If you have anxiety, depression — or anything in between — then you know how tough it can be to talk about how you feel. Over 40 million adults are affected by anxiety disorders and about 17 million have experienced depression. And yet, despite how common it is to have some form of a mental health condition, stigma still holds people back from talking, sharing, and reaching out for support. This is what the new media platform Wondermind is hoping to change.
In February 2022, Wondermind will launch with the goal of “democratizing and destigmatizing mental health” by offering sources like a daily newsletter full of helpful info and inspiration, a weekly podcast, and even physical tools that have been designed to help you improve your overall well-being. (Think: journals, mental health exercises, and more.)
The founders of Wondermind are none other than Selena Gomez and her mom Mandy Teefey, CEO of Kicked to the Curb Productions, who teamed up with Daniella Pierson, the founder and CEO of The Newsette, and a group of licensed therapists to create ways for folks of all gender identities and backgrounds to come together and heal.
“Every person has their own mental health journey. If we ignore them, pretty them up or hide them from the world, it doesn’t change that they are very, very real,” Gomez said in the Wondermind press release. “Wondermind is extending a larger mental health conversation that began for so many during this pandemic.”
The platform aims to become a one-stop hub for all things new, helpful, and compelling in the world of mental health, meaning it’ll definitely be worth a glimpse if you’re feeling alone, stuck, sad, stressed, or just not like yourself. The timing of this is key, especially since a 2020 study published in The Lancet found that anxiety and depression have increased by 25% during the pandemic.
Wondermind’s podcast, hosted by Teefey, will feature chats with therapists, politicians, athletes, teachers, celebs, and brain experts: Basically, anyone who has “been there” and wants to share their story in an open and honest way. Knowing that other folks, and also lots of successful ones, go through challenges on a daily basis is inspiring — and it also opens up a dialogue so that everyone feels less alone.
If you’re a fan of Selena Gomez then you know she’s been through a lot the past few years. In 2016, Gomez ended her Revival tour early to treat anxiety and depression as a result of her lupus diagnosis. And in 2018, she checked into a treatment facility, which was also reportedly connected to the stress of her ongoing health concerns related to lupus. She then went on to take a social media break to focus on her well-being. Along with a mirror selfie, she posted a message that said, “As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given.”
In 2020, Gomez also opened up about her bipolar disorder diagnosis while on Miley Cyrus’ Bright Minded Instagram Live series. “After years of going through a lot of different things, I realized that I was bipolar,” she said. “And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me once I know it. And I think people get scared of that, right?"
Hopefully, with more people like Gomez sharing what they’ve been through, there will be less stigma. And it sounds like Wondermind will certainly add to the conversation.
Disclosure: Bustle Digital Group is an investor in Wondermind.
Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.