For Participants

Before you decide whether or not to take part in this research please take time to read the following information and ask if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information.

PDF version of this information: Soulight Participant Information

You are being invited to take part in a study of an app called Soulight. Soulight is currently available on Android. You can use the app to record what mood you are in at the moment, to explore your mood through specially composed music, and to journey to a better mood through specially composed pieces of music.

We want to get a better understanding of how people use the app, whether it might have an effect on their mood, what they like about it, and what could be improved.

We are a team of three researchers (Dr Donald MacIntrye from the Division of Psychiatry and Dr Maria Wolters and Mr Vasilis Karaiskos from the School of Informatics) and the company Musemantik (, the developers of Soulight. This research is funded by the Digital Health Institute, Scotland. Ethical Approval has been granted by the School of Informatics.

Who can take part?

This study is for everybody who is interested in managing stress, who is into mindfulness, or who would like a mental well-being companion that that works entirely through music.

If you are currently being treated for mental illness, you unfortunately can’t take part in the current study, but you are very welcome to download the public version of the Soulight app from the Google Play store and send us your comments, if you wish.

In order to take part, you will need an Android phone with at least half a GB (500 MB) free storage space. You should not be an active Soulight user already – we would prefer to work with people who are downloading Soulight for the first time.

What will happen?

First, you will be asked to fill in an online survey, where we will ask you questions about yourself, your background, your current mood, and your overall wellbeing. You will then receive a unique user ID and you will be randomly selected for one of two conditions:

  • Soulight now. If you are in this condition, we will send you a link for a special downloadable version of Soulight. Please use this one, and not the one you can find on the Android App Store.
  • Soulight later. If you are in this condition, we ask you not to download or use the App Store version Soulight until later. You will receive the link for the special downloadable version of Soulight after a month, once you have completed the second survey.

After a month, you will be asked to fill in a second online survey, where we will ask you questions about how you liked Soulight, about your mood and overall wellbeing, and about your hearing. At the end of the second survey, we will ask you to indicate whether you would like to be interviewed face to face or via email about your comments.

If you are in the “Soulight later” group, you will receive a link to the special download version at the end of the second survey.

How to use Soulight: As part of the download link, you will receive further information about Soulight; the app also has a tutorial and a help function. If you are in the “Soulight now” group, we ask you to use Soulight at least once, and thereafter as often as you wish.

Your rights

You have the right to stop being a part of the research study at any time without giving a reason. You have the right to ask that any data you have supplied to that point be withdrawn/destroyed.

Benefits and risks

There are no known or anticipated benefits or risks for you in this study.

Cost, reimbursement and compensation

Your participation in this study will be reimbursed with £20, payable after completion of the second survey.


The trial version of Soulight has Google Analytics enabled, and stores a special study ID so that we can analyse individual patterns of use.

The only personal identifying information we will hold for you will be your email address and your Google ID. Your email address will be stored on a secure server and linked to your unique study ID. This link between study ID and Google ID will only be accessible to Mr Karaiskos, not to anybody else on the study.

Your Google ID (the email address you used to register your Android phone) is needed so that Musemantik can add you to the list of users for the special trial version of Soulight. Musemantik will not contact you at that email address or pass it on to anybody else.

All data used for analysis will only contain your unique, anonymous study ID. No one outside the project will be allowed access to the original data. The Google Analytics data will be deleted three years after the end of the project.

The data collected will be presented in reports to our funding body, at conferences and in academic publications as well as in general findings shared with participants at the end of the research project.

For further information

Dr Maria Wolters will be glad to answer any further questions you may have. You can contact her as follows:

Dr Maria Wolters

Yes, I want to sign up for the study.