Brand Strategy

How Selena Gomez’s Wondermind keeps growing

The startup is producing a docuseries with Venus Williams about athletes’ mental health.
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· 4 min read

Selena Gomez, star of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building and founder of Rare Beauty, has been open about her struggles with mental health throughout her career: The actress and singer has spoken about dealing with anxiety and depression, revealing in 2020 that she’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

After years of talking about it in public, Gomez helped found Wondermind, a media company dedicated to mental health, in 2022. Wondermind—which Gomez founded with her mom, Mandy Teefey, and Daniella Pearson, founder and CEO of The Newsette—seeks to destigmatize mental health and mental illness in an accessible manner.

It started with a newsletter that’s sent to subscribers three times a week, featuring mental health tips from experts, celebrity interviews, and related educational content. Recently, Wondermind began developing its first docuseries, which will focus on athlete mental health, as it evolves into a more all-encompassing media company creating content across podcasts, a website, and more.

“I think that our differentiator is trying to make sure that our content is as relatable and accessible and as inclusive as possible. We really pride ourselves in having no jargon and no judgment,” Casey Gueren, VP of content at Wondermind, told us. Last year, Wondermind raised $5 million at a $100 million valuation.

The docuseries, titled Behind the Racquet, was announced during this year’s US Open. It will focus on “the challenges athletes face and explore mental health through the lens of the athletes who are living with it,” according to Gueren, specifically focusing on tennis. Featuring hour-long episodes, each containing three player vignettes, it will touch on themes like disordered eating, family, grief, and anxiety, Deadline reported.

Tennis pros Venus Williams and Noah Rubin, who runs a mental health education website of the same name, have signed on as executive producers of the series.

Talk about it

Wondermind has more than 400,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 60,000 on TikTok. Gomez sometimes amplifies Wondermind content on her own Instagram, which has over 400 million followers.

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As it grows its various media offerings, Gueren, who previously worked at Self and BuzzFeed, said Wondermind has been focusing on short-form video content. “Loneliness content does really well for us, like how to make friends as an adult. Friendship, weird friendship dynamics, family issues, and family dynamics have done really well for us,” she said. “Self-esteem and body image content, and then the content that we create around specific conditions, has also performed well.”

Wondermind’s podcasts include Baggage Drop, which featured roughly 10-minute episodes where therapists discussed topics like self-care and self-compassion. It was designed to help listeners “relieve some of the baggage that could be holding you back from whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish on your mental health journey,” according to Gueren.

Another podcast, The Business of Feelings, features conversations with successful people, like Bonobos founder Andy Dunn, about their careers and the “the emotional journey they embarked on along the way.”

Buying in

Since debuting, Wondermind has worked with sponsors including Fidelity and Powerade. Last year, it worked with Aerie on a content and event series focused on body acceptance and self-confidence.

The company has also hosted IRL activations, like a Newsstand pop-up event it held in Brooklyn this past spring. Gueren said the event drew more than 2,500 attendees, and featured wellness sessions, mental fitness workshops, and guided classes.

Physical newspapers featuring Wondermind editorial content were also available to those who stopped by. The activation was sponsored by Avocado Mattress, a partner that Gueren said aligned with Wondermind’s values. According to Gueren, Wondermind plans to host events outside of New York as well.

In the meantime, Wondermind has been partnering with other mental health organizations. For World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, it collaborated with wellness-focused clothing brand Self Care is for Everyone on a limited-edition “mental health check-in hoodie,” donating profits to the New York City chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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