Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

Her Campus at U Ottawa acknowledges that we are located on the stolen and unsurrendered land of the Algonquin people.

What do you think of when you first hear the term ASMR? Do you think of someone whispering uncomfortably in your ear? Perhaps a cringe, ear-doctor role play, or some weird pseudo-relaxation technique used to disguise an odd fetish online? Would you believe me if I told you that ASMR is genuinely relaxing and totally not weird for many people?

Autonomous sensory meridian response, abbreviated to ASMR, provides unique sensations that are described as tingles and relaxation to its listeners. These tingles feel like light tickling in your brain or scalp, and shivers across your body.

ASMR exists everywhere—in music, meditation, whispers, movies, and television. If you’re watching a TV show with headphones and one of the characters is talking in a soft, relaxing way, it’s very possible that it’s ASMR! People creating ASMR content often use different techniques like whispering, trigger words, objects, and even role play.

ASMR has similar benefits to meditation, too. In fact, the two are very alike—ASMR is mainly used to help users fall asleep and relax, but it can also be used to calm anxiety attacks. Some people find comfort in listening to ASMR and using it as background noise.

ASMR is not everyone’s cup of tea

ASMR doesn’t have the same effect on everyone. Some people listen to ASMR and feel nothing but weird whispering in their ears, and that’s okay! ASMR is similar to music—some people enjoy different genres more than others. If you enjoy ASMR, great! And if you don’t, that’s perfectly fine as well.

I discovered ASMR several years ago, and it was a game-changer for my sleep and relaxation. Whenever I’m feeling restless or need a break, I can head to YouTube, put on an ASMR video, and fall asleep in minutes.

ASMR doesn’t work for everyone, but it doesn’t deserve its bad rep. If you don’t know what ASMR is, give it a try and hopefully you’ll experience your first brain tingle. Happy relaxing!

Olivia Onesi

U Ottawa '24

Olivia enjoys binge reading her favourite young adult novels and going for evening runs. She is a fourth year psychology student at the University of Ottawa and can be found scrolling endlessly on TikTok.