The 60-year-old star, wife of Hollywood actor Tom Hanks, is marking the holidays by releasing a five-track EP entitled The Christmas Sessions.

The collection includes festive favourites as well as one original song called There Will Be a Better Day, written by Darrell Brown and Beth Nielsen Chapman.

Rita is a huge fan of the track, particularly because it has a healing message that is particularly meaningful in today's world.

"I'm unusual when it comes to Christmas songs," Rita told "I try to find the things that look more like, sound more like singer/songwriter-y things, so the Christmas EP has more of that flavour to it as opposed to a huge Wall of Sound kind of production."

When it comes to penning songs herself, Rita is keen to learn from the best. She recently attended a writing camp alongside MoZella, co-writer of Miley Cyrus hit Wrecking Ball, Kristian Bush, Liz Rose, Mitch Allan and Kara DioGuardi - an experience she thoroughly enjoyed.

"You get a bunch of incredible songwriters together and you hole up for five days somewhere beautiful and you write and write and write and have a blast," she added. "It's really fun, because you're chill. You're not pressured."

Rita is also being kept busy with her show at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, California, called Liner Notes. The name is a reference to the actress turned singer's love of analysing the credits on records, a process Rita still enjoys to this day.

"When I was growing up, we had albums, and the liner notes were so critical to understanding not just about that album, but who that artist was and who were the people that played on the album," she smiled. "I knew every songwriter and every vocalist and every studio they recorded it in, and to me sometimes it's crazy: You know who Kim Kardashian's hairdresser is, but you don't know the songwriter that wrote one of your favourite songs. To me that show, Liner Notes, is really about shedding light on the songwriter."