Miley Cyrus: I Used to Think I'd Die Without a Boyfriend

04/08/2014 at 08:30 AM ET

Miley Cyrus Elle coverPhotographed by Michael Thompson for ELLE

Miley Cyrus, 21, has been asserting her independence through various means for some time now. She’s cut her hair, lost her pants, ended things with her fiancé and taken off on a wild world tour. And, she says in the May issue of Elle magazine, all this rebelling is starting to pay off.

In an interview with 17-year-old Rookie magazine editor (and fellow widely watched teen) Tavi Gevinson, Cyrus explains that she’s grateful for growing pains in leaving Disney and ending things with fiancé Liam Hemsworth, because it helped her get to where she is today.

“When I was with [Liam] or when I was on Disney, the thing that gave me the most anxiety was not knowing what to do with myself when Disney wasn’t there to carry me anymore or if I didn’t have him,” she said. “And now I’m free of both of those things, and I’m fine. Like, I lay in bed at night by myself and I’m totally okay, and that’s so much stronger than the person three years ago, who would have thought they would have died if they didn’t have a boyfriend.”

PHOTOS: What did your favorite stars wear last night? See and vote on their styles!

Miley Cyrus Elle coverPhotographed by Michael Thompson for ELLE

Cyrus also cops to battling depression in her adolescence, saying, “It’s totally okay to feel sad. I went through a time where I was really depressed. Like, I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down. It was a lot to do with, like, I had really bad skin, and I felt really bullied because of that. But I never was depressed because of the way someone else made me feel, I just was depressed.”

Now her fans thank her for being candid and helping them get through their own struggles, and, she says, “That gives me a big purpose — a reason to wake up in the morning that’s bigger than to put on my f—ing feathers and my little outfits.”

For lots more from the star, including why she’s advancing the cause of feminism (spoiler alert, it has to do with crotch grabbing), check out or the new issue of the mag, on stands April 22. What do you think of Cyrus’s most recent thoughts on life? What makes you stronger?

–Alex Apatoff

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Showing 23 comments

Gisselle on

I’m not her fan but good for her…but those shots are not flattering at all

Chelsea on

this is just sad. miley is going down a hill where she WILL END UP ALONE and become an addict to drugs. Hollywood has this effect on everyone.

Casey on

It’s fine to have a strong sexual identity, it’s not fine to show absolutely no class by throwing it out there so obnoxiously and grotesquely. I know it’s popular for women to go terribly bad so that bored people have a train wreck to watch, I know it sells. But she’s sold more than she’ll probably ever know. She’s alone for a reason, she lost Liam for a reason. I don’t buy the bull that she’s happier now. Yeah right, sure she is. A decent man doesn’t like to be known for his wildly uncontrolled whorish wife. Look at the lives of every woman who ever went down this path-the Madonnas, Britneys, Lady Gagas, and Chers of the world. Are they happy and loved in a relationship? Or are they alone even after all these years and numerous failed relationships? This is a destructive path Miley, learn from others mistakes. These women never end up happy, and most die alone.

Rayna on

” It was a lot to do with, like, I had really bad skin, and I felt really bullied because of that. But I never was depressed because of the way someone else made me feel, I just was depressed.”-Not the sharpest tool in the shed is she now?

Surprised on

Now THIS is a Miley that I want to see more of!!! This is a great message to send to young fans who look up to her, that you don’t need a man in your life and you can carry your own weight. I am glad that she can talk about her depression as well as this is so stigmatized yet so many of us have suffered from it. Keep it up Miley, you’ll earn much more respect and admiration from this than what you’ve been doing in the past XOXO

Dee on

‘Miley’s plan for overcoming losing Liam, her dogs, and the resultant depression is to continue doing drugs and hoarding dogs, neglect them, and therefore contribute to their demise.
We at Elle are fairly certain this isn’t the best course, however, seeing as how Miley is an unintelligent hillbilly we concluded this was the best she could come up with.’

Schooldays on

Ah yes, the female Justin Bieber. Both talentless and in a couple of years, everyone will be saying, “Miley Who?” Also, this woman seems to have one expression, an empty-looking pout.

Noneya on

Aren’t Miley Cyrus & Justin Bieber the same person?!? WOW! I must be confused……….

CopsWifeonLI on

I hope you get there, Miley. I do. But you’re not there yet…

Really? on

Hate to break it to you Miley but you are nothing but f—ing feathers and little outfits. Same thing will happen to you as happens to all gimmicks… the intrigue ends and we forget you. At least until we get you watch your psychotic break :)

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