The third season of VH1’s addiction reality show Celebrity Rehab promises to be a doozy when it kicks off in January. This time out, Rehab-ers include former country star Mindy McCready, Mackenzie Phillips, Kari Ann Peniche (of McSteamy nude-tape fame), Heidi Fleiss, and Tom Sizemore.

McCready — who endured a major downfall after her multi-platinum breakthrough in the mid ’90s, complete with jail terms and suicide attempts — tells EW that it was quite an experience. Though she says she went on CR just to get “a big fat check,” she now credits the three and a half weeks she spent taping it this summer with saving her life. “I have put myself in harm’s way in almost every relationship I’m in,” she says. “I know now. I am a beacon for anybody that wants to take advantage of me.” She’s also come away with a fresh perspective on the scale of her problems, thanks to the misadventures of her CR cohorts. “I thought I was the most messed-up person on the planet,” McCready says. “I’m not even close.” During the show’s friends-and-family weekend, McCready sang a song she wrote in jail called “I’m Still Here.” Witnesses say it was phenomenal. Even Tom Sizemore cried.

For much more on Mindy McCready, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, October 16