Kaitlyn Bristowe is opening up about her deeply personal new song, "If I'm Being Honest."
The 34-year-old former Bachelorette star released the country music tune on Thursday, and talked to ET's Lauren Zima all about how the song came about. Bristowe said she wrote the song just over a year and a half ago, right before she and her ex-fiance, Shawn Booth, broke up. Bristowe and Booth got engaged at the end of her season of The Bachelorette in 2015, though they split in 2018.
"Actually, it was right before the breakup," Bristowe tells ET about the mindset she was in while she wrote the song. "Nobody had known that Shawn and I had broken up yet and it was kinda right before that in that time. ... I recorded the song the day that the news came out of our breakup and so it was kind of important for me to show my own resilience to myself because all I wanted to do was lay in bed and cry that day."
"My dad was in town from Canada, being there for me and I was like, 'You get your butt out of bed. This is something that you need to do, you committed to it and it's going to be so empowering,'" she continues. "My dad came with me and we just sat in that studio and I laughed and I cried and I recorded that song. So, I think also when I hear it back, I'm like, 'Wow, you have a lot of emotion in that.'"
Bristowe shared that she did not reach out to 32-year-old Booth before releasing the song, though she did reach out to him when she found out through Instagram that his dog, Tucker, had died.
"I did reach out but he didn't respond, which is fine," she says. "I didn't even really think about giving him a heads up for the song because he knew in that moment that I was writing that and that it was going to eventually come out at some time, and it's not really relevant to that situation anymore and it's more about the times we're in now. So, I didn't think it was really necessary."
Bristowe explained that the song has taken on a new light amid the tough times we're all living in amid the coronavirus pandemic, which is why she decided to finally release it.
"I think when I wrote it, it was kind of in a time where I was feeling really connected to the importance of strength in a tough time," she recalls. "I was going through a hard time when I wrote it and since then, the song felt a little dated in my mind, because I had just gone through so much and I'm in such a good place and it just was kinda on the back burner. But then listening to the lyrics again, I think isolation plays a part with mental health. We're all kinda going through something hard together, we're being so vulnerable with each other and how we're feeling."
"I was listening to the lyrics and I'm like, wow, this actually applies to so many people and how we're all feeling right now, so I was like, why not release it?" she continues. "I'm a big 'What if?' guy, which I need to stop that because I'm like, what if what if, and I'm like, no, if isolation and quarantine has taught us anything, it's the importance of time and the importance of connection and people connect through music."
Bristowe said dropping the song now feels completely right.
"Timing to me is everything," she says. "I mean, yeah, there's part of me where I'm like, 'What was I so afraid of?' I should have released it earlier. But I'm glad I waited and now it has a whole new meaning to everyone else."
The reality star has definitely been opening up to her fans more than ever lately. Earlier this month, she revealed on the first episode of her new digital show, 9 to Wine With Kaitlyn Bristowe, that she was addicted to Valium and weighed 93 pounds when she was 27 years old. Of course, these days, she is in a much better place in life. But she has no regrets about opening up about the struggles she's been through.
"Each part of my life has been dramatic chapters where I went through this crazy breakup in my 20s and all this emotional heavy stuff happened in life and then going on [The Bachelor] and then coming off of that, being engaged and going through another breakup, and now feeling established in my career and all these things," she reflects. "Every chapter has been so different and I love documenting everything and I knew I would want to look back at this time in my life. I just know that I am an open book and I talk about my feelings all the time. I'm very open about struggling with anxiety or depression or just things I'm going through in life."
"I probably overshare but I see the importance about talking about mental health and just struggles and coming out of it on the other side because I think it can empower or inspire somebody else out there that's listening," she adds. "I'm very grateful and lucky to have a platform to do that."
Bristowe has been dating fellow Bachelor Nation star Jason Tartick for more than a year now. The two live in Nashville together and share two golden retrievers, Ramen and Pinot. Last June, Bristowe talked to ET about their healthy relationship.
"I didn't realize a relationship could be this easy and that I could be this happy with somebody," she said. "It's just so easy. We just have a really healthy relationship, healthy communication, and we build each other up."
Meanwhile, 31-year-old Tartick told ET, "The crazy thing about this whole Bachelor world is that it guts you up and opens you up, and you talk about everything and anything, and become comfortable in yourself and your emotions. I think that's why you see so many people in the franchise have relationships, whether it's via podcast or on the show or Bachelor in Paradise or whatever. ... We were just so open. We know what we want, we know what we don't want, and yeah, we're here."