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It’s a well-known fact that you can find anything on the internet, including communities that band together around the strangest and most niche topics. Case in point: the ASMR community that centers on the autonomous sensory meridian response.
Not sure what the meaning of ASMR is? Neither did I, so I spent some time researching it and found out that it described a weird feeling that I’ve been experiencing since childhood but could never put into words for others.
If you’ve ever felt a weird tingling sensation in your scalp, neck, or spine for seemingly no reason, you may have had “ASMR tingles.” Read on to find out what they are.
What Is ASMR?
ASMR is best described as a physical sensation of tingling that usually begins in the scalp and moves down through the spine and sometimes to the limbs. It’s a pleasurable feeling that many would call relaxing.
ASMR is also known as AIHO (attention induced head orgasm) or AIE (attention induced euphoria), but ASMR is the most popular variation of the term by far.
The feeling of ASMR is usually caused by an external stimulus, which are colloquially known as “ASMR triggers.” Triggers can differ from person to person. Some common ASMR triggers include:
- The sound of lips smacking, such as when eating.
- Slow or soft speech patterns, including whispers.
- Receiving personal attention from someone, such as having your hair done, having your makeup done, receiving an eye exam, receiving a massage, etc.
- Having someone play with your hair.
- Certain sounds may trigger ASMR, like crackling fire, rustling paper, white noise, running water, etc.
- Watching someone perform a meticulous task, like fixing an electronic device, working origami, making tea, etc.
Not everyone experiences ASMR. If you have absolutely no idea what I’ve been describing so far, then it’s likely you don’t have the ASMR response. However, if this sounds like something you’ve experienced before, then you may be able to induce it manually by watching videos that include one or more of the above ASMR triggers.
Here are some videos that have been known to trigger ASMR in viewers. Sit back, relax, and just watch—preferably with headphones!
1. Bob Ross and The Joy of Painting
Out of all the people I know who have ASMR, it seems like the most common ASMR trigger is Bob Ross. He just has that kind of voice that not only soothes, but makes you want to chill out and listen. On top of that, he always has nuggets of wisdom that he injects into his show.
It’s too bad that he is no longer able to continue his show. RIP Bob Ross. Thank you for leaving behind 30 seasons of The Joy of Painting for us to enjoy for our ASMR fixes.
2. ASMR Cat
Easily my favorite ASMR video on all of YouTube—and there are dozens of similarly cute and relaxing videos uploaded to the YouTube channel, all starring the same cat named Sammy. Between grooming and eating, there are plenty of tingles waiting for you ahead. Note: Be sure to check out ASMR Cat’s 150-minute super compilation!
3. Cranial Nerve Exam
This video is the perfect example of the “watch someone do something meticulously” trigger. In it, Dr. James Kelly performs a 9-minute long cranial nerve examination on Pat LaFontaine—and whether you’re susceptible to ASMR or not, you’ll find yourself engrossed as he’s taken through test after test. Very interesting!
4. How to Iron a Shirt
One could say that this video kickstarted the online ASMR community. This video is a re-upload of the original, which first hit YouTube many years before, way back when “ASMR” wasn’t even a mainstream term. It’s soothing to watch, and as a bonus, you might even learn how to iron those pesky wrinkles out of your shirts properly.
5. Hotel Staff Prepare Futon
Watch as these two Japanese hotel staffers turn bed preparation into an art form. With almost no effort, they set up two futons complete with bedding and blankets, and all the wonderful ASMR sounds that come with it. It’s a joy to watch—and even if it doesn’t trigger ASMR for you, you’ll still find it oddly satisfying.
6. How to Cut Citrus Fruit
In this video, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats delivers unintentional ASMR in the cutting of a grapefruit.
Some may disagree with me, but I find that videos without talking tend to make the best ASMR videos, Bob Ross excluded. Like the ASMR Cat and How to Iron a Shirt videos above, it’s the pleasant rhythm of work being done that gives me the best shivers.
7. Applying an iPhone Screen Protector
Here’s another great example of ASMR brought on by watching a meticulous person do meticulous things. In this case, the pride Gavin takes in his work combined with the gentle sounds as he works result in a moderate but enjoyable ASMR experience. If only all customer service representatives had his kind of work ethic.
8. Making a Cup of Tea
Yang Haiying is a soft-spoken Asian woman with thousands of videos uploaded to her Youtube account. The videos cover a whole bunch of topics ranging from painting to cooking to the making of tea. I’ve only seen her tea-related videos, but she has the kind of voice that will shiver you right up—and she knows it, too. Some of her videos are titled and tagged as “Inadvertent ASMR,” so she definitely knows the power of her sweet voice.
9. Fountain Pen
This video has two main ASMR triggers: the scratching of the fountain pen’s tip against the rough canvas paper, and the intricate details of the writer’s penmanship. The scratching is what gets me in this video.
Even if you don’t get an ASMR response out of this, I think you’ll enjoy watching it. The clip is relatively short and it gives you a glimpse into the artful world of calligraphy and handwriting.
10. Making Fire With IKEA Products
Lastly, this video demonstrates the ASMR triggers of clacking, scratching, shaving, and crackling—all distinct sounds that have been known to trigger an ASMR response. If these sorts of sounds don’t get you, then at least you’ll learn how to make a fire from scratch using only IKEA products.
The Best ASMR Videos: What Else Is Out There?
Did you get shivers down your spine and a tingling sensation along your scalp? If so, congrats! You have been blessed with the opportunity to enjoy such a pleasurable experience.
If you want more ASMR-related videos, then hop on over to /r/ASMR on Reddit and join 165,000+ other users who also enjoy head tingles. If craftsmanship and meticulous work is one of your triggers, then be sure to check out our list of fascinating artisan videos. Simply looking for a way to kill time on YouTube? Watch the most disliked YouTube videos of all time.
Image Credit: In Green/Shutterstock