Writing songs about love and heartbreak for his first album since divorcing model wife Heidi Klum was a "cathartic experience" for Seal.
"7," released on Friday, is the 52-year-old musician's first album in four years and comes after he and German-born Klum went their separate ways in 2012 after seven years of marriage.
"You have a series of events take place and ... at some point you write about them when you feel compelled to do so," the singer told Reuters in an interview.
"Obviously there's a kind of digestion period that happens where you have to insert that period and step away from it for a time and then come back to it and write objectively as opposed to subjectively," he added.
Known for his silky voice and hits such as the Grammy Award-winning "Kiss from a Rose," Seal has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.
"Some people, when something is weighing on them ... they go and see a therapist or a psychiatrist or a shrink of some sort. I write songs and that right there is a very cathartic experience," Seal said. "But there are caveats ... It's only cathartic if you are brutally honest with yourself first and foremost."
Seal reunites with his "Kiss from a Rose" collaborator, producer Trevor Horn, for "7." The heartbreak theme features in tracks such as "The Big Love has Died," a ballad about losing someone close to you.
"It's a reality that's how we feel sometimes ... when we've been in something that hasn't quite worked out or there was so much love and now there's a vacuum where that love was," he said.