The Way Gwen Stefani Saved Herself From The Depths Of Divorce Is Incredibly Empowering

Things may be coming up roses for Gwen Stefani — with her newest solo album set to drop next week and being so happily head-over-heels in her relationship with Blake Shelton — but the Voice coach is the first to say that things before this weren't so easy. After all, a shocking divorce from Gavin Rossdale, her husband of 13 years and father of her three children, left her emotionally wounded and desperate to pull herself out of the fray — and do so she did. Speaking candidnly in a new interview with the New York Times, Gwen Stefani reveals how she saved herself from the depths of divorce, and it is an incredibly empowering take on dealing with hardship and struggle in life.

Though Stefani doesn't mention any of the gossip surrounding the demise of her marriage, she does offer this tell-tale tidbit to the New York Times: "If I could, I would just tell you everything, and you would just be in shock. It’s a really good, juicy story." But like all juicy stories, this is one that comes with a fair amount of pain, drama, and complete devastation.

"I'm gonna die. I am dead, actually," she recalled of her feelings in the wake of her split from Rossdale. "How do I save myself? What am I going to do? How do I not go down like this?"

For Stefani, the answer was simple: "I have to make music out of this. That's what God wants for me," she told the paper. "...Being in that [studio] room and being creative, it was the only place that felt good — I was like, I love the smell of this room."

Songwriting, for Stefani, has always been a source of power. "It’s almost like one of those movies where they discover they have magic," she said of first discovering her songwriting talents. "When I was able to first write a song, that’s when I found my whole self." So it's no surprise that in order to find herself again, the singer-songwriter dove headfirst into her music, cultivating a place where she could feel comfortable, empowered, and free to express her deepest emotions.

And despite pushback from her label — who, Stefani recalled, seemed to say "it's over for you, basically" — once she wrote and sent them the raw and emotional "Used to Love You," they were immediately on board. It was that moment, she said, that her label told her she had a hit on her hands.

"That's never happened in my entire career," she told the Times, revealing that the track is her most personal to date. Not only is it entirely validating to have your record label realize your talent, it must be incredibly empowering to pour all of your feelings into your work and have it become a piece of art, a tangible thingthat is the fruit of your labor. A way to tell yourself that "Hey, I may have gone through some serious stuff, but look what came out of it."

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For Stefani, another empowering surprise came in her relationship with her fellow Voice coach, Blake Shelton. The country singer, who is now divorced from Miranda Lambert, "had been going through literally the exact same thing in literally the exact same time frame," Stefani told the NYT. It is through that friendship-turned-romance that Stefani fell in love again. And based on every adorable photo of the couple, it is beyond obvious that the two are positively giddy.

"Never in my wildest, craziest dreams would I ever have seen this coming," she said of their romance. And though new relationships aren't the ultimate cure for divorce, they sure as hell make life more exciting, interesting, and yes, empowering. After going through an emotionally brutal life event like divorce, a fresh start in a new relationship is proof that you've made it out of that hole. There's no doubt that Stefani's relationship with Shelton is healing for the both of them, in order to get to that place, she needed to heal herself first — which is exactly what she did through her music and songwriting.

Still, things are not always easy for the singer, but she is well aware that it's all part of the process.

"I'm not going to say I’m not still picking up the pieces and every day isn't a challenge," she admitted. "I’m still in shock. But it’s an awesome time."

Embracing those bad days and those feelings of pain can be empowering, too. And Gwen Stefani is all about riding out the waves in life — surfing through the good, the bad, and the ugly — in order to burst through to the right side of happiness.