In “My Mind & Me,” the title track of Selena Gomez’s Apple TV+ documentary, she sings, “If somebody sees me like this, then they won’t feel alone now.”
The power ballad — Variety‘s Hitmakers Film Song of the Year — is intended to be a message of empathy to anyone who is struggling with mental health. “That’s what I feel I am meant to do,” Gomez says. “Just to be able to say, ‘Hey, I know what that feels like — I hate that feeling — and I see you.’”
Directed by Alek Keshishian, “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me” chronicles six years of the former Disney child star’s life as she battles depression and anxiety — and goes public with her bipolar diagnosis. The film features the singer-actor in states of emotional distress as well as dealing with the physical challenges caused by lupus.
None of Gomez’s five collaborators on the song — Amy Allen, Jon Bellion, Michael Pollack, Stefan Johnson and Jordan K. Johnson — had seen the doc before working on the track. “Selena shared with us what parts of her life would be covered in the documentary, as well as her intimate diary entries and poems,” Pollack tells Variety.
Gomez says she had no hesitation about sharing her diary with the team. “In a way, it saved me from having to talk again about all this stuff that I was feeling,” she says. “I think being honest and coming from that place turns out always the best music.”
The song was written and recorded in four days in a house in Palm Springs. Allen says, “Once we had the overarching concept of feeling at odds with your own mind, the song just kind of wrote itself. It felt like a dream session because it’s so rare for a song to come out so naturally.”
As raw and vulnerable as the lyrics are, Gomez says recording the song was easier than she imagined it might be. “I felt super connected to what I was singing and what I was saying,” she recalls. “Honestly, it was therapeutic for me.”
“My Mind & Me” has become a part of this year’s Oscar chatter as a possible original song nominee alongside tunes by Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Joe Jonas. “That’s so intimidating,” Gomez says. “That definitely wasn’t on my radar.”
Gomez also confirms she’s working on new music. “To be honest, I had a hard time working on music in the past few years because of ‘Only Murders in the Building,’” she says of her Hulu series. “But now that I’ve jumped back into the studio, it’s exciting that I have more powerful things to say than ‘I’m sad.’ I feel very connected to what I’m trying to say.”