I Liked ASMR Before It Was Cool: Here’s Why

When you’re taking a break from the ongoing, seemingly never-ending hustle of the semester’s workload, what’s the first thing you turn to? Is it Instagram? TikTok? TV? If you’re like me, it’s usually YouTube. My suggestions, already tailored to the type of videos I naturally tend to click on, hit me with my favorite mukbangers, YouTube couples, and most of all, ASMRtists. 


To some of you, ASMR might just be a string of random letters. But within the past few years, they’ve become more and more known within today’s popular culture. ASMR stands for “Autonomous sensory meridian response.” It refers to a tingling sensation, beginning at the scalp and ending at the spine, that people encounter as a result of auditory or visual stimuli. This includes anything from whispering, tapping, and scratching, to mouth sounds, soft speaking, or hand movements. 


This pleasant feeling is foreign to many, but for others, it has become a part of their everyday experience and routine. Speaking truth to that is YouTube’s recent inundation with ASMR videos over the course of just a couple of years. What started off as something quite unheard of and with a small viewership, has turned into a practice that even A-List celebrities have been recruited by online platforms to dabble in. Search “ASMR” in YouTube’s search bar, and watch as videos flood in of celebrities whispering into a microphone and tapping on their surroundings. (Side note: hearing Cardi B whisper “Okurr” is something I never knew I needed). You are also going to find content creators known for Beauty, Life Style, Fashion, Cooking, Gaming, and everything else in between, that showcase their attempts at creating ASMR videos. Many have jumped onto the “I Tried ASMR for the First Time” bandwagon, trying to induce some tingles out of their viewers through eating sounds, soft speaking, and tapping. It has certainly become a trend, and while people seem to be able to lightly poke fun at how different it is from what one usually expects to see on the internet, I believe it’s also gaining recognition as a serious practice that people genuinely enjoy.


That’s especially true for people who have created YouTube channels dedicated specifically to ASMR. Whether for recreational purposes or for a living, they take the time to pump out regularly scheduled videos of people’s favorite triggers: finger fluttering, flipping through books, shaking bottles of water, etc... Why? Because so many people, such as myself, have learned to rely on ASMR! I started watching ASMR videos back in 2012. I am so happy that people are now becoming more open-minded to the benefits of listening to these videos, especially with how stressful school, work, and life can be right now. Because it’s not just about the tingles, it’s about relaxation. 


The gentleness and soft volume of ASMR are perfect to play in the background while you continue working, as it won’t distract you. It’s also a great way to recharge in between study sessions and grind time, or something to quickly put you to bed at night. If none of those reasons are sound enough for you, many channels also create videos specific to those experiencing panic or anxiety attacks as a way to bring comfort and support. Whichever reason you choose to watch ASMR or whatever experience you want out of it, you’ll see that they’re highly effective in meeting those expectations just by reading the feedback of viewers in the comments.


That being said, ASMR might not be your cup of tea. But when I tell you there are so many options of ASMR content, triggers, artists, and personalities out there, you have to believe me. It’s super likely you’d find at least one channel that resonates with you and entertains or calms you in some way. Overall, ASMR is something that can not fully be explained to capture what it is or what it aims to do. In order to really understand it, you need to immerse yourself in the ASMR community and try watching a few of their videos.


Here are a couple of well-known creators on YouTube that has established themselves in the realm of ASMR:


  • Gibi ASMR
  • Gentle Whispering ASMR
  • ASMR Darling
  • Frivolous Fox
  • Jojo’s ASMR
  • RaffyTaphy ASMR
  • Karuna Satori


These are just a few of the more popular channels, but I’d suggest taking a trip down Relaxation Road yourself by scoping out artists of your own!