Our hearts broke when we heard the news that one of Hollywood’s most well-known couples, Fergie and Josh Duhamel, had called it quits. Splitting from the father of her four-year-old son “wasn’t my plan,” the singer admitted. “I wanted to stay married forever.” Instead, the pop star and the actor secretly went their separate ways in February before going public with the news in September.

Now she’s picking up the pieces. In an exclusive interview with Life & Style, Fergie, 42, opens up about how she’s coping with the heartbreaking split and the steps she’s taking to move forward. Though Big Girls Don’t Cry is one of her biggest hits, Fergie admits that these days, there are plenty of tears as she learns to make peace with the end of her marriage. “It’s a transitional time, and there are real feelings there and they come up sometimes,” she told Life & Style on Oct. 25 before her iHeartRadio and BleauLive concert series performance at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“I think you just have to let the tears flow. You have to let yourself feel the emotion. And my emotions, I kind of wear them on my sleeve. I’m an open vessel,” she added.

After 13 years with Josh, 44, Fergie admits she’s struggling to adjust to life as a single woman. Juggling motherhood and career demands is “a balancing act,” says the singer, who’s been hustling to support her new album, Double Dutchess, which came out just days after the split was announced. “Every parent who works knows that.” Including her ex. “Both Josh and I are working really hard right now. He’s editing a movie that he co-wrote and directed while shooting a series called Unsolved,” she explains. “I’m doing promo for my album. Both of us are basically doing work and family.”

Despite one report that she’s dating again, Fergie makes it clear that son Axl is the only guy she needs these days. “My time right now is so dedicated to a balance of work, family, and, sometimes, going out and having a good time once in a while,” she says. “I have a good time every day with my son. We have dance parties!”

On the morning Life & Style interviewed her, Fergie enjoyed playing pirates with her son. But there have been darker days too post-split. And she relies on faith to get her through. “I pray on it. I call upon my guardian angels and that spirituality to help me find the right…choices to make with love,” she says. “I’m learning to just work through these things.”