I’ll start with a simple question.

Have you ever heard of ASMR?

If you haven’t, boy are you in for a roller coaster of a ride with this post.

The truth is, I’ve been waiting to write this article for quite some time. The title seems like it could never live up to its own promise, but it does.

What Is ASMR, Tom?

Funny you asked. 

ASMR is short for “Autonomous sensory meridian response.” 

Wikipedia defines it as “an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine.”

It feels amazing. I’ve felt it before on a VERY small scale — but others I know online have full-body tingling experiences when triggered correctly.

How do you bring about an autonomous sensory meridian response? 

Via sounds. Very very quiet sounds. 

There’s a whole subgenre on Youtube of people who call themselves “ASMR-artists” dedicated to bringing about these full-body tingles to people.

My favorite of them all, Gentle Whispering ASMR, has over 1,700,000 subscribers. Most of her videos get about 500,000+ views, but I’ve seen four or five get above 10,000,000 as well.

In short, people love them. Most of the time they just whisper into a microphone, but other times they conduct sound experiments.

Sometimes they play around with slime. Sometimes they play around with oil drippers. Sometimes they role-play and act like a barber. Some people have XXX-rated ASMR role-plays. 

It definitely gets weird, but for some reason, I can’t bring myself to stop listening to somebody putting a layer of slime overtop a microphone for 40 minutes.

It is both wildly ridiculous and absolutely sublime to listen to. 

I know it’s crazy. I know this all is incredibly weird, too, but trust me when you give it a chance, it may help halve your anxiety — and that’s a small estimate.

What ASMR Has Done For Me

I have been listening to ASMR since college — about 5 years now — and I can’t tell you how much these videos have helped calm my nerves.

Sometimes they calm them too much. 

Oftentimes I listen to ASMR while writing a blog post and about 15 minutes in I almost fall out of my chair.

Because I’m 99% of the way to dreamland.

Most of the time it doesn’t even take 10 minutes.

I am not lying to anyone when I say that listening to ASMR has probably given me hundreds of hours of sleep, cut my anxiety in half the last 5 years, and even helped me not gain weight. Why?

Because listening to ASMR is like a dopamine hit to me. Many times I use things like Youtube videos or sweets to look forward to during long days at work — but when I put on an ASMR video, it’s just as big of a reward for me as eating a Snickers. 

Therefore I don’t eat the Snickers. 

I also listen to these videos to help me get to sleep. I don’t know about you, but half the battle for me regarding sleep is getting my heart rate below “pounding out of my chest” levels.

ASMR does that really quick. I don’t always fall asleep with it on, because my earphones are quite uncomfortable, but it certainly primes the pump, and within 5 minutes of turning it off most times I’m already gone.

Come to think of it, I started listening to ASMR five years ago because I had a really severe case of Crohn’s Disease. They gave me steroids to help with the pain, which worked, but the only problem was my steroids were great at keeping me awake. 

In the middle of college I was getting zero sleep. I resorted to self-medicating in a lot of ways to help with that, and ASMR was one of these ways. It worked so well that I’ve never stopped listening.

What ASMR Can Do For You

Some of you will listen to ASMR with headphones on because of this article. Thank you for that. But for a good portion of these people, they’ll listen for about 30 seconds, they’ll laugh their ass off, shut their laptop, and write ASMR off as some ridiculous internet trend that doesn’t work.

Others will turn on an ASMR video and become infatuated within 2 minutes. They’ll feel their heart rate level out. Their breathing will slow down. They may even get goosebumps or tingles. 

Their eyelids will drop. They’ll put their head in their hand “just for a second,” and a minute later they’ll shock themselves awake because they almost fell out of their chair.

They dozed off because of slime.

And then they will know precisely what I am talking about, and they may wonder why the heck they had never heard of this before. Well, it’s because people take one look at these thumbnails and think it’s weird as hell, that’s why.

But not us.

Not us.

ASMR has halved my anxiety, given me hundreds of hours of sleep, and helped me not gain too much weight. I think it can do the same for you if you just give it a try. Just search “ASMR” on Youtube and away you go.


The Mission Contributor. 25. Published on Thought Catalog. YouTuber. Travel blogger. Visit Tom on HisYouTubeChannel.
The Mission Contributor. 25. Published on Thought Catalog. YouTuber. Travel blogger. Visit Tom on HisYouTubeChannel.
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