Lindsey Stirling Wrote 'Survive' to 'Empower' Her Broken-Hearted Self After Ex Cheated on Her for 'Months' (Exclusive)

Stirling released her latest studio album, 'Duality' on Friday

<p>Heather Koepp</p> Lindsey Stirling

Heather Koepp

Lindsey Stirling
  • Lindsey Stirling released her latest studio album, Duality, on Friday

  • Stirling's song on the album titled "Survive" was a last-minute addition when she found out her boyfriend had been cheating on her for months

  • The pop violinist says the album is about "balance" and embracing different parts of yourself

Lindsey Stirling is in her empowerment era.

On Friday, June 14, the pop-violinist released her latest album Duality. In light of its release, Stirling opened up to PEOPLE about the introspective thinking that led to the record — and revealed why her song "Survive" was an anchor after a tough breakup.

"I found out my boyfriend had been cheating on me for months. He had another girlfriend. It was wild," Stirling, 37, tells PEOPLE exclusively.

Adding, "When I found out, it's funny, I had just broken up with him because I couldn't figure out why I didn't feel good about our relationship. Then I find this out literally days later. I had just enough time to write one last song for my album. The album was basically being turned in and I was like, 'Ah, I want to write one more song.'"

Stirling went to the studio and "wrote the song that I wanted to feel" — and that's how "Survive" was born. (She also released a music video for it on Friday.).

Related: Lindsey Stirling's 'Opportunity of Lifetime' — Tours NASA Amid Plans to Send First Woman to Moon

"At the moment, I was just absolutely crushed. I was devastated. I felt broken, but I was like, 'No, I don't want to write a song about feeling broken. I want to write a song about feeling strong in spite of being hurt, and moving through it and knowing that I will be OK'" she says.

Deep down, Stirling — who loves "a good breakup anthem" — knew she'd eventually get to a good place. Now in that better place, Stirling wanted to give her "ladies" a sense of hope.

"I'm so glad that I wrote the way I wanted to feel rather than the way I felt, because now I'm here. I've done the therapy. I've done the work," she says. "I've cried so many tears and now I get to be like, 'Hey, I actually am so much better off without you in my life. If you were going to hurt me like that, and if you were that kind of a person, thank heavens I found out.'"

On June 10, Stirling shared a snippet of the song on Instagram and revealed, "Right after I discovered my (ex) boyfriend had been cheating on me for 7 months, his lawyer called and threatened me with defamation if I said anything. So.... I wrote a song."

Since then, she has not spoken to or seen him — and he "doesn't affect me anymore."

"I'm hoping someday I'll be like, 'I hope he's happy.' That is not today, and that's OK," she says.

On the album as a whole, Stirling says it mirrors the idea of being "conflicted internally" and "balance."

<p>Concord Records</p> Duality cover art

Concord Records

Duality cover art

Related: Lindsey Stirling Honors Her Late Father with Moving Routine on 'Dancing with the Stars:' 'I Felt Like I Was Dancing with My Dad'' '

"It's about learning how to honor all the different parts of yourself," she explains. "I was just thinking the other day about how I'm constantly working on finding the balance between the part of me that just wants to hold onto life so tightly, make it happen exactly the way that I want it to and never give up."

She continues, "There's also the part of you that knows that sometimes the universe may know what's better for you than you know what you need. And sometimes there's a lot that comes from trusting and letting go and allowing life to let you flow."

The violinist — who got her start on America's Got Talent in 2010 — hopes that people "can love all the different pieces of themselves" when they're listening to the album.

"I hope that it kind of makes people be like, 'Yeah, I can love and honor all the different pieces of myself. But at the same time, I can choose who I want to be today, based on all those pieces,'" Stirling, who will embark on her North American Duality Tour in July, says.

Duality is out now.

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