Alana Springsteen Wants to 'Get It Right' on Part One of Debut Album 'Twenty Something: Messing It Up'

"I've been on this journey of really getting to know myself. Your 20s can be an emotional rollercoaster, and I processed all of that in stages," the country singer-songwriter tells PEOPLE

Lily Nelson Alana Springsteen
Lily Nelson Alana Springsteen

Alana Springsteen isn't afraid to make a mistake.

And, for a 22-year-old woman still just beginning what is an already successful career, both literally and figuratively "messing it up" can be scary.

But Springsteen, who hails from Virginia Beach, is choosing to embrace that uncertainty and the inevitable volatility of her 20s, and she's doing so with a six-song collection that constitutes part one of her debut album.

"The past two years have been so eye-opening. I've been on this journey of really getting to know myself, and your 20s can be an emotional rollercoaster," Springsteen shares exclusively with PEOPLE. "There's a lot of things that happen. You're taking chances, really getting to know yourself for the first time. And I've just been writing my way through it."

Courtesy Columbia Records NY/Sony Music Nashville
Courtesy Columbia Records NY/Sony Music Nashville

Messing It Up, which is available everywhere now, is about "all of the missteps," says Springsteen. "We're not perfect and that's honestly OK."

Twenty Something serves as the title for the overarching album, with three parts chronicling Springsteen's journey through those years.

For the debut's debut, those mistakes Springsteen makes (and sings about) look and sound a lot like the mistakes of many twenty-somethings.

"So far I've messed it up most when it comes to matters of the heart, falling for the wrong guys, missing red flags. There's times when I'm making mistakes and feeling like I'm doing everything wrong and not trusting my gut," she reveals. "And then I have periods where I'm figuring things out, and hopefully all of that leads to moments where you're just getting it right and you're living in the moment."

Lily Nelson Alana Springsteen
Lily Nelson Alana Springsteen

Related:Alana Springsteen on Creating History of Breaking Up (Part 2): 'I Just Started Pouring My Heart Out'

As for the decision to divide the album into thirds, Springsteen says she processed everything that's happened to her in "stages. So I thought it would make sense to bring fans along that journey with me and break it down into these different parts."

Though Springsteen admits she falls for the wrong guys, heartbreak has so far served as perhaps the most powerful inspiration of all. Referencing her hit song "Me Myself and Why," Springsteen explains that she was "in the thick" of heartbreak.

Lily Nelson Alana Springsteen
Lily Nelson Alana Springsteen

To now look at the lead track on Messing It Up, called "You Don't Deserve a Country Song," Springsteen is met with a completely different version of herself — one in a "really good place" for the first time after that breakup.

"I just had this perspective of, 'You know what? I'm not going to let this person take any more than they've already taken from me.' I would say Messing It Up is from a more self-aware, mature place, even to the point of recognizing my own part in those relationships ending," she admits. "It takes two people a lot of times to get things wrong and it's on both sides, and I'm coming face to face with that."

With the release of part one of the album also comes a music video for track four, titled "Goodbye Looks Good on You," which is a collaboration with fellow country star Mitchell Tenpenny.

"I came in with the title 'Goodbye Looks Good on You.' But I was originally hearing it more like you break up with somebody — you regret it and you're like, 'You look really good and I miss you, and goodbye looks good on you,'" Springsteen explains. "And Mitchell was like, 'What if we do this in a way where it's kind of a positive spin on a breakup — you realize it was for the best and you're able to just walk away and be friends and be truly happy for each other?'"

The rest is history for the two former tour-mates, and the result is a fresh take on a relationship end.

And, while Springsteen is currently wrapping up The Barstool Whiskey Wonderland Tour with Adam Doleac, she's set to head back out on the road with Luke Bryan this summer.

Related:Alana Springsteen Celebrates Her 22nd Birthday — and Makes Her Grand Ole Opry Debut! See the Photos

Springsteen has a long history of admiration for Bryan — the first time she toured the Grand Old Opry at just 10 years old, Bryan was performing, and 12 years later, he was the one to personally tell Springsteen she'd be making her Opry debut on her 22nd birthday.

It was Springsteen's Nana, however, who got to deliver the news that she'd be heading out on tour with the "One Margarita" singer.

"She came into town over the holidays and I hadn't heard about this tour happening yet, and my manager told my Nana off to the side. So we're sitting around the dinner table and she's blessing the food and she's like, 'And Lord, I just thank you so much that Alana's going to get to go tour with Luke Bryan,'" Springsteen recalls of the sweet surprise.

"She's somebody that I just look up to and admire in so many ways, and that moment was real and so cool," she notes.

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Looking ahead, parts two and three of Twenty Something are due to follow Messing It Up, and Springsteen promises that there's more honesty (and power) where the first batch came from.

"Part two is also just getting to know myself. And a lot of these songs still, to this day when I listen, make me a little uncomfortable," she says. "But I actually think that's a good thing because your 20s can be messy, but this is the part of life that makes me stronger."

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