updated 10/05/2006 AT 8:50 PM ET
•originally published 10/06/2006 AT 6:00 AM ET
Almost six months after being cancer-free, Sheryl Crow is “the happiest I’ve been in years.” The singer, who’s touring the U.S. with John Mayer, says that having breast cancer redefined her life. “I think it was a great release for me, just going through the experience. It s what you do with the experience that really defines who you become.”
So, how is she different now? “I let go of a lot of the pressure I used to put on myself. I was very self-critical and I also was a person who would never say no to anything,” she told us a recent Estée Lauder breast-cancer benefit in Beverly Hills. “I was conscious at all times of making sure everybody was happy before myself, and now I ve just made it a practice to say ‘no’ once a day, just for the exercise of it!