07/13/2007 at 01:00 PM EDT
As the saying goes, "When in Rome . . ." Well, when in Amsterdam, Kelly Clarkson
partook in a (legal) local activity: She ate a marijuana cookie.
"It was in Amsterdam," the singer, 25, tells USA Weekend
magazine in a new interview. "It is legal there, and it is not legal here. I don't ever do anything illegal here."
Clarkson adds: "I have never smoked anything in my life. I've never tried any drugs. I wouldn't do anything that would cause holes in your brain or your nasal cavity. Call me Texan, but I don't think of marijuana like that."
Ever since the Amsterdam experiment the singer says she's been "oregano-free."
Similarly candid during the chat, Clarkson opens up about the tumultuous times that inspired her new record My December,
its unfavorable response at her label and her body image.
Of the latter, Clarkson explains, "I have never been to a point where I have been so unhappy that I have said to myself: 'Oh God, you are fat!' I don't allow myself to go there."
Still, Clarkson admits to feeling a lot of pressure while writing My December,
inspired by a breakup – her boyfriend was cheating on her, she reveals – and the stress of a long tour plagued by illness.
"Everything caught up with me in a bad way," she tells USA Weekend.
"My body was wearing down, and my emotions were wearing down."
Life became worse for Clarkson, she says, when she submitted her album to her label RCA in January and earned, well, not the response she expected. She has already spoken publicly about her disagreements with label head Clive Davis. But as she tells it in the new interview: "I'm going to be real honest with you: I am not a fan [of Davis]...I do respect him, but I don't want to barbecue with him. We don't braid each other's hair. And, despite the rumors, he is nowhere near a father figure."
Despite darker moments in her life though – and her recent career hiccups including the firing
of her longtime manager and cancellation
of her summer tour – Clarkson still feels confident and comfortable with her position.
"I used to live paycheck to paycheck," she says in the interview. "Now I am set for life."