Selena Gomez is no stranger to fame. But in an interview for the cover of InStyle’s September issue, Gomez explained how being so visible, especially online, has made prioritizing her mental well-being that much more important.

It’s a topic that InStyle editor in chief Laura Brown didn’t shy away from when asking Gomez about how aging in the public eye has affected her self-esteem. “That’s what I work on in therapy the most. Because of social media, because of all the pressure that girls have, it’s so difficult,” Gomez said. “It’s good to be connected, to see things, and to get a sense of what your friends are up to. But it also allows people to think they need to look or be a certain way. I remember when I had my Disney show, I was just running around and not caring and making kids laugh. I was all over the place. And now it feels more zoomed-in—you have ugly people trying to get negative things from you, and the energy makes you feel bad about yourself. You can’t help it. It’s very hard to find out who you are during all that mess and pressure.”

Growing up in the spotlight hasn’t been easy for the Texas native, but Gomez is determined to use her platform for good. After taking a 90 day hiatus last summer to focus on her mental well-being, (read what she told Thrive in her Thrive Questionnaire), Gomez returned to Hollywood to become the executive producer for the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. 

Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, the series follows the main characters as they cope with the suicide of their classmate Hannah Baker. Though many critics accused the show of glorifying suicide, Gomez is pleased that the project is at least kick-starting a conversation about a taboo issue. “I think if our show is able to start a conversation at the dinner table, even if it’s just ‘That’s terrible’ or ‘That was great,’ it’s still starting a conversation. It scared people, but it’s really important,” Gomez told InStyle.

Read Gomez’s full interview here