10/22/2013 06:09 pm ET Updated Dec 22, 2013

What Katy Perry's Success Can Teach Us About Happiness

Is there a connection between success and self-love? What happens when we make life choices before we know who we really are? These types of questions dug into me like splinters in my sides as I navigated through my own "Saturn returns" period in my late twenties.

For those who don't know, a "Saturn returns" period is part of horoscopic astrology, referring to an astrological transit when a transiting Saturn planet returns to the same point in the sky that it occupied at the moment of a person's birth. This is generally thought to be a time where a person crosses over a major threshold and enters their next stage of life.

This period of our life can come with a lot of baggage, as we recognize that the choices we've made in our past don't always align to our expanded knowledge of what is now our highest good.

To truly cut though clutter, we have to get raw with our emotions and bare our vulnerable side. Survivors of this murky period prove it is possible to overcome the dark depressed nooks and crannies of our lives to discover a life of authentic joy. Tie that with the residual hangover of intense growing pains and confusion typical of a woman, or man, in her twenties and you have the makings of a phenomenal pop album.

Pop powerhouse Katy Perry demonstrates this perfectly. With her new album Prism (Oct. 22, Capitol Records), she courageously comes out of her own "Saturn returns" closet... and the results are infectious!

Like anyone who successfully survived a dark period in their life, Perry fearlessly steps into adulthood and emerges as a revamped, shiny new version of her authentic self.

Triumphing over divorce and depression, and turning her back on suicidal thoughts, she has discovered the secret sauce to a successful life -- unconditional self-love and the courage to be present in your pain.

Perry openly talks about her suicidal thoughts after her divorce with Russell Brand, describing that period like cutting into a wound and leaving it exposed in the light to heal. She reflects the beating pulse of human suffering, and reminds us all to keep going, because there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Perry's new album pumps out inspirational nuggets of hope, trust and self-worth, as she proves to all of us that vulnerability is beautiful.

Bigger than just this one album, this formula seems to be the recipe for success. Her awakening is making chart history, as she is now the first woman to have six #1 hits on one album. Her self-empowered anthem "Roar" has already gone platinum and continues to top Billboard charts.

So what can we learn from this pop princess?

As she drenches the radio waves with her lyrical, motivational mantras, slicing through the clutter to hit the core of the human heart, we see that we are all united in our ability declare that we will not give up, that we are fighters, and that happiness is only a choice away.

If you are navigating your own "Saturn returns" period, or are simply stuck in a funky place, take note of Katy Perry's new album and apply these tips to help you go from zero to being your own hero.

1. Turn your expectations into appreciation

We all have unmet expectations, but what do we do when life doesn't turn out as planned? After Perry's divorce, she dug deep inside herself to discover the lessons in her pain.

In life, we always have a choice; we can turn to the darkness and stay miserable, or as Perry demonstrates, we can gather up the guts to openly share our struggles. To move through depression, suicidal thoughts, and bad romance bruises, to come out on the other side even more powerful, connected and full of light and love.

Being thankful for your struggles can help you move through them much faster.

2. Love unconditionally

Instead of resisting or hating what we don't understand or like about others, or even about ourselves, we can look to love as the path to freedom. It can help us understand ourselves better. As Perry sings in the song This Moment, "Life is one big treadmill...the ones that win are the ones that let love in."

3. Accept your flaws and embrace your weirdness

We all have quirks and personality traits that make us our unique self. Celebrating our differences is the key to a happy life. Stop trying to fit in, and see that you already fit in, just as you are. Trusting that you are unique and perfect as you are is the fastest route to freedom.

Use Katy Perry's lyrics as a mantra to help you fully accept yourself "I know I am enough, possible to be loved," from the song From the Grace of God.

4. Create a mission statement for yourself

Sometimes we feel lost in life because we have no clear direction; life's choices can paralyze us and contribute to our loneliness and depression. Creating a mission statement for yourself can help you navigate rough waters and return to your true self.

On Katy Perry's Good Morning America appearance she announced her mission, "I just want to make people happy and hopeful." What is your mission?

5. Suffering is optional

Pain is inevitable in life, but remaining in that place of suffering and replaying the moments of pain in your life will create monumental explosions of self-hate and loneliness.

Letting go of the stories we tell ourselves about our history is the gateway to true freedom. Trusting that our pain is our greatest teacher, helping us learn more about our true selves will help us relax into the journey.

Use this mantra, inspired by Katy Perry's song "Roar," to help you rise above,

"I got up, already brushing off the dust... I am the champion and you're gonna hear me roar."