The singer opens up about "extreme joy, extreme pain," and having the last word in her songs

By Joey Bartolomeo
Updated October 20, 2010 08:00 AM

Taylor Swift does not like talking about her personal life.

Singing about it is another story.

“I will say everything in my music,” says the 20-year-old country star. And the past two years of her life – a period that included failed relationships with Joe Jonas and Taylor Lautner (and, apparently, some drama with John Mayer) – gave her plenty of material for her emotionally charged new album Speak Now, out Oct. 25.

“There’s been extreme joy, extreme pain, extreme curveballs,” Swift tells PEOPLE in the new issue, available on newsstands Friday. “Sometimes when things impact you so intensely, it takes writing a song to get over them.”

Love, she says, keeps her at once confused and fascinated. But as much as guys inspire her music, Swift doesn’t obsess over her relationship status: “Being single is wonderful and I love it. I don’t ever have a morning where I wake up and say, ‘I really need to find a boyfriend today.'”

Read more about Swift’s life now and her new album and in the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday