28-year-old Selena Gomez has come a long way since the days of playing the supernatural Alex Russo on the Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place. Since then, she’s become one of the most successful pop singers in the world. Her platform has grown immensely, too–she’s one of the most-followed people on Instagram, and she’s an inspiration to millions of young women around the world.
In the name of nostalgia, let’s hearken back to five of Gomez’s best tracks from the last decade. Whether it’s a solo track or a feature, Gomez’s low-register crooning is as distinct as her ability to remain strong and grounded, even after being in the spotlight for the majority of her life.
These are five of my absolute favorite songs that are either by or featuring Selena Gomez–which is your favorite?
‘Hands to Myself’ – Revival (2015)
In recent years, Selena Gomez has talked about Revival as being a pivotal moment in her career. She has spoken out about feeling like she was trying to fit into a mold that Hollywood and producers wanted her to embrace. The album’s themes and lyrics were quite adult for Gomez’s age at the time, and she says that now, she feels more in control of her creative process.
With that being said, I just can’t leave “Hands to Myself” off this list! The hit begins with a mellow, quiet, and unassuming verse, eventually building into an extremely catchy track. By the end, it’s nearly impossible not to dance and sing along to the music. Gomez’s close friend and fellow singer Julia Michaels helped write this song–but more about her later!
‘Lose You to Love Me’ – Rare (2020)
“Lose You to Love Me,” Gomez’s famous breakup track, tells the story of her troubled relationship with Justin Bieber, whom she dated on and off from about 2010-2017. The song is honest, raw, and incredibly vulnerable, especially for someone whose relationship was ogled and dissected by press and fans alike for years.
This track received positive reviews from critics who especially loved the ballad’s lyrical content. Michelle Ruiz from Vogue wrote of the song, “[It] deserves to immediately be added to everyone’s Empowering Breakup Songs playlists, right after Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts.'” I couldn’t agree more!
‘Taki Taki’ – DJ Snake feat. Selena Gomez, Ozuna, & Cardi B (2018)
Some of my favorite Selena Gomez moments happen when she features on another musician’s track. “Taki Taki” is just one of many features that Gomez absolutely crushes! The song’s lyrics are written in both English and Spanish, making Gomez and Cardi B fantastic features, as they can both speak Spanish well.
“Taki Taki” debuted at #1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart in the U.S. By its fourth week of release, the song had climbed to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track’s success might have something to with its extremely lighthearted, fun, and danceable quality. Gomez absolutely kills it in the music video, too. Who knew she was such a good dancer? This woman can do it all!
‘Anxiety’ – Julia Michaels feat. Selena Gomez (2019)
Julia Michaels has been a cowriter on several of Gomez’s most famous tracks. Michaels, who is also an incredible singer, released the track “Anxiety” as part of her 2019 album, Inner Monologue Part 1. Gomez was the perfect choice as a feature for this song, as she is one of the most outspoken and brave stars when it comes to sharing her struggles with mental illness.
This track is incredibly blunt, trading metaphors and similes for frank, straight-forward realness. It’s incredibly refreshing and relatable, with self-aware lyrics such as, “My exes will say that I’m hard to deal with, and I’ll admit it. It’s true!” Gomez’s willingness to be honest with herself and the world is one of her most endearing qualities, and this track may exemplify that more than any other in her discography.
‘Who Says’ – When the Sun Goes Down (2011)
Last but not least is “Who Says,” one of Gomez’s first-ever hits. At this time, the rising star was still putting out music as part of a band called Selena Gomez & the Scene. Released about ten years ago, the song displays a hardly 18-year-old Gomez at the height of her Disney power, singing with incredible maturity and wisdom.
Ten years ago, we didn’t yet know that Gomez struggled with things like anxiety, depression, and even bipolar disorder, which she has since opened up about. Looking back, it makes sense that she would want to sing a song that so strongly promotes self-love and acceptance through its lyrics. The best part is that the track isn’t just inspiring–it’s catchy, fun, and enduring. This is one of those songs you want to start your day with as you dance around the house with your morning coffee.