University of Twente Student Theses


Experiences of Spiritual Mobile Applications Users : an Interview Study

Neumüller, H.S. (2023) Experiences of Spiritual Mobile Applications Users : an Interview Study.

[img] PDF
Abstract:A growing movement of people engage in spiritual practices that are not connected to religion. A digital product of rising interest are spiritual mobile applications. Spiritual apps discussed in this paper are meditation apps like Headspace, Mindspace, Calm, Balance, astrology apps like The Pattern and Co-star, and the fortune-telling app Falcı Bacı. Despite the growing popularity of spiritual apps there is a lack of psychological research of this topic. Therefore, this Bachelor’s thesis analysed how people construct their experiences with spiritual mobile applications. This study used a qualitative approach with semi-structured interviews. Participants of this study were 20-27 years old, mostly female, and mostly German. The results of a thematic analysis of nine interview transcripts showed seven themes which represent different experiences of spiritual app users. The most common theme was Experience of improved well-being by symptom reduction and personal development, followed by Facilitated self-care through taking time for one-self and connecting to the self, Enhanced thought organization and emotion regulation, Enhanced mindfulness through calmness and feelings of presence, Feelings of comfort through increased trust and hope, Enjoyment of collective engagement in the app, and Detrimental experiences for mental health through uncritical trust in app. In general, this paper evaluates that spiritual apps are constructed as being beneficial for the participants well-being in many ways. Thus, it is proposed to integrate spiritual apps in traditional forms of psychotherapy. However, detrimental experiences were expressed when participants excessively trusted the app. Hence, further research is needed to investigate the downsides of spiritual apps to ensure user safety.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page