Kelly Clarkson is using music to get her through a challenging time. On Monday's episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, the 38-year-old host revealed the Garth Brooks song that's helping her cope amid her divorce from Brandon Blackstock. Clarkson and Blackstock announced their split earlier this year and share two kids, River, 6, and Remington, 4. Blackstock is also dad to two children from a previous relationship.
While she was having feelings of "shame and guilt" as a result of her split, Clarkson told Brooks that she was working through book recommendations from friends when she rediscovered his 1989 song, "The Dance," which she's known her "entire life."
"I'm glad I didn't know / The way it all would end / The way it all would go / Our lives are better left to chance / I could have missed the pain / But I'da had to miss / The dance," Brooks sings on the track.
"I couldn't quite nail down the feeling. You don't want to crap on it. You don't want to say, 'That didn't count or matter,' but you don't know what to put in it because it didn't work out how you wanted," Clarkson said of her breakup. "Anyway, I kid you not, I was listening to my playlist and 'The Dance' came on and I was like, 'No, that's the thing. That's it!'"
"... I sang that song from childhood and it never hit me. [When] it hit me I was literally bawling. I was like, 'It's not so bad. It was worth it.' Because it is true," she added. "I think a lot of people who go through such a devastating [experience], there's a lot of grief with it, a lot of loss, and a lot of change, especially with kids."
While Clarkson said the books her friends and family recommended "were helpful," the song just hit differently.
"I was listening in my room and just [sobbing] when I was listening to 'The Dance'... It was the whole point. I got the point," she said. "I think sometimes that's so crazy. You don't know that's gonna happen. You've known this song your entire life and you freak out when it actually is a direct impact."
The song affected Clarkson so much that it served as inspiration for a track of her own.
"It's not like your song, it's not a rip off, but I literally wrote this whole thing therapeutically for me, it's actually on my next album, the whole come around, the little tag part is, 'Even though my heart is broken / It was worth the dance anyway,'" she shared.
When ET's Rachel Smith spoke to Clarkson in October, the singer called the divorce process "sh**ty," and opened up about its impact on her kids.
"There's a lot of hearts involved here... The thing that's been kind of hard to navigate is I am an open book, but at some point, I'm a mama bear more than I am a person in the public eye," Clarkson told ET. "So, I care 100 percent more about my children than I do anything else on this planet."
"So, that's been the hard thing of, like, yes, I'm willing to share my experience and yes, it is the worst," she continued. "I mean, the past few months have been horribly sad. But at the same time, I have to think, 'Hmmm, what I say has a domino effect in other people's lives.'"