05/08/2014 at 10:00 AM EDT
On the outside Jennifer Lopez
may have retained the enviable glow of someone half her age, but when it comes to the hard-earned wisdom of her 44 years, she's proud of every bruise and scar.
"I wouldn't change anything [about my past] because it made me who I am," says Lopez as she settles into her seat at an oceanside Malibu eatery.
She has just come from an intimate listening party for her eighth studio album, A.K.A
. (out June 17), and is reflecting on the past three years since her last effort.
"I went through some tremendous lows," Lopez says of her 2011 split from husband Marc Anthony, but she has also embraced the "tremendous high" of being a mother to her 6-year-old twins, Emme and Max.
In fact, two years later, Lopez is thriving.