Jewel is opening up about her personal struggle with an anxiety disorder that could have really affected her career. The 39-year-old mother of one says she struggled with agoraphobia when she was homeless as a teenager.

Jewel truly did go rags-to-riches, and it's widely known she even spent some time living out of her car. During this time, the then-teen singer developed agoraphobia, which gave her a fear of being around others.

“By the time I was homeless, I was crippled by agoraphobia, which is hard when you don’t have a home, but in my car,” Jewel describes (quote via Huffington Post). “I was afraid if I left my car, I would be stricken with illness.”

With positive thinking and time, the songstress was able to overcome the disorder.

“I really realized I was going to succumb unless I learned how to control my fear and I really focused on how to do that, how to change my thoughts,” she says. “And it started with daily learning how to change my fear into excitement and into enthusiasm. That’s how I started to work myself out of my car.”

Jewel credits songwriting for helping her through the difficult time.

“I was writing about it,” she shares of how she overcame. ”Then I started singing in front of people and telling them my worst fears, and then my life changed because I started letting people -- I felt less alone for the first time because I let myself be seen, really, for the first time -- all my good, bad and ugly. And people accepted me because they felt seen, because we’re all the same.”

Jewel is currently working on a new album, one that she says will be "raw" and, hopefully, for sale in the summer of 2014.

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