As a teenager suddenly tossed directly into the limelight and criticized for almost every choice she made (and many she didn't), the 15-year-old felt pressured by society and the inevitable 'haters' that come with being a celebrity.
At 21 years old, Lauren Alaina comes across as a bubbly, bright, well-rounded young woman - and that's exactly the person she's grown to be. But a few years ago, she said she didn't recognize herself.
Struggling in a secret battle with bulimia, the talented songstress was plagued with pressure to be perfect.
In an interview earlier this year, the singer expressed how bad it had gotten.
"I had bulimia for a few years, I was really sick. I don't know that person, I can't believe that was me."
Now, just a few short years later, she has come full circle - healing the wounds and growing into her songwriting and musical dreams even more. The winding path she had taken was not an easy one.
"For like four years, I was just lost," she tells Rolling Stone of her battle with bulimia. "I was 15 on American Idol and everybody had something to say. It was like I had my really awkward phase on national television, you know?"
With the release of her newest single, "Road Less Traveled" she's bringing forward values of self-love, acceptance, and appreciation - capturing many of the things she struggled with, and hopefully moving her listeners and fans to put more love into the world.
"I want that to be my overall message — that we just need to love each other. We need to love each other more," she says. "No matter where you're from, what you've done, who you are, what your family's done, it's like, you cannot be healthy without love."
Co-writing the song with one of the current queens of positive body image, Meghan Trainor, was a great and obvious choice for her. They can connect as both musicians and as women in the public eye, and how their struggles have been similar.
The song is sure to be a hit with an upbeat tune, empowering lyrics, and a sound that'll have you stomping your boots before you even realize it.
Listen to her latest single, "Road Less Traveled" below and let us know what you think in the comments.
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