Raquelle Stevens, Selena Gomez's Longtime Friend Featured in 'My Mind and Me,' Responds to Backlash

selena gomez and raquelle stevens
All About Raquelle Stevens, Selena Gomez's BFFInstagram

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While Selena Gomez is the subject of her new documentary My Mind and Me, her longtime friend Raquelle Stevens frequently appears alongside her. She even details what Gomez’s scariest mental health moment was like when Gomez suffered from an episode of psychosis in 2018.

“If anybody saw what I saw in the state that was she in at the mental hospital, they wouldn’t have recognized her at all, and I was devastated because psychosis can last from days to weeks to months to years to life,” Stevens says.

In the documentary, Stevens travels with Gomez to Kenya then London and Paris, acting as a true blue friend and voice of reason to Gomez during some tougher moments. Stevens’ history with Gomez is years long, and the two have spoken on Stevens’ own show Giving Back Generation about their friendship.

Here, what to know about Stevens and her ties to Gomez.

Stevens is a podcast host and creative based in Los Angeles who is Gomez’s age.

Stevens, 30, started her podcast video series Giving Back Generation in 2019. The second season of the TaTaTu show came out this year.

Stevens actually opened up to ELLE.com about creating season 2 of of the series, which features interviews with Gomez, author Jay Shetty, vegan chef Radhi Devlukia-Shetty, TV personality Giulia De Lellis, Team USA heptathlete Chari Hawkins, and more.

“After filming season 1 of Giving Back Generation, I was looking forward to continuing the series in 2020, then the pandemic hit,” she said. “It was a time of a lot of uncertainty and reflection. As life started to somewhat normalize again, I was having so many conversations with friends who were feeling anxious and unsure about what was ahead. I was reading articles with staggering statistics about people struggling with their mental health. Through all of these conversations and research, I wanted to keep the series the same where I talk to people about their life journeys and how they use their life to give back, but I thought it was extremely important for seasons 2 and 3 to focus specifically on talking to individuals that use their platforms to make a difference in the mental health space. All of the conversations in both seasons are uplifting and inspiring, but also offer practical ways to better our mental health in these uncertain times we are living in. My hope is always that people will be encouraged and know that they are not alone.”

Stevens and Gomez have been friends for over 10 years.

In 2019, they spoke about their friendship on Giving Back Generation alongside their two close other friends Ashley Cook and Courtney Lopez.

“When we decided to do this, it’s because I want there to be more friendships like this,” Gomez said of the group's decision to discuss their relationship together. “I think there needs to be because I know when I was growing up, I went to school for a little bit until I was home schooled. People were—if my cousin wasn’t captain of the cheerleading team, I would have been destroyed. Because I was just, you know, I was kind of a nerd, and I just hung out with like one person, and that’s hard because people—at least when I have meet and greets or talk to people they always talk about friendships. They’ll always say you know, “I don’t have a lot of friends,’ and they don’t feel comfortable with talking to people because they’re afraid they’re going to get burned. That’s what I love, even my fans, they all know your name, and they feel a connection to you guys. I just wanted to share that because I hope what the takeaway from this is as well is that we just want—I want to be an example of friendship and what it can look like and the importance.”

“I want to see more friendships like this,” Stevens added later. “I want to see people embrace qualities like forgiveness, and vulnerability and authenticity. I just think it’s so important.”

Gomez credits Stevens and their other two close friends Ashley Cook and Courtney Lopez for helping save her.

Gomez and Cook did another interview with Stevens about friendship on the second season of Giving Back Generation. When discussing how her friends have helped her mental health, Gomez said, “I think what I’ve learned over my journey specifically—and by the way, it’s been up and down—you guys have been my friends for over a decade now so you understand those moments in my life, and I have to say that my friendships really did save me in a huge way and it was because, A, I was aware of who I’m surrounding myself with. So the people in my life are lovely people, people who have substance, who live normal lives and have priorities and responsibilities that I might not have. I have different sets of responsibilities, and it’s so wonderful and so important to be able to pick up the phone and call someone who you respect, that you honor their opinion and that aren’t just going to tell you the things you want to hear. They’re going to tell you the things that—you know, they’re going to hear you, of course. They’re going to tell you how much they love you, but at the end of the day, if I make a mistake or I feel like I’m going down a wrong path mentally, it’s really important for me to pick up the phone and call someone that I know and trust. And it’s truly changed my life through this whole pandemic. I think we got so close and all we had was each other, and that was enough for me, and that’s when I realized, ‘Oh, life is a lot, you know,’ and you have to have the people that you live it with be good for you.”

