The pop star is opening up about her Disney past and her very high-profile breakup with fiance Liam Hemsworth in the new issue of Elle -- and it's clear she's pretty comfortable with all the cards she's been dealt.
"When I went through a really intense breakup — you know, I was engaged — and when I was with him or when I was on Disney, the thing that gave me the most anxiety was not knowing what to do with myself when Disney wasn't there to carry me anymore or if I didn't have him," she tells the mag.
"And now I'm free of both of those things, and I'm fine," she continues. "I lay in bed at night by myself and I'm totally okay, and that's so much stronger than the person three years ago, who would have thought they would have died if they didn't have a boyfriend."
Speaking specifically about her "Hannah Montana" upbringing, Miley actually embraces it -- despite her wild and crazy antics these days.
"I'm really thankful that I started on Disney. I got the most intense training," says Miley. "There's times where I wish I could have just started as a new artist, but the world has kind of allowed me to do that. I feel really lucky -- a lot of kid stars get all crazy or stuck in what they were, so they can't actually become what they're meant to be."
And what is Miley meant to be? An inspiration, apparently.
"I have guys and girls that come out, and they're like, 'The only reason I'm able to admit that I'm gay is because you've made me feel like that's okay.' That is so intense, because that is a part of this generation and I feel like I am a big part of that change," she admits. "Or they know that I've struggled with depression, and that helped them get over theirs. That gives me a big purpose -- a reason to wake up in the morning that's bigger than to put on my f**king feathers and my little outfits."
See more from Miley in Elle's May "WomenIn Music" issue, which hits newsstands April 22.