With the semester coming to a close, sleep and relaxation take a backseat to papers, tests, projects and stress. You find yourself pulling all-nighters and living off of coffee and granola bars, possibly while on the verge of a breakdown.
Although it can be a miserable time, there are many ways to mitigate the anxiety and exhaustion that accompany finals. Even though the best way is probably to just plan your time properly and get all your studying done, watching ASMR videos is honestly a much more realistic means of relaxation.
ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, which is a physical reaction associated with a tingling sensation on the skin. It’s often felt in the scalp, neck and/or spine, but different people have different experiences. ASMR can help with sleep, mental health issues and even physical pain. That being said, it’s not a medical treatment and should not be used as such; it’s merely a method to provide relaxation and a pleasant sensation.
ASMR videos can take many forms. Creators use all sort of props, such as makeup brushes, food, marbles, paper or really anything, to make satisfying noises. They speak very softly and frequently use exaggerated gestures. The sounds or movements that invoke tingling are called “triggers.” Popular video concepts include eating, various trigger compilations and role plays.
As a study break or a way to calm your racing mind at night, here are seven ASMR videos (in no particular order) to help you stay sane during finals week.
Morpheus is an endearing old man with an ASMR channel that’s mainly dedicated to eating videos. In this installment, he’s celebrating his 1,000-subscriber milestone by consuming his favorite cake. (He now has over 500,000 subscribers.)
Honestly, I don’t think he’s the best ASMR YouTuber in terms of technique, but he has a tenderness that’s reminiscent of a grandfather. In fact, his fans even call him “grandpa.” You just can’t help but love and support him.
His cake video may not put you to sleep, but it will certainly warm your heart when you find yourself in the library at 2 a.m. in the morning, cramming for a final.
This video isn’t what it sounds like. ASMR Darling, aka Taylor, is a very popular YouTuber who came up with the clever concept of eating ear-shaped chocolate. The chocolate ears can be plain or covered in snacks like Pop Rocks or potato chips.
I know chewing sounds drive a lot of people crazy, but many others are really into it. Taylor’s not particularly obnoxious with her eating, so I enjoyed this video a lot. She used a binaural microphone, which directs sound to specific sides of your earbuds or headphones, making it sound like the noise is coming from all around.
This is one of the few ASMR videos that actually gives me tingles, and it’s just a fun idea.
W Magazine has a series on their YouTube channel where they record different celebrities trying ASMR for the first time. They’ve done videos with Gigi Hadid, Nina Dobrev, Cardi B and many other celebrities. However, I think Aubrey Plaza’s version stands out from the rest.
For one, it’s over half an hour long, and longer videos tend to be better in this genre. It’s also clear that Plaza is familiar with ASMR and enjoys it. She uses sounds from various props while providing a whispered discussion about her rise to fame in a way that’s funny, interesting and oddly relaxing all at the same time.
As mentioned above, the longer the video, the better in the ASMR world. Perhaps that’s why ASMR Darling’s “100 Triggers To Help You Sleep” has over 22 million views. The amount of work that went into this four-hour video of whispering, crinkling, tapping, page-turning, coloring and more is truly astounding.
I think it’s some of the best ASMR content to fall asleep to because the length almost guarantees that you won’t need to open your eyes or pick up your phone/computer to find a new video once it’s finished. I like to just leave it in the background when I’m in bed. The only downside is that your battery will inevitably be drained once you wake up.
Gibi ASMR is another popular YouTuber and definitely a good one to check out. Her whispering poetry video is a good introduction to ASMR because it doesn’t involve any particularly strange aspects. It’s just her reading popular poems in a soothing voice.
There are no extra visual effects, so you can just put in your earbuds and close your eyes. For me, it’s not the best for tingles, but it’s a relaxing video that doesn’t feel at all weird to listen to. The poems are also beautiful, and you kind of feel like you’re listening to something educational.
If extremely long videos aren’t your thing, you’ll probably enjoy this four-minute clip of somebody cutting up tiny pieces of soap. It’s one of those things that’s just oddly satisfying to watch.
The soap splits and falls into perfect little cubes of color, making delightful crumbling noises. It’s simple, strange and doesn’t involve any talking or even any visuals of someone’s face.
Like the last video, this one doesn’t involve any speech. Some people don’t like the whispering and just want sounds from objects, so ASMR videos that only feature inanimate sounds are definitely popular. There are pipe cleaners, bubble wrap, makeup brushes and a whole lot of direct touches to the microphone.
ASMRMagic, the creator, knows what’s she’s doing in this hour-and-a-half long trigger compilation. She also doesn’t show her face, which is kind of nice because sometimes the intense eye contact from other ASMR artists can feel a little uncomfortable.
ASMR might seem a little strange at first, but after you get over the initial peculiarities, it can be a fun and very useful relaxation tool. At the end of the semester, effective methods of de-stressing can be hard to come by, and you have nothing to lose by exploring ASMR!