Jewel is certainly gutsy: The singer, songwriter and author recently penned her latest book, Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story -- a memoir that covers her challenging upbringing in Alaska, homelessness followed by a meteoric rise to stardom, a marriage, a child and a painful divorce. But she says that writing the book was cathartic.

"I don’t share everything," Jewel tells The Boot. "It’s certainly not a tell-all. There’s a lot I leave out, but I shared enough to hopefully achieve the point of the book, which for me was, what do you have to go through, and then how much do you go through and how do you rise from that? I didn’t really share enough of what I went through, how I healed from it -- that wouldn’t have been very relevant or significant -- but I shared enough. I tried to keep it in my lane, keep it about myself."

The same week that her memoir came out, Jewel also released a new album, Picking Up the Pieces. The record showcases the singer's first foray into producing by herself, although she admits that wasn't her first choice.

"It was a little nerve-wracking," Jewel acknowledges. "At first, I had Paul Worley on the project. He backed out, and I was so upset at him. He was like, ‘You’re the only one that can do it. You’re going to thank me later.’

"I ended up thanking him later," she continues. "It was a good experience. I didn’t want to be interpreted by anybody; I didn’t want to have the filter of somebody else’s interpretation. This forced me to just be myself."

The Alaska native took plenty of risks in recording Picking Up the Pieces -- which she says made her sing better than ever.

"I did this record kind of old fashioned, where we put mics in the room, and we put drums a certain distance from this mic. We mixed it live," Jewel explains. "I played guitar and sang live in one take, basically like on stage. That way, there was danger, and I sing better that way. It’s a real emotional performance when everyone’s feeling and following.

"It was very raw and very emotional," she adds. "I sing better on it than I think I’ve sung on any other record. We just recorded it live, in one take. I sing better that way. I don’t do well in the studio; I never have. I don’t know why; I just don’t sound like myself. So I think I got around a lot of that with how I recorded this one. It’s a really gutsy record."

Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story is available on Amazon, and Picking Up the Pieces is available for purchase via Amazon and iTunes.