By Erin Strecker
January 04, 2012 at 06:26 PM EST
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Demi Lovato is ringing in the New Year by opening up to Seventeen about her troubled past and her bright hopes for 2012.

The “Skyscraper” singer tells the magazine, “I’m not going to lie, I was self-medicating. I was doing things like drinking and using [drugs], like a lot of teens do to numb their pain.”

I’ll admit, I did a double-take reading over the quotes and realizing they were coming from a Disney-bred star in a teen mag, not words from a revealing Vanity Fair interview with an aging rocker.

Kudos to Lovato for being honest. It’s no secret she was in a rough place for a while: She checked into a treatment center last winter, after a tumultuous few months that played out in public, and in January 2011 acknowledged that she had completed treatment for “undisclosed emotional and physical issues.” She later revealed she was battling anorexia, bulimia, and bipolar disorder.

She’s had quite the comeback, however, releasing her third album Unbroken this past September, which landed her a Top 10 debut (“Skyscraper”), her first. She also recently sang the National Anthem at the World Series and (rightly) took on her former network over insensitive eating-disorder jokes.

Lovato seems well aware of her role-model status among impressionable teens, so it’s nice to see the 19-year-old tell the magazine that now, “I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, I don’t throw up after my meals, I don’t starve myself. There’s nothing that I do that I feel ashamed of,” and “I think sober is sexy. It’s cool. I think it’s way cooler to be above the influence than under the influence.”

Lovato also opens up about the specifics of how she was able to get better. The interview touches on her support system during her trying 2011: friends (and fellow teen-pop queens) Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. Despite rumors of a falling out with Cyrus, Lovato says, “There are two people that no matter how many times we fight, we will always be in each other’s lives. [Miley Cyrus and I] are strong-headed. Selena [Gomez] and I, we never fight.”

Readers: Think it was the right move for Lovato to go on record with her troubles to a teen mag? How do you think she’s handled something as private as recovery being played out in the public eye?

Read more:

Demi Lovato covers Lil Wayne’s ‘How to Love’ in NYC: Watch it here

Demi Lovato’s hair makes a run for it in concert: Watch the video here

Demi Lovato sings National Anthem at World Series Game 5: Watch the video here