The 21-year-old former Disney starlet covers the latest issue of the fashion glossy in a bejeweled onesie, black nails and minimum jewelry looking nothing like her former alter ego, Hanna Montana. Asked whether she felt "limited" during her time with Disney, the "Wrecking Ball" singer said she is "thankful" she started with the company.
"I got the most intense training," she said, later adding that she's very lucky that she didn't get stuck in her Disney persona, like many child stars often do, and that one way or another she was able to become who she was meant to be.
On the subject of finding herself, Cyrus addressed her breakup from Hunger Games hunk Liam Hemsworth, explaining that leaving him was just as hard as leaving Disney.
"When I went through a really intense breakup -- you know, I was engaged -- and when I was with him or when I was on Disney, the thing that gave me the most anxiety was not knowing what to do with myself when Disney wasn't there to carry me anymore or if I didn't have him. And now I'm free of both of those things, and I'm fine," she said.
"I lay in bed at night by myself and I'm totally okay, and that's so much stronger than the person three years ago, who would have thought they would have died if they didn't have a boyfriend," she continued.
As for her views on feminism, the Bangerz star said that for her, it's "just about equality."
"It's not like, I'm a woman, women should be in charge! I just want there to be equality for everybody," she explained.
You check out photos from Cyrus' shoot with Elle here, and read her full interview when the mag hits stands on April 22.