Sheryl Crow on Her 'Devastating' Struggles With Fame and What Her Life's Like Now (Exclusive)

ET spoke with Crow ahead of the release of her new documentary and album.

Sheryl Crow is getting real about mental health. ET's Lauren Zima paid a visit to the singer's farm in Nashville, where she opened up about her struggles with fame and how her relationship with being famous has evolved over the years.

"I think we've gotten better about talking about our mental health. I mean, certainly we've seen... This past year has been an incredible illustration of how fragile our mental health is. And I think we're starting to enter a really healthy place where it's OK to speak about the struggles and the chemical struggles," Crow, who has often spoken about the subject, said. "I think the way I am made, is what has propagated my art. It's made me want to be an artist. But at the same time, it's also been something I've struggled with."

She continued, "The really high highs, the really low lows. And it's a work in progress at all times, but at least I'm aware of what it means to be in the throes of either one of those, and to figure out how to center myself."

It may be easier for her to talk about it now, but those conversations were even harder for artists like Crow to have just 10 or 20 years go. 

"If people talked about mental struggles, then there was something really wrong with you, and you were damaged, you were damaged goods," Crow said. "And I think now we're seeing that, not just famous people and not just people who are achieving, but people all across every walk of life, including our children, struggle. We need to have a dialogue that is constant and empathetic."

While making her documentary, Sheryl, the songstress looked back on not only her struggles with mental health, but with fame.

"It's an interesting thing for me. Making this documentary felt like I was revisiting somebody else's life," Crow said of the Showtime doc. "It's so odd now when I think about it, because this morning I got up, I took my kids to school. I have a sick horse, so we had to schedule our horse being put down tomorrow. This is my life now, and I love my life."

She continued, "When I think about before moving here and adopting my children -- I had parties for the Rolling Stones at my house. John Travolta would be there, Gwyneth. That was my life, and my life revolved around being in that world, and I loved it. There was a lot of pressure that went along with being an artist, entering my forties and everybody on the radio being in their teens, this was during the Britney, Christina Aguilera, and there I am turning 40. Then suddenly you're not relevant anymore."

The "If It Makes You Happy" singer likened fame to a coat of paint that starts cracking as soon as it's applied.

"Once you start seeing the cracks and experiencing what those cracks mean, it's devastating," she said. "If you're a sensitive person, it's almost like you've been invited to the cool party and then suddenly you're not invited anymore, and it's no fault of your own. It's just a weird mindset."

While navigating fame has taken Crow on quite the winding road, the documentary has allowed her to look back on those times and look on them fondly, knowing that "everything has turned out great."

"[It's] really wonderful to be able to look back on those times and experience them from a distance, with the joy that I have now and knowing that everything has turned out great. It would be a different story, obviously, if things weren't the way they are now. But what an incredible time," she shared, noting that "fame, there's no handbook for it. So there's no way to know how you're going to respond to it."

Crow's life looks drastically different these days. She lives on a farm in Nashville with her two teenage boys, and while she's thousands of miles away from the spotlight, there's still plenty of friends from her time in Hollywood that she still keeps in contact with.

"I still have dear friends. Obviously, Laura Dern's in the movie and she will always be family to me," she said of her close relationship with the Big Little Lies actress. "I have so many friends in Los Angeles. I lived there for years, and they're friends that if I don't see them for a year, they're still...We pick up where we left off."

Though her day-to-day has changed, Crow's not totally divorced from fame. In addition to her upcoming holiday movie -- When Christmas Was Young -- she has a new album coming out, that will be a mix of her old hits and a few new tracks too.

"It's been really humbling," Crow said of making the album. "I mean, it's just crazy to know how a song like 'All I Want to Do' that I didn't think was really that important of a song, took us to Russia. It took us to South America. It took us to Japan, and people that don't sing or don't speak English, were singing that song. And now, being able to write songs like 'Forever,' which is on the soundtrack and still [feel] the same about what's happening right now, just the gift of that is so cool."

And to feel like, OK, that song that's new, that no one's heard, is as important to me as 'All I Want to Do' was," she added. "It's a cool feeling."

Hear more of Crow's story when Sheryl hits Showtime May 6.