What is ASMR?

ASMR videos and the whole topic of ASMR are becoming very popular these days. Not just on YouTube, also in media and public life. But what is the ASMR hype all about?

The Urban Dictionary defines ASMR as:

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a physical sensation characterized by a pleasurable tingling that typically begins in the head and scalp, and often moves down the spine and through the limbs.

And some people just call it braingasm.

Why ASMR is good for you?

In fact, ASMR videos are about triggers that give the viewers “tingles”. A tingle is a feeling that can be described as pleasurable goosebumps but stronger, originating in the scalp area and often spreading to the spine and other parts of the body), which make the viewer feel good and relaxed.

ASMR triggers can be about special kinds of sounds like eating sounds, tapping, crinkling sounds, and many many more triggers. Regarding the variety of the sounds, there are hardly any boundaries. Almost any kind of sound is possible, as long as they are calming to the viewer.

Whispering and/or soft spoken videos, certain hand movements (reiki), special roleplays with tender personal attention (doctor roleplays) or simply executing trivial tasks can also cause tingles.

Where do ASMR videos can help?

When watching ASMR videos, a principle is sought to relax the body and mind. Many people can relax their body and mind during watching an ASMR video when they have found their personal triggers. ASMR videos are about relaxing your mind with external help. A lot of people simply feel good watching ASMR videos.

ASMR videos are often viewed for the following reasons:

  • mindfulness
  • relaxation
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • anxiety disorders

What is ASMR eating?

ASMR eating is a subcategory of ASMR. As mentioned before, eating sounds can also trigger ASMR. A lot of people have found their personal ASMR triggers in eating sounds and food visuals. The most popular eating sounds are for example:

  • smacking sounds
  • chewing sounds
  • slurping sounds
  • drinking sounds
  • or crunching sounds

German Freak ASMR video with eating sounds

What is mukbang?

In addition to ASMR videos with food, there are mukbangs (also named mok-bang or mukbang) as a similar video category. What is a mukbang anyway? A mukbang is, in the original sense, a show where someone eats large amounts of food in a livestream. Most viewers usually donate money to the person in this live show.

And who come up with this extraordinary idea? The original idea of ​​the mukbang comes from Asia, more precisely South Korea. The word “muk” is from South Korea ans stands for “food” and the word “bang” for “send”.

Meanwhile, many creators worldwide make mukbangs. But mostly in a modified form without livestream and without donations.

Mukbang vs ASMR eating video

A mukbang is usually not quiet compared to an ASMR video. In a mukbang video is not whispered, but talked at normal volume. Mukbang clearly focuses on food and what the artist has to tell the audience. In mukbangs the creators usually talk about everyday topics.

Another feature of mukbangs is that frequently fast food is eaten. Of course, McDonald’s mukbangs and Burger King mukbangs are popular. But Subway’s food, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) as well as pizza by Dominos or Pizza Hut can often be seen in these type of ASMR videos.

As you can see, mukbangs are more dynamic and louder than ASMR videos, and are not necessarily for relaxation, but much more for the visual sight, enjoyment, and personal exchange.

Why ASMR is popular?

For more and more people, todays world is getting more complex and more stressful. We are inventing new technologies and innovations which should save us time and make for a better and productive life. But in fact the modern world with internet, smartphones, and social media networks like Facebook and other apps actually take away a lot of our time and make us available 24/7.

These days it is hard just to be offline for a few hours and even harder to be offline for a whole day or a week. It is difficult to disconnect from the world outside and just relax and be yourself. No thinking, no action and no nothing needed. I think that could be a reason why ASMR videos became so popular today.

Because in my opinion ASMR videos have usually three things in common. They are S, Q and F:

  • Simple
  • Quiet
  • Focused

ASMR videos usually turn a big world full of complexity and stress into a really simple, small and private moment. People can fully relax while watching these videos.

Pelagea ASMR relaxing video

ASMR videos are simple

Have you ever seen an ASMR video? Usually the person in the video is doing not very complex things. They speak softly or don’t talk at all, and there are usually no harsh movements. Even the stories are simple. You can just watch the video (or only listen), follow the ASMR artist and turn your brain off.

ASMR videos are quiet

Almost all ASMR artists do whispering or speak calmly in their videos. Sometimes there are also just no talking videos. I think this is because whispering is a special thing to many people. When we whisper, we tell our secrets. So whispering can give the viewer a positive feeling and a feeling of appreciation.

The Whisper Song von den Ying Yang Twins

The Whisper Song of the Ying Yang Twins (2010) is probably one of the most famous songs, which has a similarity to ASMR videos.

ASMR videos are focused

As I wrote before ASMR videos are simple. But they are not just that. They are also very focused on the viewer. This you can see in different ASMR roleplays like doctor or hairdresser roleplays. The viewer gets full personal attention and personal care in these videos. A lot of people out there might experience a lack of personal attention and care, and therefore can benefit from these videos.

Can ASMR help you sleep?

Yes, ASMR definitely can help you sleep! There are tons of ASMR videos out there, especially on YouTube. ASMR videos can be very different and full of variety. There’s a good chance that with a little research, you will find ASMR videos that contains your personal ASMR triggers which can help you relax and sleep.