Episode 7. Halina Rifai of A Sonic Hug

“A Sonic Hug is a thought-provoking podcast series where you’ll hear from people from different walks of life who deal, experience and battle mental health issues. “

Halina Rifai founded A Sonic Hug as a “mental health safe space” – a project with various initiatives, including a podcast that sheds light on mental health issues as people experience them. A Sonic Hug the podcast is presented and produced by Halina.

Halina’s interview style gives the guest full space to present and reflect on their topic of choice. As a result, this allows the guest and listener to both benefit from open reflection on personal experience.

Unmediated by an interviewer, the honest and open style can feel intensely confronting, at moments. You may feel as though you are the spectator of a confession that would not normally be yours to witness.

However, A Sonic Hug provides more than a privileged vantage point from which to listen. Halina summarises with care and precision key points raised by the guest. As a result, this leaves listeners with practical take-aways for the issues at hand and the guest with positive affirmation of their achievements – a sonic hug, so to speak.

In this episode of MetaPod, we talk to Halina Rifai about two foundations of A Sonic Hug, Scotland and the music industry, and how the podcast is expanding its reach.

MetaPod recommendations for A Sonic Hug

  • James’ story – body image and mental health
  • Cammy’s story – misdiagnosis of schizophrenia
  • Halina’s story

Show notes

About Halina Rifai

Halina Rifai is founder of Podcart – a music blog and podcast focusing on new music from Scotland and beyond. She has led podcasting workshops with a range of organisations, charities and institutions including Glasgow University, Stirling University, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Dardishi Festival, University of the West of Scotland and more. She is also a regular contributor to BBC Radio Scotland.

In 2017, Halina founded mental health online and offline safe space A Sonic Hug. The project also launched a mental health podcast series for Scotland’s newest podcasting platform The Big Light, founded by broadcaster Janice Forsyth and producer Fiona White.

In 2020 Halina was commissioned to produce a four-part series for Barclays as part of their Buchanan Wharf launch in Glasgow. She has also produced Scottish Women Inventing Music’s new podcast The Culture Dive.