Stevens and Gomez have matching “4” tattoos.

In August 2018, Gomez shared that she, Stevens, Cook, and Lopez got tattoos together to mark their friendship. “#4 because these women have stayed by my side for 7 years (@ashley_cook 12 years) 4, because you are my 4 for the rest of my life,” Gomez wrote. “I love you ladies. You all inspire me to be better, stronger, closer to god and we have lived the most INSANE story together already. Can’t wait for 50 more!! Ps @raquellestevens had an actual panic attack 🙄 it’s a dot! 🤦🏽♀️”

Stevens has appeared on My Mind and Me with Gomez along with Selena + Chef.

Stevens reflected on the documentary, writing, “Grateful to have been a part of this project the past few years. Thank you @selenagomez for having the courage to be so vulnerable and @alekkeshishian our friendship has been such a blessing throughout this entire process. Can’t wait for everyone to see it Nov 4 on @appletvplus #MyMindAndMe.”

She also discussed her time appearing on Selena + Chef’s latest season:

Stevens is an author, with her first book The Sunshine Mind coming out on January 31, 2023.

The book blends faith (Stevens is Christian) with mental health. Per its website, “The Sunshine Mind is your guide to finding hope and joy in every day and embracing the beautiful person God made you to be. Real, honest, and shared from personal experience, Tanya Rad [Stevens’ co-author] and Raquelle wrote The Sunshine Mind with today’s woman on their hearts. Each of the 100 inspiring readings offers faith, hope, strength, and peace to encourage you to become the beautiful person God made you to be.”

Stevens announced the book news on her Instagram at the end of October. “I am so excited to announce I have a book coming out with my amazing friend @tanyarad!! This past year we have put so much love and thought into our writing and I’m so grateful to see it all come to life. ☀️🙏🏻😭” she wrote.

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Stevens is a Type 7 on the Enneagram.

Stevens revealed her Enneagram type on Giving Back Generation: type 7, the enthusiast. Gomez is type 4, the individualist. As Gomez said of the test, “It’s pretty accurate a lot. It’s not spiritual. It’s not anything. It’s actually just a common test that people take. It’s honestly a very important tool.”

Stevens added, “The more that we can learn about each other, even the annoying traits we each have, we can meet each other where we’re at.”

Stevens' Instagram is full of travel photos and occasional shots of her friendship with Gomez, Cook, and Lopez.

Stevens shared images from her and Gomez’s December 2019 Kenya trip to her Instagram, one of the documentary’s most poignant segments.

This March, she shared gorgeous photography from her trip to Egypt:

She has also shared some behind-the-scenes looks at her friendship with Gomez, Lopez, and Cook. For Gomez’s 30th birthday, she celebrated their decade of friendship. “Decade of life together, so grateful! Happy 30th Selly we love you so much ❤️,” she wrote.

Stevens responded to the backlash she received after the documentary’s release in February 2023.

Some fans didn’t respond to the documentary in a way Gomez and Stevens expected, calling her “controlling.” During a Feb. 3 appearance on the Chicks in the Office podcast, she responded to the backlash.

“Anytime you do anything public in life, you’re subject to opinions of other people,” she told the host. “You just don’t even go there if you’re not willing to be able to take the heat, but the biggest thing for me was that the documentary was a beautiful, beautiful piece of work that Selena so vulnerably shared with the world...It was her life story, and part of what was included in that documentary was our friendship, which is special and it’s honest, and it’s real.”

She added, “I think what it’s a good reminder of is that when people are scrolling through Instagram or they’re scrolling through TikTok, or you’re watching a documentary, you’re getting a small glimpse into someone’s life, you’re not seeing the full picture. And the truth is we’ve had a friendship for the last decade because it’s real, it’s honest and I’m so grateful for that...And I’m grateful that it was included in the documentary because I think that it is important to see, and I think it’s amazing that Selena welcomes honesty in her friendships and I welcome that in my life too.”

Moving past the negativity wasn’t too difficult for her.

“When your inner life is strong and you are living a life with integrity, you sleep peacefully every single night,” Stevens concluded. “And it doesn’t matter what you face, what you go through—there’s a peace that comes with living a life of integrity, and so I really am secure in who I am. I know the kind of friend that I am. Anyone really could say anything, but I have a peace that is unshakable.”

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