If you suffer from anxiety, insomnia, or simply need a stress reliever…listening to someone rub a hairbrush on YouTube may be the solution to your problems.
ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, sometimes described as a “brain orgasm.” ASMR is a calming, tingly feeling in your head, scalp, and back triggered by sounds like whispering, tapping, and scratching. It can also be triggered by certain visuals, like someone concentrating on a task or giving a tutorial. Not everyone has the same triggers, and some people don’t have an ASMR response at all. There’s no scientific evidence explaining the ASMR sensation, and little research has been done on the topic.
Despite a lack of concrete facts, there is an active ASMR community on the Internet. YouTube user GentleWhispering has over 87 million views on her 208 videos. In her most popular video, she moves around a room, varying her distance from a 3D microphone. She rubs her hand over a wooden brush and blows gently on the flame of a lit candle, then pretends to rub the viewers temples, give them a scalp massage, a shoulder massage, and then tickles them with a feather. This goes on for 16 minutes. It has over 7 million views.
Many ASMR YouTube videos feature role-playing of basic daily activities. VeniVidiVulpes‘ most popular video has over 3 million views, and is simply a virtual haircut. Her other ASMR videos include palaeontologist role-play and coupon clipping.
On ASMRRequests, people send ASMR video requests to Ally, who runs the channel and makes the videos. Her most popular video is called “Departure,” where she plays a soft-spoken space travel agent. Yes, you read that correctly…a travel agent who sells trips throughout the galaxy.
Something as simple as a napkin folding tutorial can be an ASMR trigger. Users commented on this 25 minute long video, “my absolute favorite video,” and “I’d love to see a part 2 of this!”
Have you ever fallen asleep during a lecture by a particularly soft-spoken professor? Do you use a white noise machine to help you sleep? You may be experiencing the effects of ASMR triggers. Share this if you watched the videos above and tell us if you found them relaxing…or just bizarre.