psychology Today, WebMD, etc. for the millions of people searching about mental health daily.”

Teefey said during the panel that her experience at a mental health rehab center following her work on the second season on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why showed her the importance of access to resources. This led her to create Wondermind.

“When I was there, there were some people that didn’t have the resources and were being asked to leave,” Teefey recalled. “That was a big marker for me in [realizing] sh*t that’s wrong. Like, can I give them my insurance? How can I help them? … They’re talking about suicide. How are you gonna let them leave?”

During the panel, Gomez also opened up about the moment she first realized the importance of mental health. She said it was when she and her mother watched the 1999 Winona Ryder film Girl, Interrupted, based on author Susanna Kaysen’s experience in a mental health facility in the 1960s.

“We ended up having one of the most honest conversations that we’ve ever had together,” Gomez said, noting her mom’s vocal nature when it came to mental health. “I really appreciated it, and it allowed me to not be scared.”

However, Gomez also noted that each individual’s mental health journey requires their own effort.

“You can’t force someone to do it,” she said. “It’s just not—it doesn’t work. There’s a lot of people that cared about me more than I cared about myself, that really wanted me to do things that I wasn’t ready for. I had to hit my rock bottom.”

“I had to do it at my time, and it took a couple tries,” she continued. “But I’d like to think and hope that I’m in a much better place.”

Fellow panelist and New York Jets defensive lineman Solomon Thomas shared the impact of vulnerability on his mental health journey. As an athlete, Thomas said he’s working to end the stigma that toxic masculinity creates regarding men’s mental health struggles. “I was raised in the locker room,” he said. “Being emotional… wasn’t allowed.”

But Thomas has made the effort to “erase this archaic mindset.”

He said that opening up about his sister’s suicide—and hearing the impact on those who listened to her story—helped him process his own struggles.

“That’s the first time the spark hit me. Because that’s the first time in my life I felt seen,” he said. “I didn’t feel crazy. I felt like, ‘I’m not wild for being anxious or depressed right now.’ This is all normal… I finally realized how many people are struggling.”

@dailydot Selena Gomez drops a therapeutic gem at SXSW. #selenagomez #sxsw #sxsw2024 #rain ♬ original sound – The Daily Dot

Each of the panelists noted the importance of journaling, therapy, and meditation as coping mechanisms for their mental health struggles. And toward the end of the discussion, moderator and licensed therapist Dr. Jessica Stern led audience members and panelists in an exercise that she called the Three Ws.

She asked everyone to think about one wish, one wonder, and one win—perhaps a taste of the kind of exercises that will be available on the Wondermind app.

“The top three reasons people don’t do therapy is: they don’t have the time, they don’t have insurance, or they don’t believe it works,” Teefey said. “So let’s gamify it and see.”

Still, the Wondermind team recognizes that an app on your phone is not the only solution.

As fellow panelist, Wondermind consultant, and licensed therapist Dr. Corey Yeager said, “Healing must come from within.”

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
Share this article
*First Published: Mar 10, 2024, 5:30 pm CDT