When life gets tough, you’ve got to get tougher. It’s a lesson the legendary Connie Francis learned the hard way.

Her life sounds like a Hollywood story, only she thinks even a writer couldn’t dream up all the things she’s experienced.

As a singer, Connie endured dozens of rejections before she got her big break. To this day, she is one of the best selling singers in history.

She has also managed to stand out as a role model for some critical causes.

Connie was involuntarily committed to mental institutions 17 times from 1982 to 1991 after she says she was misdiagnosed with manic-depressive disorder. She said it took her years to find out what was really wrong with her.

She opens up about her troubled life, including the murder of her brother, being raped in 1974 and her divorce.

She says her experiences have inspired her to become a national spokesperson for Mental Health America so that she can help others who suffer through what she endured.

Amazingly, Connie tells Growing Bolder that with the exception of her brother’s murder, she would live the same life again.

“Although there were some terrible lows, there were exhilarating highs,” she says.

Some of those highs include skyrocketing to fame with her trademark hit, “Who’s Sorry Now?,” starring in the classic movie “Where the Boys Are,” and her love affair with Bobby Darrin. She reveals what broke them up (here’s a hint: it involves her father and a gun!).

She also shares stories from an incredible time in entertainment history, when the top singers like herself, Elvis and Frankie Avalon were pushed to star in movies. Find out how she found a way to become a smart businessperson first, and an entertainer second.

Also, she even offers some advice for today’s troubled young stars, like Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan.

Connie offers lessons that all of us can learn from. She says we’re all survivors of something. She explains how she’s learned to let go of the dramas of the past and forge a new, exciting path forward.