Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez’s relationship was extremely public and the subject of a lot of debate in the pop culture world. Both of the artists have written a lot of songs about each other, and even after breaking up, people still speculate that there are feelings there. I mean, when he writes a track for his wife, Hailey, people dig into it and decide it was about Gomez.
None of the drama matters though; the music that was inspired by romance is what’s important. Here are the songs known to be written by Justin Bieber about Selena Gomez.
In the introduction of this article, I said we’d list the songs that were known to be about Gomez, and that’s because we can just speculate for others. Ghost was never confirmed by Bieber to be about her, but entire articles have been dedicated to this one track, determining its deeper meaning. People are wondering if it was about her, which could cause drama now that he is married. Anywho, he says the song is just about missing a lost loved one and was written for his grandmother, at least according to a Vogue interview.
Fans though have a different opinion. While from his grandmother’s perspective, the track very much hints that he has accepted that he can’t be with Gomez and is settling for her memories. Whether this one is about her may be up for debate. But I doubt you’ll get a confirmation out of him these days. It was a huge hit regardless, rising to number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 2022, his 26th song to break into the Top 10 of the chart.
Recommended: Top Justin Bieber songs
2. Mark My Words
The very first song on Bieber’s Purpose album that was almost all about Gomez was Mark My Words. And, unsurprisingly, he would eventually admit that the track was written for her and not inspired by anything else. It was among several songs confirmed to be about Gomez on The Ellen Degeneres Show, including Sorry and What Do You Mean?
To his credit, this song would eventually earn a gold certification from the RIAA in 2016, a fairly lofty achievement for a track that wasn’t nearly as popular as many of the other ones that came from the same album.
3. Love Yourself
Basically, nobody can ever question if Love Yourself was about Gomez or not. I mean, she literally has the words “love yourself first” tattooed on her back in Arabic. It was one of many songs from Bieber’s 2015 album to be about her, as at that point, the two had been on and off for years and created a lot of memories, emotions, and inspirations for the album.
Of course, this one was bittersweet, as she seemed to need to leave him in order to find a way to love herself, so it served as more of a tribute to her that wished her well more than anything else. It showed that he pretended not to care, but it did so with such transparency that the pain coming from Bieber was palpable and out in the open for the world to see.
While touching, it was a sad reminder of the love that could have been and the need for changes between the two. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be getting over her any time soon. This was one of several number-one singles on Purpose, rising to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and spending a total of 41 weeks on the chart.
There was a lot of speculation surrounding Bieber’s Boyfriend when it came out. At the time of release, he and Gomez were already dating, however, it was likely recorded before that relationship started, leaving plenty of room for speculation about the person he’s talking to and telling her he would make a great boyfriend. It served as the lead single for his 2012 Christmas-release album Believe.
It was a massive hit on the charts, helping propel his album to the top. This track would eventually peak at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and spend a total of 20 weeks on the chart. According to him, it was one of the songs he was most involved in on the album, writing tracks from the heart. This one definitely speaks to his infatuation—bordering on obsession—with Gomez, which was very likely already in play before the two were officially a couple.
5. Bad Day
From the outside, Gomez and Bieber’s relationship might seem like it was perfect, at least while they were still together. He was the one that aired out the fact that they had bad days but don’t think less of him for it. Bad Day was a song about their relationship that detailed that they went through some rocky times.
To his credit, he took a lot of responsibility in the track. Both for the bad days the two would go through together and being part of why the relationship began to crumble in general. Even if it was mostly maligned that she was gone and anguished in the fact that she made up her mind without him expressing his side of things—according to him—lines stating he was out of line gives the song a bit of redemption in my eyes.
6. Nothing Like Us
On the flip side of our last entry, Nothing Like Us was meant to serve the complete opposite purpose. It was a happy song about all the good times the two shared and served as a reminder that they had as many—or more—good days as they had bad ones. An early entry into the saga that would become Bieber and Gomez, it remained a very popular track.
Coming from his second acoustic album Believe Acoustic, this was confirmed to be about her in an interview with Billboard. According to him, at the end of the day, there was no relationship that would come even close and nothing like the two of them together.
Bieber and Gomez broke up so many times it’s hard to honestly keep count, especially for someone like me who pays absolutely no attention to celebrity drama or news. It was an emotional roller coaster for him though, that’s for sure, with plenty of downswings to inspire some sad songs. In 2013, shortly after one of their breakups, he wound up producing Heartbreaker.
It first appeared in a series called Music Mondays and would eventually be part of a 2013 compilation album called Journals as one of the new tracks. A few things on that album were about Gomez of course. It would go on to peak at number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and spent two weeks in total on the chart. According to him, the song was for anyone out there who was going through heartbreak.
8. All That Matters
All That Matters was another track from Journals that found quite a bit of success but was undoubtedly about Gomez. Bieber all but confirmed it at one point during an interview with a radio station. Not only was it confirmed to be all about her, but the song was also written while they were still together, and he felt that the relationship was in a great place.
That’s the clarification for why the song is so different from Heartbreaker and why it seems so much happier and upbeat. That one peaked lower and spent longer on the US Billboard Hot 100, rising only to within the top 25 at number 24 but spending a total of eight weeks on the chart in comparison to Heartbreaker’s position at two.
9. Hold Tight
Hold Tight was another song from Bieber’s Music Mondays releases that first appeared on his Instagram account. I don’t see that he confirmed it to be about Gomez anywhere, however, there was rampant speculation among fans and critics alike that the track was a direct message to her. It was meant to be a romantic song from a hopeless romantic according to him, describing the way being in love makes him feel.
For him, it was all about holding onto the person that was the most important to you and never letting your soulmate go, because they’re the one thing who really and truly matters. The track was a fairly decent hit on the charts too, rising to number 29 on the US Hot 100 and charting in several countries internationally. Its best claim to fame was a gold certification in the US.
Recommended: Songs about soulmates
10. What Do You Mean?
What Do You Mean? was a massive success for Bieber, even among the elite company that followed it on his 2015 Purpose album. He would publicly admit that a lot of the inspiration for the album came from her during an interview with Ryan Seacrest.
This song marked the point where he started to realize that he didn’t understand her, but it didn’t take away any of the heartbreaking emotions he was going through at the time. It would go on to become his first number-one single on the Hot 100, reaching the top of the chart in 2015 and spending a total of 31 weeks there.
Like What Do You Mean?, the track Sorry would rise to the top spot of the Billboard chart and remain relevantly charting for 42 weeks in total. It was undoubtedly a song about her, showcasing Bieber’s regrets and sorrows over their relationship finally ending. While the two would try it again and remain intertwined for some time after this—with drama leading well into the next decade—this track kind of felt like one of those apology break-up songs that was aimed at trying to win the girl back.
Unfortunately for him, this just wasn’t going to happen with Gomez. The good news for him was that it became insanely popular and earned him a third number-one single on the Hot 100.
Friends is another song that hasn’t been confirmed to be about Gomez, but you’d be hard-pressed to argue that it isn’t. Released in 2017 by Bieber and announced on Twitter with a tweet saying “Can We Still Be Friends?,” the track was a huge hit in the UK. It would eventually rise to number two on the UK Singles chart and number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
It was evocative of his earlier work, namely almost sampling Sorry to pull off the club sound that he wove into the song. It was a return to pop music for one of the biggest names in the genre and a huge hit. But we don’t care. Was it about Gomez?
It seems very nostalgic at its core, trying to stay connected to someone the narrator used to be close with by asking how they’re doing and their family. Unconfirmed rumors that it’s about her are all we have, but in reality, who else would have inspired him to write a track asking to stay friends with someone?
13. Where Are Ü Now
Can a song get more on the nose? Where Are Ü Now, lyrically, discusses praying for an ex who didn’t return the favor and wishing someone would come to comfort them when they’re down. It started out as a track for Purpose, but Bieber sent it to Skrillex and Diplo to turn it into an electric and dancehall tune that was honestly amazing. In 2015, the remix with Jack U would appear on almost every year-end chart and would claim a few publication titles of the best song of the year.
It even won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. In the end, it peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and made it into the Top 10 in eight other countries. Critics immediately seized on the fact that it could have been an open letter to Gomez, resulting in rampant fan speculation. This was short-lived though. Like most of the tracks on Purpose, it was undoubtedly about her, and arguing otherwise is a fool’s errand.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.