JoJo Was Celibate for 10 Months While Recording New Album After Cheating on Ex-Boyfriend

JoJo‘s journey to self-love has been a long one.

The singer discusses her hard road to happiness (which inspired her new album Good to Know, out Friday) in this week’s issue of PEOPLE.

“I had a real issue with trusting myself, because I think from a young age, I have put my trust in other people to know what’s best for me, and a really important part of being a self-sufficient human being is knowing that you know what’s best for you,” she says. “That took a little work and going inward and trying out different things to get me in the present moment, because I was living so much in anxiety about the future and sadness over the past, personally and professionally.”

Born Joanna Levesque, JoJo rose to fame at age 13 with her smash hit “Leave (Get Out).” But the pressures of child stardom — as well as mental illness, her father’s opioid addiction and a years-long lawsuit with her former record label that nearly ended her career — became too much for her.

While she’s in an amazing place today, JoJo says self-empowerment has taken daily practice.

“It was like a banging my head against the wall until I believed it or until I actually did it,” she says. “My therapist told me to act as if: like, if you don’t feel confident, act as if you are. You don’t feel like a bad bitch, act as if you do — and then you do.”

As part of the Let’s Talk About It initiative, PEOPLE is partnering with the Crisis Text Line, which offers free, 24/7 support from trained crisis counselors. If you or someone you know needs help, text STRENGTH to 741741. For help with mental illness or substance abuse, you can also call SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

For more from JoJo, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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