Demi Lovato: Britney Spears and I ‘have a connection’

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Almost as soon as it was announced that pop stars Demi Lovato, 19, and Britney Spears, 30, would be sitting on the judges' panel of Fox's other singing competition show "The X Factor," rumors swirled that the two did not get along. "It's War!" Star magazine declared on its cover, claiming that a source revealed that Demi "thinks Britney is a twit, and Britney thinks Demi is beneath her." But in the new issue of Self, Lovato, explains a very different relationship with her fellow former child star who, like her, began her career on the Disney Channel and later faced some very public struggles. Who can forget Spears' 2007 meltdown involving the paparazzi and an umbrella, or the 2008 hospitalization that led to her father's conservatorship? Lovato famously had a physical altercation with a dancer on her 2010 tour with the Jonas Brothers that prompted her to enter rehab for bulimia and cutting. "We've gone through a lot of the same things, so we have a connection," Lovato says, adding that Spears is "a sweet girl."

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Lovato — who's been very candid about her troubles — opens up about them once again in the interview, where she answers questions from the magazine's readers, including one about what exactly was going through her mind when she was cutting herself. "There were times I felt so anxious, almost like I was crawling out of my skin, that if I didn't do something physical to match the way I felt inside, I would explode," she says. "I cut myself to take my mind off that. I just didn't care what happened. I had no fear."

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Fortunately, the former "Sonny With a Chance" star insists she's in a much stronger, healthier place now. And her exercise regimen is pretty impressive! "I work out five or six days a week for my peace of mind, not to lose weight," she says. "I switch it up. I'll run a few miles or bike [roughly 4.5 miles] from Santa Monica to Marina del Ray. I also love boxing or, when I'm sore, yoga." Staying mentally focused is also a priority. "Sometimes I'll do full-out meditations, where I chant with my instructor. It helps me connect to how I'm feeling."

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Read Lovato's full interview in the August issue of Self, on newsstands July 24.

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