updated 06/08/2009 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 06/08/2009 AT 11:30 AM ET
Susan Boyle is back in Scotland, reunited with her cat Pebbles and prepping for her first performances since she placed second in the finale of Britain’s Got Talent.
The singer is well, according to friends and family, who say she’s rarin’ to go with rehearsals for the upcoming Britain’s Got Talent tour, just days after she left London’s Priory Hospital, where she was treated for exhaustion.
“She’s really happy and on good form,” a source close to Boyle tells PEOPLE. She has a new manager – Ossie Kilkenny, who worked with U2 on their multi-million dollar deals – while hit-maker Simon Cowell will help with her music.
“This is all been done in agreement with Simon,” the source says. “Ossie has been brought in and welcomed by all concerned.”
Cowell and his team are moving softly with the singer, 48, after her much-publicized breakdown. She will only perform at stops on the tour, which begins June 12 in Birmingham, England, if she is ready and happy to participate.
“She really wants to do it and is very keen to do it. Everyone wants her to be a part of it but there is no pressure on her to do it,” the source says. “It’s her decision.”
The same goes for her album. The source says, “It will happen at some point without putting any undue pressure on her.”
But things are clearly looking up. Family members believe that she is doing fine and that “her career takes off from now,” one relative tells PEOPLE.
“She is very excited and positive about the future,” Boyle’s brother John told the U.K.’s News of the World Sunday about his chats with his sister this weekend. “She was giggling away and sounded more relaxed than she has in ages,” he said.
On her first day since leaving hospital, Boyle enjoyed a little shopping at a store just north of London. Frederic Benisty, co-manager of Lulu and Fred, tells PEOPLE, “She was really good, having a really good day. It was a great ladies day out for her. She was anxious at first but then got into the swing of things and was really joking around.”
He said she bought a variety of items of “elegant wear.” He described her look as “Smart, casual, elegant, sophisticated.”
And Boyle is starting to get the trappings of celebrity. Shop workers closed the store for her as they were inundated with paparazzi. “We wanted her to feel comfortable in her surroundings and enjoy the shopping in privacy,” Bensity said.
American Idol’s original champ, Kelly Clarkson, has taken to the British airwaves to defend Boyle and offer her advice.
Speaking on the morning show GMTV, the young singer agreed that the pressures that come with exposure in a talent competition are immense. She said: “Every person who goes through this – right at the beginning it’s very hard, it’s hard on you. Because people can be vicious.”
Clarkson, who won American Idol in 2002, says it takes time to come to terms with catty comments echoing in the media. “It’s like seven years later,” she said, “It’s been going alright for seven years, so I’m good.”
Clarkson’s advice for her fellow singer: “Focus on the people that are really positive around you.”