"Last February–I think a lot of people know my life fell apart–my family fell apart, everything fell apart," she says in a new interview with NPR. "[We were married] 14 [years]. Together 20. You just crumble, you know?"
After her marriage to Gavin Rossdale ended, "I felt quite embarrassed," she admits. "I was all the way down. And I just felt like, 'God I gotta turn this around. I can't go down like this.'"
Throwing herself into music (the star's new album This Is What the Truth Feels Like is out Friday), "it was the only thing that felt good at all," she says. "That's what this whole record documents–working through it, having faith, believing in myself and wanting to do something about it."
"It was a really super unexpected gift to find a friend, somebody who happened to be going through the exact same thing as me, literally mirroring my experience," she tells Refinery29. "I don't think it's an accident that that happened. It saved me."
Asked by USA Today about plans to tour behind her new album, the mom of three (she shares sons Kingston, 9, Zuma, 7, and Apollo, 2, with Rossdale) admits the decision isn't so easy because of her children.
"I see my kids half the time now," she says. "That, to me, is devastating. At the same time, I've been able to recover the way I have ... I know that things are going to keep unfolding and evolving, and I have faith that everything's going to get better and better.