Apple TV+ released its hotly anticipated documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me on Friday—a project that covers many of the recent issues in Gomez’s life, including her lupus and bipolar disorder diagnosis and recovery. The film also covers some old issues that keep coming up again: specifically, her long-ceased relationship with Justin Bieber.
In the doc, Bieber comes up while Gomez discusses the story behind her hit song, “Lose You to Love Me.”
Released in 2020 on her Rare album, the song covers some of the feelings Gomez experienced when she and Bieber finally broke off their longstanding relationship for good. The former couple were dating off and on from about 2012 to 2018, and soon after they broke up, Justin married model Hailey Bieber. The singer says she worked on the track with songwriters Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter.
“I text Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter and said, ‘I think I’m ready to just say I’m sad,’” she explained. “We wrote the song in 45 minutes—the fastest song I’ve ever written.”
“It’s about more than a lost love,” she continued. “It’s me learning to choose myself, to choose life, but also hoping that people can find grace and peace in that, too. The song is about knowing that you completely lost every part of who you are, just to rediscover yourself again.”
The song went on to be one of her biggest hits. But despite the catharsis, Gomez said it was hard to recover from the breakup in the public eye.
“Everything was so public,” she said. “I felt haunted by a past relationship that no one wanted to let go of. Then I just moved past it, and I wasn’t afraid anymore.”
She went on, “I feel like I had to go through the worst possible heartbreak ever, and then just forgetting everything at the drop of the hand, it was really confusing. But I just think that needed to happen, and ultimately it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
There’s another moment in the documentary that addresses Gomez’s feelings about Bieber, specifically when it comes to her career. The head of her record label, John Janick, asked the singer to do a song with him in 2016, and a scene in the film shows Gomez breaking down during rehearsal for her “Revival” tour that year.
“I don’t know what John thinks, I want to talk to John. I don’t want to disappoint John. I don’t want him to think that he signed some f—king Disney kid,” she says, visibly getting emotional. “It just sucks, too, because the whole song thing. He called me this morning about the song with Justin, like, when am I just going to be good enough by myself? When am I gonna be good just by myself, not needed anybody to be associated with?” (The documentary’s plot centers Gomez’s story much more than her saga with Bieber, so her wish has come true.)
Of late, Gomez has made an effort to show that she and Hailey Bieber are on good terms—posing with her ex’s wife at the Academy Museum Gala in Los Angeles in October for a few sweet pics.
A source recently told ET Online that Gomez and Hailey “are more than cordial and just want to remain friendly.”
They added, “Justin, Hailey, and Selena are glad to have cleared the air, moved on with their lives, and closed that chapter. Selena is doing amazing and is just focusing on herself, her family, and her close-knit circle of friends. She’s not trying to settle down right now. She’s just living her best life.”