Mandy Teefey "Brain Dumps" Into Her 237 Journals to Find Her Calm

Selena Gomez's mom is a self-taught wellness aficionado.

mandy teefey on a pink and purple background
(Image credit: Future)

There’s no right way to “do” wellness, but Marie Claire’s Doing Well offers a glimpse into the self-care mantras, therapies, and affirmations practiced by industry trailblazers.

In 2007, Selena Gomez booked her first big role: She played Alex Russo on Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place. Since then, Mandy Teefey's life has been “a little crazy,” the Rare Beauty founder's mom shares exclusively with Marie Claire. "It's been an interesting ride the whole time. Even during the hard times, I feel so grateful that we get to experience opportunities that otherwise we wouldn't have access to."

Teefey didn’t always have such a grounded perspective on life's ups and downs. It wasn’t until she worked alongside Gomez as executive producer on the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why that she realized she needed to "practice what I preach" when it came to mental health. Following season one's release, she enrolled herself in a 30-day mental health facility.

"I thought I was fine because I would get a massage once a week," Teefey says. "But when you have to sit in years and years and years of stuff—it teaches you how to communicate with your body. It was the best 30 days ever."

Mandy Teefey and Selena Gomez attend the premiere of '13 Reasons Why' in 2017.

Mandy Teefey and Selena Gomez attend the premiere of 13 Reasons Why in 2017.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

From that point forward, Teefey intentionally integrated wellness practices—journaling, glamping, and daily meditation—into her life. She's even launched a passion project of a business: Wondermind, a mental health platform.

Teefey would love to write a memoir in the future, but until she hones in on a concrete message, she's gracious enough to share her wellness wisdom with Marie Claire.

The wellness trend I haven't tried yet but want to:

(Image credit: Future)

I still don't fully understand it, but sleep syncing. It's a technique that aligns with your circadian rhythm, so your body starts telling you what time you should go to sleep. That's impossible for me—to sleep at 1 p.m if that's what my body says—but I'm dying to try it. I just learned about it two weeks ago and I want to dig into it a little deeper.

Mandy Teefey on a purple step and repeat at the 'Rebels and Rule Breakers' FYC event

Mandy Teefey poses at the 'Rebels and Rule Breakers' FYC event in 2018.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A wellness practice you swear by that some might find "woo woo"

(Image credit: Future)

I like massages. I know it's not revolutionary or anything, but I used to get them twice a week and now I get them once a week. I don't think that's super woo woo, but I don't know that I do anything super woo woo. I do the tough pressure, sports massages. I go to Burke Williams.

There are also a lot of massage facilities here in L.A. where they'll say you're getting a foot massage for $25 and then all of a sudden you're on a bed and they're walking on top of you. I don't know what kind of massage that is, but I went into one of those places and I just kind of went with it.

No matter how hard you try, you just can't get into:

(Image credit: Future)

Goat yoga—where you do yoga and they put goats on you. I actually tried it, and I think the goat sensed all my anxiety because he wanted nothing to do with me. I got rejected.

Mandy Teefey

Mandy Teefey poses for Wondermind.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Wondermind)

Your ideal wellness routine:

(Image credit: Future)

I wake up around four in the morning, and I don't even need an alarm anymore. I get up and do my facial routine, then have a cup of coffee and I either write or read. Sometimes I do both. I do some stretches and I meditate for 15 minutes, then it's usually time for my little one to get up for school. She does some stretches sometimes with me and then I plan out my day, prioritize everything that needs to be done, and answer emails that need my attention. If I do not start my day like that, I can feel it the whole day. The morning time is just so peaceful and a great time to center myself.

Low-brow feel-good hack:

(Image credit: Future)

Packing cubes. Emma [Wright, Teefey’s chief of staff] and I discovered these through our travels—I am obsessed. You can put together your outfits and write the day on it. Then put it right back in there when you come back. Usually, when we're traveling, I have several different meetings or events, so everything is there and its not chaotic. You do the chaos at home while you're packing, then you look at the suitcase, and it's harmony.

High-brow feel-good splurge:

(Image credit: Future)

Journaling. I've kept a list—I have clocked in at least 237 unique journals, meaning not a double of any brand. I buy anything that has to do with journaling, like the washi tape and the stickers. I could do it for hours, maybe even days. I can't draw, so I use stickers, and I do mixed media and cut things out of newspapers. I guess it's scrapbooking. Even my work journal is decorated. I love everything that has color in it.

