Entertainment Music Selena Gomez on Sharing Her Struggles to Help Others: 'I Want People to Know They're Not Alone' Over the last year, Selena Gomez — one of four stars celebrated as PEOPLE's People of the Year — has found solid footing as an advocate for mental health, racial equality and body positivity By Melody Chiu Melody Chiu Instagram Twitter Melody Chiu is a Senior Editor for PEOPLE. She has been with the brand since 2009, editing, writing and reporting across all entertainment verticals. She oversees PEOPLE's music and events coverage and has written cover stories on Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Melissa McCarthy, Blake Shelton and Sandra Oh. The Los Angeles native graduated from the University of Southern California and has appeared on Extra!, The Talk, Access Hollywood and Good Morning America. People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 2, 2020 08:15 AM Share Tweet Pin Email In a year where many have felt lost, Selena Gomez found a new sense of purpose. At the start of 2020, the pop superstar, 28, released her long-awaited third studio album, Rare, her most personal album yet that debuted at No. 1. But just weeks after, Gomez shelved promotion plans for her latest work as the pandemic began to shut down the country. She didn't stay idle for long. After protests against police brutality erupted nationwide over the summer, Gomez handed her Instagram account — with its 195 million followers — to activists like Black Lives Matter co-creator Alicia Garza and Black Trans Circles founder Raquel Willis. Selena Gomez Discusses Voting, Lupus and Mental Health with Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris "That was a no-brainer," says Gomez in this week's cover story, where she and three other stars are celebrated as PEOPLE's People of the Year. "It made sense for me to learn, and learn from the best people." Selena Gomez. Watch the full episode of People of the Year: Selena Gomez streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device. The star also continued to be open about her struggles with depression and anxiety, sharing how she initially felt hopeless and at times was unable to get out of bed. Then when she launched her inclusive makeup line, Rare Beauty, in September, she committed to raising $100 million in the next 10 years to provide mental health resources for underserved communities. Selena Gomez. Brad Ogbonna Selena Gomez's Rare Beauty Launches $100 Million Mental Health Initiative for Underserved Communities "I don't feel like Rare Beauty would have been [possible] three or four years ago. I understand now how it feels to be on the other side, comparing myself or thinking I need to look more like this or more like that to fit in," says the entertainer. "It can take a toll on you, for sure. We're not all a certain way, and we're not meant to be. It's fair to say that I am 1000 percent on the journey with the consumers," she adds. "It's not easy for everybody, and I want people to know they're not alone." Ahead of the presidential election, Gomez also got loud about voting — revealing she was exercising her right to vote for the first time in 2020. She also amplified the messages of women who inspired her in 2020, including Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama and Fair Fight founder Stacey Abrams. "I've had a sliver of dealing with [racism] growing up, especially with my dad [who is Mexican]. When it came to telling people to vote, I felt like it was my duty," she says. "Witnessing strong women who have walked journeys that I couldn't imagine walking was such a pinch-me moment, and I'm just very grateful." George Clooney, Regina King, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Selena Gomez are PEOPLE's People of the Year! Look for all four covers on newsstands this week and read their revealing interviews in the new issue.