What is ASMR?

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Maybe you’ve heard of ASMR and thought it sounded weird, maybe you’ve seen the videos pop up on your Youtube homepage, or maybe you have literally no idea what ASMR is – but here’s everything you need to know about the new best thing in your Uni life.

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It stands for the sensation people experience when they watch/hear certain ‘triggers’ and is normally described as a tingling sensation that starts at the top of your head and works down to the nape of your neck. You’ve probably experienced ASMR before but not realised it – it’s the tingles you get when someone plays with your hair, or traces on your back or when you watch someone wrap a present perfectly.

There’s a whole community on YouTube that is dedicated to ASMR, with certain ASMR Artists having hundreds of thousands of subscribers and their videos receiving over a million views. The aim of an ASMR video is to experience “tingles” in order to start to feel relaxed and calm. To cause tingles, ASMR artists will pack their videos full of triggers. Popular triggers include whispering, tapping, scratching, brushing the mic and tracing with their fingers. As the ASMR community has grown, so has the scope of the videos, with videos ranging from simple whispering videos to role plays taking place at the Hairdressers, Doctors or even in the DC Universe. Whilst role-playing sounds sexual, ASMR is purely to produce tingles and relax the viewer.

Although the idea of watching a stranger film themselves whispering into a mic and pretending to brush your hair may still sound really creepy and strange, it’s actually been proven to help with mental health. Whilst it obviously can’t help you to completely overcome any mental illnesses, ASMR has been proven to help relax and calm you, which can help when suffering from anxiety or if stress is really affecting you. The ‘tingles’ also help to make you feel sleepy, so watching a few videos before bed can help to induce a deep, restful sleep, something that can be difficult to achieve when suffering low mood and anxiety.

ASMR has actually gotten so big that companies are starting to realise how popular it is and have therefore incorporated it into their marketing techniques. IKEA have done ASMR videos showing their products are perfect for University, FUSE has a ‘Mind Massage’ series featuring different musicians trying ASMR and the most popular has to be W Magazine who have an ASMR series where different actors/musicians talk about their career whilst giving you tingles.

Once you’ve experienced tingles, you’ll be obsessed with ASMR. However it’s worth noting that everyone has different triggers – I personally hate videos that have eating sounds in them (sorry Life With MaK), so it may take  a little search around the ASMR Youtube community to work out exactly what works for you.

To help you get started here’s a few of my favourite ASMR artists to help you get your tingles on:

Karuna Satori ASMR

Gibi ASMR

W Magazine ASMR with Aubrey Plaza and surprisingly Cardi B (genuinely they’re both so good).

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