Selena Gomez tends to be fairly reserved when it comes to talking about her personal life. She waited several months to share with fans that she underwent a kidney transplant in 2017, and she was relatively tight-lipped on her rumored brief reunion with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, too. In recent months, she’s been almost entirely absent from the spotlight, and now, in a new interview, she’s opening up a little about why.

“It’s peaceful. It’s weird. The moment I turned 26, I felt 26,” she told Elle in an interview for the magazine’s October issue. “Right now, I feel very sure of where I am. I don’t feel erratic or emotionally unstable. Or like I can’t handle my emotions, like I used to. It’s kind of understanding myself a little more. By all means I don’t have myself figured out. But it feels good.”

While she’s still busy acting, writing new music, and producing the next season of the Netflix hit 13 Reasons Why, Gomez told Elle that she’s trying to “downsize” her life and go “back to simplicity.” As part of that, she’s working as an intern for A21, an anti-human trafficking organization. She started volunteering with the organization full-time in March, after another member of her church (the famous Hillsong congregation) invited her to see the work they do.

She also moved out of LA and has limited her access to social media. She told Elle she hasn’t been on the internet “in months” and only posts to Instagram from the phone of a friend who has access to her account. And it’s not just her own privacy she wants to protect.

When the conversation turns to Demi Lovato’s reported overdose, Gomez gets emotional, telling the magazine, “All I’m saying is, I reached out personally. I didn’t do a public thing. I didn’t want to. I…I love her. I’ve known her since I was seven. So…it’s…that’s what I’ll say.”

She’s more comfortable talking about her new music. She told Elle about one song in particular, “Flawless,” which is about loving yourself no matter what. “Meaning through all your imperfections, you’re flawless,” she told the mag. “You’re not striving. It’s me encouraging a younger version of myself. Even when you’re imperfect, even when you’re feeling worthless, you are flawless.”

Are you excited for new music from Selena Gomez? Tell us @BritandCo!

(photo via Christopher Polk/Getty)