One of Mandy Teefey's journal pages.

A page from Teefey's journal that encourages her to get things done.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mandy Teefey)

I have every type of journal and I call them different bits of my brain because one of them is for commonplacing—for me to make sure I learn something once today. I have the time-blocking one that I just got that I'm obsessed with, and I have a creative planner where I can sketch out any ideas and flesh them out. Then I have my work journal with all the notes and anything I need to do. My favorite one is a leadership journal, so I can become better each day at being a leader.

One of Mandy Teefey's journal pages.

One of Teefey's journal pages focused on the law of attraction.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mandy Teefey)

The best way to describe your wellness vibe:

(Image credit: Future)

I think it's just a chill kind of vibe. My husband—I've become so good at it—he goes, "You freak me out because you don't worry about anything." That's not true. I'm just exuding that I'm calm and chill. I put all my worries into my journals. Brain dumping everything on my mind to calm me down.

Who you look to for advice:

(Image credit: Future)

My 10-year-old daughter, Gracie, has the best advice—they're young, they're not tainted, and they see things in black and white. She is [that person for] Selena and her friends, too. They all ask her, "This guy is doing this," and she's like, "Well, just don't text him back." Gracie is a very special one, and I just love her to death.

They're all learning in school how to meditate. When she was really little, we were walking through a maze for Halloween. All of a sudden, I turned around and she was criss-cross applesauce meditating. I go, "What are you doing?" She says, "I'm really afraid right now. So I'm gonna meditate." We sat there while she meditated through it.

Selena Gomez and Gracie Elliot Teefey attend the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.

Gracie Teefey often gives her mom and older sister sage advice.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The wellness apps we'd find on your phone:

(Image credit: Future)

I don't really associate the phone with wellness. I use it for documenting things, but I don't use my phone when I'm meditating. I try to keep an electronic device for functionality purposes. This isn't a wellness app by any means, but Co-Star is definitely something I check every day. It is hilarious. I love it when they're mean to me, it's the funniest thing ever. They're like, "Don't even do you today."

When you need to reset:

(Image credit: Future)

When I need a big reset, I go glamping by myself—I go to one outside of Santa Barbara and it's the greatest feeling to be in nature and away from everything that may be stressing you out. You get just so much clarity. Typically, I go four to five times a year.

Your current state of mind:

(Image credit: Future)

Right now, I'm rejuvenated and ready to go. It's good. I feel calm. If I spoke with you yesterday, I would've been totally different. I think that's why it's important to process your feelings, so you're not holding things longer than you should.

Gomez and Teefey speaking at SXSW on behalf of Wondermind.

Selena Gomez (L) and Teefey (R) speaking at SXSW on behalf of Wondermind.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Austin Convention Center)

Your mental health focus right now:

(Image credit: Future)

It's definitely finding time. I really am trying to get to where my mindset is more aware of what I'm doing in the space that I'm in and trying to get a more centered mindset. I am trying to get re-centered.

When and where you feel the happiest:

(Image credit: Future)

At my house, with my kiddos, in my bed, with my journal, and a movie.

A post shared by Mandy Teefey

A photo posted by mandyteefey on

A funny little wellness story about you:

(Image credit: Future)

When I was trying to bullet journal. It just put me in a stressed-out frenzy. I have ADHD, I get hyper-focused, and sometimes I will take something that's supposed to calm me down and then I'll be stressed about it.

I remember when I first started bullet journaling, I bought everything that it said to buy and I was watching all the videos on YouTube. I think two weeks went by before I even noticed that I hadn’t spoken to anybody. Brian, my husband, goes, "Isn't this supposed to make your life easier?" My entry into it was a little challenging, but I've got it down now.

One of Mandy Teefey's journal pages.

One of Mandy Teefey's journal pages.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mandy Teefey)

Wellness advice you've received that...isn't great:

(Image credit: Future)

To be honest, all the wellness stuff that I've incorporated and done was all self-taught. I figured it all out. I don't talk a lot about my wellness practices to my friends because, you know, my friends’ wellness is a night out with some martinis. I have a tendency of just kind of reading wellness advice and then decide if it would be an interesting journey.

The thing you'd tell your younger self about wellness

(Image credit: Future)

To do it! Oh, my gosh, I was a handful. I would definitely tell myself to learn a lot about who I am before I give myself away to other people and to really appreciate who loves me. Don't seek out love from people who don't deserve it or want it, and just don't find your validation in other people.

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.