The singer said she admires the Bajan star's ability to say and do what she wants, despite the likelihood of facing a backlash from the public.
Asked about Rihanna's relaxed approach to the celebrity lifestyle, Cole told Attitude magazine: "Good luck to her. She's quite liberated, actually.
"That's one of the things I really love about Rihanna, that she's a free spirit and doesn't care. She doesn't care if she calls somebody a c**t on her Twitter."
However, Cole maintained that she likes to be a role model on the micro-blogging site and will remain level-headed when tweeting.
"There are 12-year-old girls on there, there are people who are looking somewhere for an escape or somewhere to go, and I've been in those horrible situations where I've needed that and I didn't have anywhere to turn," she explained.
"But I'm from the street as well, I didn't grow up with anyone as a role model, so it's nice to be able to have that, be somebody's guide and have your music empower somebody or touch somebody like that."
Cole's new single 'Call My Name' will be available to download on June 10, while her third studio album A Million LIghts follows on June 18.
Read the full interview with Cole in the latest issue of Attitude.
Watch the music video for Cheryl Cole's 'Call My Name' below: