The Heart to Hug

April is Sexual Assault Awarenss Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Today, we are highlighting Hugimals World (a brand we have featured before) – and their partnership with the Joyful Heart Foundation. Earlier this week they announced the launch of their co-designed limited edition five-pound weighted pillow: The Heart to Hug Pillow.


The Heart to Hug Pillow is a first-of-its-kind substantially weighted, heart-shaped plush pillow designed to harness the naturally calming effects of Deep Touch Pressure and help people experiencing stress and anxiety feel comforted when they hold it. Deep Touch Pressure Therapy — regularly used by clinicians such as psychologists and occupational therapists — stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system’s “rest and digest” response, and can help people feel more present, grounded, and safe in the moment.
The Heart to Hug Pillow not only comforts on demand, but it also makes a meaningful gift to share with loved ones. It’s a gift that says, “I’m thinking of you. You’re not alone. You’ll get through this. You are loved.”


Founded by actor, director, producer, and advocate Mariska Hargitay, Joyful Heart’s mission of the is to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever. The foundation’s goal is not only to help survivors reclaim lives of hope, possibility and joy, but to build a better, more just, more compassionate world. Hugimals World launched in 2022 with Hugimals, the TikTok-viral line of stress-relieving weighted stuffed animals that have been named to TIME’s Best Inventions and Parents magazine’s Best Toys. The Heart to Hug Pillow is Hugimals World’s next step in expanding its line of stylish weighted comfort items into the home wellness category, one calming hug at a time.

“At Joyful Heart, we transform the way our society responds to those of us who have experienced harm,” said Joyful Heart Foundation founder Mariska Hargitay. “One response — which we’re fortunately in charge of and can practice ourselves — is self-care. I use my Heart to Hug Pillow — and have shared them with family and friends — for that very reason: they’re a way of responding to our own needs, on our own terms. The idea is simple but profound, both scientific and intuitive. Gentle weighted pressure helps soothe the mind, body and heart. It’s a gift of healing touch, for ourselves and others, while we work to make a more compassionate world.”

“I’ve been so moved by the work the Joyful Heart Foundation team has done to bring strength and hope to survivors, and am proud to partner with them on a product as emotionally and physically comforting as The Heart to Hug Pillow,” said Hugimals World Founder Marina Khidekel.

The pillow comes in two colors - Fearless Red, which serve as a reminder of your strength in the face of life's challenges, and Peaceful Pink, which serves as a reminder to prioritize yourself and protect your peace. You can learn more about the Heart to Hug Pillow Collection here.