Selena Gomez Calls Justin Bieber Breakup ‘the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me’

Selena Gomez‘s headline-making romance with Justin Bieber may not have worked out in the end, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t gain anything positive from the breakup. In her new documentary My Mind & Me, the 30-year-old pop star opened up about how her high-profile split from the “Baby” singer, though painful, turned out to be the best thing that could have happened in her journey toward independence, confidence and self-love.

Gomez dated Bieber on and off for most of the 2010s, starting in 2011 and ending for good in 2018. Just a couple months after that final split, Bieber got engaged to his now wife, model Hailey Bieber.

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“Everything was so public,” the Only Murders in the Building star said in the doc, which dropped Friday (Nov. 4) on Apple TV+. “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.”

The “no one” she’s referring to would be the millions of “Jelena” fans who rooted for Gomez and Bieber’s romance, many of whom continued to make their devastation over the breakup known on social media for months — and in some cases, even years — afterward. The public fixation on Gomez and the “Peaches” musician’s relationship is something Hailey also recently spoke about while appearing on the podcast Call Her Daddy, describing how she she sometimes feels “numb” from the hate she gets from people who think she “stole” Bieber from Gomez.

“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,” Gomez, who was recently photographed being friendly with Hailey, continued in My Mind & Me. “But I just think that needed to happen and ultimately it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

The Grammy nominee also recalled writing her single “Lose You to Love Me,” which was inspired by her breakup from Bieber. “I text Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter and said, ‘I think I’m ready to just say I’m sad,'” she said, referring to her co-writers on the 2019 track. “We wrote the song in 45 minutes. The fastest song I’ve ever written.”

The song appeared on Gomez’s Billboard 200 chart-topping album Rare, which came out in 2020. A couple weeks after its release, “Lose You to Love Me” ascended to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, marking the singer-actress’ first ever No. 1 single.

“It’s about more than a lost love,” she added. “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.”

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