Chris Brown's brutal assault on her shocked the world and rocked hers early last year. Not in a good way, either. But Rihanna says she has no regrets.
The 22-year-old singer tells the December issue of Marie Claire UK that "God has a crazy way of working" and that in a way, it was what she needed.
"Sometimes when stuff happens you feel like, 'What did I do to deserve this?' Why was it backfiring on me?'" she recalls. "But I needed that wake-up call."
"I needed a turning point, and that's what God was giving to me." - Rihanna
At the time, however, Rihanna says it was difficult to go through such a painful situation - and the end of the relationship - in the public eye.
"All this terrible stuff they say to you, it breaks you down," she says.
"[But] at the same time, once you're actually back on your feet - if you ever make it back on your feet - that's the ultimate achievement."
She says it wasn't easy to break up with Brown, but knew it was time.Chris Brown pleaded guilty to a felony and accepted a plea deal that included more than 1,400 hours of community labor and five years probation.
Even so, it wasn't easy to call it quits with a person she loved. So how did Rihanna finally find the strength to end the toxic relationship?
"I remember I was in New York at the Trump Hotel and I woke up and I just knew I was over it. It was a different day. I felt different," she said.
"I didn't feel lonely," she recalls. "I felt like I wanted to get up and be in the world again. It was liberating. That was a great, great feeling."
She hasn't looked back since.
"I feel like I smile for real this time. The smiles come from inside, and it exudes in everything I do," she says. "People feel my energy is different. When I smile they can tell that it's pure bliss and not just a cover up."