Have you ever considered what slime on a microphone might sound like? Or enjoyed the sound of someone tapping against a series of gem stones glued to their hands? Nope? How bizzare! Just kidding, that’s the norm. But let me tell you about the many weird and wonderful delights of ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response); ASMR videos or audios produce a sensation similar to the feeling of static in your hair, kind of weirdly relaxing and tingly. A sensation that most people can relate to is when you hear something incredibly moving like an awesome singer or an amazing piece of music and it feels as though the hair on your head is standing on end – in a cool rather than scared way.
ASMR is generally made up of ‘triggers’, these are sounds or experiences that ‘trigger’ these sensations in people. Some classics are: tapping, wood, crunchy sounds like sponges, scissors cutting something, paper, hair being stroked or brushed, water, fizzing sounds, certain words/soft speaking and microphone brushing. ASMR videos tend to sit within two categories; these are ‘personal attention’ (so someone giving you a haircut or a facial) or sound/trigger based videos (e.g someone brushing a microphone with different brushes). Most good ASMR ‘Artists’ will combine the sounds and visuals to create something that can be soothing to listen to as well as watch, regardless of which category it sits under.
Personal attention videos are great for people who find the whole concept of watching someone tapping on a load of different objects a bit weird but enjoy a good haircut or spa experience. The ASMR Artist generally used a backdrop (with varying degrees of realism) along with props, sounds and movement to create a roleplay involving you basically chilling out. If you love going to get a haircut but wish you weren’t asked so many questions all the time this is for you! Whilst the ASMR Artist will often be talking softly you can relax in knowing you don’t actually have to give them the lowdown of your recent holiday to Corfu.
Trigger videos are usually more whacky and made up of more sounds so you can expect to be very intrigued whilst also being lulled to sleep. For example did you know the sound of slime being draped across a microphone is the exact fricken same as the sound of the sea!?Whaaat!? who knew right? (See HERE) People are often triggered by certain types of sound, for example i find very crunchy sounds make me tingly. The microphones being used, particularly by well established Artists, are very advanced so really pick up the tiny variations in sound which is what makes it different to listening to a loop of the rain forest. Whilst some sounds are similar to naturally occurring ones you might hear in your day to day life there are plenty that sound pretty unique, such as someone tapping on wood or against a sheet of glitter paper (o yeah things can get weird!). These kind of videos are usually best with earphones in so you can really hear the nuances.
Videos will often be titled to include whether they include talking so if you’re someone who just likes the sounds then you can find videos that are purely sound based but if you like a bit of a mix you can choose a roleplay or video that includes soft speaking and sounds. I find the soft speaking super relaxing but some people find it creepy as hell so depending on whether you have a sleeping partner or you find whispers calming or terrifying will probably be your decider on the talking front.
So how does this relate to mental health? Well firstly the very sensation of ‘tingles’ is seriously relaxing and calming so that alone is a great reason to check ASMR out. Secondly if your someone who struggles with sleep like i do then ASMR is a dream (ha) for creating varied sounds which lull you to sleep but also maintain your attention enough to stop your thoughts wandering and worrying. Personal attention videos are great if you’re feeling anxious as they tend to have more happening visually so you can become pretty engrossed and watch and listen to them, so I use them a lot for if I’m feeling anxious when travelling. For a while I felt self conscious in case someone saw what I was watching but then I came across a meme of a guy watching porn on his commute and figured people are doing weirder stuff.
ASMR has started to become more mainstream and as a result there are a few more kinky people making what is essentially soft porn under the guise of ASMR and i therefore feel it is my moral responsibility to direct you away from that trash and towards some of the good eggs. Some great Artists are:
Gentle Whispering ASMR – Particularly good for roleplays that feel super wholesome. HERE
WhispersRed ASMR – Good for roleplays around spas and pampering, i just wish she was my best friend..or my mother…HERE
Gibi ASMR – A well known Artist who specialises in characters and talking. HERE
ASMRMagic – Fab for sound triggers. HERE
itsblitzzz – A weird one and more of a general youtuber but how I actually discovered ASMR! I used to watch makeup tutorials because i found them so relaxing and then i found this woman and the rest is ASMR history! HERE.
Finally this guy, asmr zeitgeist is a curveball but creates awesome visuals by making his mics into characters! I can’t possibly not give him a shout out seeing as i’m currently listening to his ‘ASMR Barbershop Tingles for Sleep’ as I write this, you can view it HERE
Enjoy and goodnight! 🙂