Jessica Simpson Describes Her 'Therapy'

08/07/2010 at 10:05 AM EDT

Jessica Simpson Describes Her 'Therapy'
Jessica Simpson
Gregg DeGuire/PictureGroup
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger: That's one lesson Jessica Simpson has taken to heart.

After some rough patches, the star who recently turned 30 and is dating former NFL player Eric Johnson, finally feels on top of the world.

"I'm very happy. Right now in my life, I'm the most confident I've ever been. I can make that statement," she told PEOPLE candidly at a private dinner in L.A. this week celebrating her appearance on September cover of Lucky magazine.

Yes, it's been a road of ups and downs, but the star – who has also designed a clothing line called the Jessica Simpson Collection – has worked through issues that previously plagued her.

"I really believe that somebody should just sit in front of their best friend in the world and have their friend ask any and every question – offensive or not. And whatever it is, answer it," she advises. "That's your therapy. Really tackling those issues inside and out."

And that's exactly what Simpson has done to get herself to a good place (and past those mom jeans!).

Still, she admits she's not immune to criticism. "Of course, I'm a woman!" she says. "But at this point, nothing else can be said about me that could be worse than I have already read."

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