OCT 17-JAN 18

Headtrip is a project researching whether immersive binaural audio experiences might be beneficial in changing attitudes and behaviours, building empathy and reducing the stigma that surrounds depression. It is a collaboration between King’s College London’s Department of Health Services & Population Research and S.I.D.E Projects, brokered and supported by the Cultural Institute at King’s.


Without ever experiencing a mental health condition, like depression, it can be difficult to understand what the sufferer goes through, it can also be difficult for someone to explain their experience in words. The Headtrip team has attempted to bridge this gap, by creating a 10-minute audio experience, co-created with nine people who have ‘lived experience’ of depression.
After creating the audio-experience, we tested it on 23 listeners, including our experts by experience, front line workers, academics, mental health professionals and people working in the creative and cultural sector.

Feedback from the listening event included:
"Thank you for starting a revolution."
"I was becalmed. All my frustrations and anxieties left me. Insight was gained, depression relieved."
"It’s made me want to have a conversation with my boyfriend [who has depression] – and realised that social relations are central to all this."
"It was surprisingly accurate. I felt it was very familiar and it left me feeling a bit sad."
"It has made me feel more sympathetic and patient towards my own and others problems with depression. Hearing another person’s struggle without having to participate with them allowed a detached and free thinking understanding of the subject."
"I felt obliged to be less judgmental towards others as I could feel how sad and lonely it was to suffer from depression."

Listening to Headtrip: Hearing depression
We are continuing our research and therefore temporarily sharing the audio created for this pilot.
Before you listen, we recommend that you use a decent pair of headphones and find a quiet space. Ideally wear an eye mask or close your eyes to minimise distraction.
The Headtrip audio is based on lived experiences of depression and might be emotionally intense. In the explicit version there is some strong language. We do not recommend anyone under the age of 16 listen to the audio or anyone feeling emotionally unstable.

After listening we would value your feedback via this online feedback form.

Headtrip Explicit version

Headtrip Clean version

Project team:

Prof Ricardo Araya King’s College London Professor of Global Mental Health. His research interests include the aetiology of common mental disorders, inequalities and their link to the mental health of populations with special emphasis on international comparisons, and effective treatments for common mental disorders, such as simple and brief interventions using non-medical workers and strong community participation.

Rebecca Hatchett Director of S.I.D.E Projects is leading the consortium through the research phase as well as inputting to the creative development of the final audio. Providing 15-years experience in creative project management and service design, working in the arts, education and cultural sectors. 

Lucia Scazzocchio Audio producer, creative producer. 

Ella Saltmarshe specialises in using creativity to produce social impact at scale. She is the co-founder of The Point People, The Comms Lab & #SHEvotes. In this project she is combining her experience as a scriptwriter and her experience of service design in the field of mental health.


Commissioned by the mental health charity Rethink, to recreate what auditory hallucinations experienced by someone with schizophrenia might actually sound like. Inspired by in depth interviews with people suffering the condition and recorded using a binaural microphone, this piece aims to give a sense of what people might hear, give more insight into voice hearing and create empathy. This was the main content for the Rethink Schizophrenia campaign.

Audio Production: Lucia Scazzocchio

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