She’s breaking free. High School Musical alum Ashley Tisdale has grown up a lot since the days of Disney, but with maturing comes some darker times. She’s learned that first hand. When she spoke exclusively with Life & Style at the Los Angeles celebration for the Create & Cultivate 100 List presented by Chevrolet, she let us in on how working on her third album, Symptoms, helped her overcome some of those struggles.

“It was just super personal,” the 33-year-old revealed to Life & Style. “I mean basically, it was a different experience this time compared to my last couple albums. In the past, I sang other people’s songs and didn’t really know who I was as an artist, and when I was getting back in the studio, I was going through a lot of anxiety and I had a bit of depression.” We get you, Ash. Change looks good on you!

ashley tisdale third album anxiety depression
Getty Images

“I was doing a self-help book at the same time,” she explained. “It’s weird because the album became my journey going through that and coming out of it. It really reflects my journey. It starts from the beginning and the end is coming out of it all and surviving it, I guess. Doing the self-help book that I did, I haven’t had anxiety since.” Congrats, girl! It sounds like this album is going to be quite the accomplishment.

Ashley’s third album, Symptoms, has been quite a long time coming, so we’re excited to hear how personal the record is shaping up to be. She started working on the album all the way back in 2013, but work on different projects and other roadblocks kept her from completing the record. Now that she’s talking about it again, we just need her to finally release it!

The release date for Symptoms was previously set for fall 2018, but since that came and went without an album drop, let’s just hope she’ll drop the whole thing soon. Luckily, we have a single to tide us over — Ashley released “Love Me and Let Me Go” on January 25 and it’s totally a bop.

Come on, Ashley, we can’t wait for this one. We can tell it’s going to be really special.

Reporting by Emy LaCroix.