BRITNEY SPEARS' source of comfort following her acrimonious split with fellow singer Justin Timberlake was a self-help book on love.

The BOYS singer, 21, turned to Mexican-born former surgeon DON MIGUEL RUIZ's book THE MASTERY OF LOVE after her four-year romance with Timberlake crumbled in 2002 - and Britney says the inspirational tone of the tome has helped her get past her dark days of depression.

She explains, "It's helped me because it makes me really look at myself. Mastery of Love talks about relationships and teaches you that if you're with a guy, the more you start to worry about him 24-7, it's going to push him away.

"It says to be centred on yourself and love you, and he'll come after you. It's all about loving yourself - and this is very empowering."

26/06/2003 09:16