Mary Sarah celebrated more than just her 22nd birthday on July 7: It was also the release date for her single "Without You," the first music she has released since she appeared on The Voice during the show's 10th season. And the rising country starlet isn't just singing about living life on her own -- she's practicing what she preaches. Mary Sarah recently moved in to her very first apartment.

"It’s truly crazy to look at my life and remember that, not too long ago, I was venting to my mom about getting my own place, paying my own bills (WHO WANTS THAT) and just becoming more independent. And now, I am doing all those things," Mary Sarah tells The Boot. "I continually do things by myself all the time: movies, dinner -- I mean, heck, I just went to paint pottery by myself the other night! Finding who you are and what you love is all about taking time for yourself. And, not just taking that time to find yourself but, loving yourself."

That's not a lesson that Mary Sarah came by easily, however. She went through the breakup of a long-term relationship right in the midst of some major career moves that required her full focus.

"When you try so hard to make things work, you start to lose yourself. If you give more than the person you’re giving to [does], it will drain you. And, that’s what it did," Mary Sarah explains. "We broke up in a very important point of my career, and I couldn’t afford to waste time thinking about him and how much I had lost myself. Forced sounds like a strong word, but, honestly, the situation I had been in forced me to realize that I could either choose to mourn about it or move on and focus on the positive: finding myself again. And that’s what I did."

That process of finding herself led Mary Sarah to a new network of people in Nashville who contributed to "Without You," including David Garcia, Mike Walker and Bart Butler. The singer says that the group just clicked, and magic happened.

"When you have a great vibe and direction in the writing room, it’s not too hard to finish a song," she notes. "We only had one session because it all just flowed."

"Without You" emerged as a reflection of Mary Sarah as a person, so it was easy to select it as a single.

"I have many songs that could’ve been 'it,' but this song stuck out to me. I relate to each lyric, and I felt that this song could inspire others just like it helped me move on," Mary Sarah says. "What we wanted to accomplish with this song was a reflection of who I am, lyrically, musically, etc. I grew up listening to traditional country music, but as I grew up, I was introduced to different genres and new music. Our goal was to accomplish a great mixture between the two."

Mary Sarah's new apartment does the same thing: It captures who she is becoming as an individual -- a little bit traditional and a little bit modern-day diva. It's got hardwood floors, an old-fashioned elevator and original cabinetry -- oh, and plenty of storage for her wardrobe. The little girl from Oklahoma who grew up chasing her musical dreams is now in Music City, officially, and building a life all her own.

"I spent a lot of time looking for places, but when I came across my place, I knew it was the one ... I am a fan of the old mixed with the new, and I think my place reflects that," Mary Sarah shares. "I mean it couldn’t be more me! I was raised in a small town with big dreams, and the apartment makes me feel like I’m in New York but still have the smaller Nashville vibe! ... Overall, it has a cozy feel, and I love it!"

Although she's "in a different place" than when she wrote "Without You," the meaning of the song hasn't changed for Mary Sarah: "When I hear the song, it makes me think back to when I chose, for myself, that I was good without him," she says. "It’s an empowering song for me, and I hope it is for every person that hears it."

"Without You" is available now for download. Check out Mary Sarah's website for current tour dates and more info.

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