"I'm happy," newlywed Mandy, who married rocker Ryan Adams in March, told Access Hollywood on Tuesday before her set at Los Angeles' Amoeba Music. "I feel like such a lucky, lucky girl. My love life is great and I'm getting to do what I love to do creatively. All of those squares are really filled."
"Amanda Leigh" is her real name and the album – a '70s-inspired singer/songwriter collection that she co-wrote with producer Mike Viola – showcases a more grown-up star than the teenager who once sang "Candy."
"I'm 25 years old, I'm a woman," she said. "Maybe I'm taking my name and trying to own it now and put my own definition behind it."
However, Mandy's not too embarrassed by her pop star past.
"To be perfectly honest I can listen back to what I was doing back when I was 15 and it's only slightly embarrassing," she said. "It's like a bad haircut or something that just continues to follow you around. So [most] of it I'm OK with, but then some are just plain bad."
As for "Candy," her breakthrough hit, Mandy added that she hopes she's remembered for other material, too.
"I hope that's not the thing they put on my tombstone," she said. "Hopefully there's something else that will, you know, follow that."
Beyond her career, Mandy is taking time to give back – she recently spent time in Sudan as part of her new position with the global health organization Population Services International.
"I'm going to be their global ambassador for their child survival program, Five and Alive," Mandy said. "I got to actually be a part of this mass distribution, handing out three million malaria nets across the country over the next couple of weeks."
Calling the experience "life-changing," Mandy said she's been shy in the past about using her fame to draw attention to causes – but no longer.
"I'm excited to see what the future holds in terms of my work with PSI," she said. "My career… allows me the pedestal and the platform to talk about a cause that's really near and dear to me, and this is exactly that."