Jason Derulo and Jordin Sparks
Courtesy Jason Derulo
01/25/2012 at 04:00 PM EST
Three weeks after fracturing his neck
, nearly causing him to become paralyzed
, Jason Derulo is making a speedy recovery – and the R&B star has a special person to thank for his progress.
"I'm taking it one day at a time," Derulo, 23, tells PEOPLE in his first interview since the accident (which happened during a tour rehearsal) in Miami in early January. "It's been really eye opening. It's given me a chance to look at everything and realize how blessed I truly am."
The one person who's been by his side during his recovery? His girlfriend, Jordin Sparks
"We are together," says Derulo, officially confirming that they are a couple. "She lives in Phoenix and she comes [to Miami] and takes care of me, brings me breakfast in bed and she'll go on walks with me. We've gotten closer because of my accident. It's awesome to have someone you can talk to and she's a wonderful person."
While rehearsing for his tour in his Miami hometown, Derulo attempted to perform a dance move he'd executed hundreds of times before, but accidentally landed on his head, snapping a vertebrae.
"It was shocking because I've never broken a bone or anything!" he says, adding that it "hurt like hell."
But Derulo, who jokes his neck brace is "becoming part of my body," is quickly on the mend. He's started taking up piano lessons and has even begun writing music for his follow-up to last year's Future History
"I'm going to make another album while I'm down," he says. "We'll see what comes out of that. I don't know what it's called yet, but it's really inspired."