Jana Kramer looks back on her teenage years: 'I was always trying to get people to like me'

It's impossible to dislike Jana Kramer. The country star, actress and new mom is, by all accounts, a total sweetheart -- and gorgeous to boot. But as a teenager, the Michigan native struggled to find her sense of self-worth.

In high school, "I was always trying to get people to like me," she told AOL Entertainment, speaking quietly into the phone as her 1-year-old, Jolie, napped. "I just wish I could go back and tell my young self, 'Don't chase love.' I know that sounds super cheesy, but back then, I always wanted to be loved so bad. I was always chasing it in the wrong ways."

Omg @marienowicki look at us. #throwbackthursday #bestfriend #freshmanyear

A post shared by Jana Kramer (@kramergirl) on

It's a lesson that took a long time to learn, and the journey inspired her new single, "I've Done Love," which drops Friday.

"I've never been drunk; I've never touched a drug," she said. But love: "I've done it hard. I've swam in the deep end."

The 33-year-old is open with fans about her rocky past relationships, which have included domestic abuse, two divorces and a separation. But she finds solace, she said, in music: "I feel like I'm not alone, which is why I love songs," she said. "I really hope that someone else can relate to ['I've Done Love'], too."

Balancing her career and a baby leaves Kramer little time to spare, so she's found creative solutions to everyday problems: She FaceTimes her trainer for short fitness sessions while Jolie is sleeping, and she makes sure her purses are always stocked for any type of emergency.

"The U By Kotex Fitness tampon has a FitPack -- it's discreet, it's a little pouch," she said. "I keep that in my purses; that way, I don't have tampons all flying around."

17 PHOTOS
Jana Kramer's Instagram
See Gallery
Jana Kramer's Instagram
#ad Nothing says strength quite like a #DesignerSmile. I'm smiling through the new year with @OpticWhite. Who's with me?!
Merry Christmas!!!!!!! I hope everyone has a beautiful day filled with so much love and joy. (Photo by @brookekellyphotography)
Have finally taken advantage of Jolie's naps to sit down and read my favorite authors new book. I'm almost done and @emilygiffinauthor you have done it again....what an incredible book. There's a reason you are my favorite author. Your books have made me cry, feel hopeful, examine my own life, and truthfully a nice escape at times too. For anyone needing a new book do yourself a favor and pick up this book. Better yet any of her books. I highly recommend them all!!! #naptimebookclub #momtime
Last minute stocking stuffer idea!! The #busygirlbangle is my favorite and makes the perfect gift. Even better, it’s 40% off with promo code BangleBuy. @gogirldesigns
Last night in Cabo with my gorgeous mommas ! @bethp11 @andrea_pintar_rothe @kvwoodard
Already into Momma's shoes. I turn away for ONE second. But thanks baby girl helping momma pack for her girls trip!
Vegas you were so fun! Thanks to @diamondresorts for being family.
Hangin out with my favorite human in New York #friendssincehighschool90210 #bff #winks
And that's a wrap!!!! #chopped @chefmarcmurphy @gzchef
It’s #cybermonday and it’s the last day to get my favorite hair tie bracelet 40% off. Promo code BusyBuy. @gogirldesigns #busygirlbangle
Too busy to shop but hitting up @reebok online to snag some fitness swag for some of my fav peeps this season! #sp
Having major @dancingabc withdrawals! I miss @glebsavchenkoofficial and the whole crew and all the friends I made! I will say it's nice to not be nervous today or freaking out that I'm gonna forget the steps or fall. I sure as hell miss everyone though!!!! Who misses watching?!?!
Behind the scenes photoshoot with @fordfairchild styling by @stylelvr & @tarrynfeldman #circles
Hanging with my best friend backstage before the show. She's loving the 70s wall paper!!
Summerfest you were ahhhhmazing!!!! #treehillcentral
FEED ME MOM! #mygirl #circles
My world....my girl. @brookekellyphotography #circles
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story