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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Young adults' use of food as a self-therapeutic intervention

Von Essen, Elisabeth; Mårtensson, Fredrika


The aim of this study was to investigate how young adults use their lived body as a starting point for lifestyle explorations and as a strategy for well-being. The transcripts of 10 interviews with persons 18 to 33 years old, collected in Sweden, were analysed for variation in the practises and experiences related to this way of using food. An application of the descriptive phenomenological psychological research method guided the process. The young adults were: (1) listening to the body; (2) moderating conditions and feelings; (3) developing vitality and resilience; (4) creating mindful space for rest, and (5) participating in creative activity. The results show how young adults perceive their choice of food and related practises associated with positive feelings and experiences as ways to promote well-being and mitigate different problems in life. The usefulness of knowledge about how young adults try to use food for self-therapy by enhancing mind-body awareness is discussed in relation to health issues and food-related interventions.


Emotions; lived body experience; nature; organic food; positive psychology; resilience; restoration; stress; vegetarianism

Published in

International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
2014, volume: 9, article number: 23000

Authors' information

Von Essen, Elisabeth (von Essen, Elisabeth)

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and wellbeing
SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Applied Psychology

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)