"You learn to try to not be so hard on yourself," Menzel told PEOPLE of what she learned from her divorce

By Michael Miller
Updated September 26, 2016 02:30 PM

Idina Menzel is opening up about her divorce from Taye Diggs, and revealing how the painful split helped inspire her new album.

Menzel, 45, who recently announced her engagement to actor Aaron Lohr, sat down with PEOPLE Now, and got candid about the influence her breakup had on her first original studio album in 8 years, Idina.

“You learn to try to not be so hard on yourself,” she said of what the split has taught her. Diggs and Menzel separated in 2013 after 10 years of marriage.

Specifically, Menzel said she learned to forgive herself for putting her son, Walker Nathaniel Diggs, now 7, through the divorce.

“You have a lot of regret with a child, feeling like you’re failing them in some way and not giving them the idealistic scenario,” she explained.

The song “Perfect Story” from the new album was written about those feelings, and Menzel said the song is still emotional for her to perform.

“I sang it for the first time onstage last night, in front of an audience,” she said. “I didn’t want to start crying.”

Check out the video above to hear more about Menzel’s new album and what she learned from her divorce.