"What's funny is, I didn't start off the project wanting to bare my soul in print," Lopez, 44, told PEOPLE backstage at the Las Vegas MGM Grand after becoming the first female recipient of the Icon Award at Sunday's Billboard Music Awards.
"It started off as a diary of the year I went on tour … and when I was on the road, it became something else," she said. "I really surprised myself, and I realized, 'Oh my god, I'm writing this book.' "
A portion of the book's proceeds will benefit The Lopez Family Foundation, which aims to improve the health and well-being of women and children.
Though the songstress admits that she was nervous about putting certain things on the page, she came to realize doing so could save others from suffering their own bumps and bruises.
"Even to this day, I think, 'Do I put this book out there?' " she said. "I did a lot of soul searching and praying, because I don't ever want it to be mistaken for anything other than it was, which is sharing something I learned with people I could help."
As a result, fans of the American Idol host may be surprised by some of the book's revelations.
"I changed a lot as a person," Lopez said in reference to the past few years, which included her 2012 split from Marc Anthony after nearly eight years of marriage.
"It was a very transformative moment in my life. I had gone through a lot of changes and then confronting fears of having never toured and being a mom on my own. It was a real shellshock time for me."
Still, Lopez has no regrets.
"I wouldn't change anything," Lopez told PEOPLE earlier this month. "Because it made me who I am."