updated 12/04/2013 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 12/04/2013 AT 12:00 PM ET
Lea Michele is finding comfort in those closest to her and in her music.
“My family has experienced a lot of loss in their life and they’ve been so wonderful in being there for me and giving me the strength I need,” the Glee star told PEOPLE at the L’Oreal Women of Worth event on Tuesday.
Michele, 27, who will release the first single, Cannonball, off her debut album on Dec. 10, says the song that she recorded in August following the loss of her boyfriend Cory Monteith is “more than just a song to me. It completely helped to lift me up at a time where I needed it.”
“Music can really help you in times of need, and that’s what this song did for me and I hope that’s what it does for others as well,” she says.
And as expected, emotions were running high during recording.
“I brought my dad to the studio and he cried the entire time,” Michele says. “But for me it’s been very empowering. I’ve used this song as a rock.”
The star, who is “doing much better” will spend the holidays “with mom and dad, simple this year,” she says. “Maybe going to take a little holiday over New Year’s and just enjoy ourselves.”