In this article:
- ASMR stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response,” and it’s become a YouTube trend meant to help you sleep or relax.
- Using gentle audio stimuli like the sound of scissors cutting hair or soft tapping on a microphone, ASMR is meant to create tingling, calming sensations through your body.
- For some, it works wonders. For others, it’s a sensory nightmare.
- You can listen to these ASMRtists tonight to get the best sleep you’ve had in weeks.
If you’re anything like me, sleeping schedules are less of a schedule and more like a gently worded suggestion designed to be ignored for a fifth cup of coffee at 3:00 A.M. What can I say? It’s hard to fall asleep at decent hours when your brain won’t stop thinking about DMing a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. So you do the next best thing: Google “how to fall asleep.”
There were typical suggestions like lighting scented candles. But before I ended up burning a hole through my wallet, YouTube gave me a completely free solution that didn’t come with the risks of falling asleep and leaving a flame unattended: ASMR.
What Is ASMR and How Does It Work?
So, ASMR. It stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response” which sounds like something you’d hear in a Dr. Who episode as a name for an advanced weapons system.
What ASMR really is, though, are those tingles you get on the back of your neck and scalp when you’re presented with a gentle stimulus. If you’ve tried one of those head massager whisks that look like a crossbreed between a spider and an egg beater, that’s kind of what it feels like.
ASMR has been compared to auditory-tactile synesthesia because of how both involve experiencing bodily sensations in response to a sound prompt. Makes sense. After all, there’s a growing trend in the past few years to make ASMR beautiful even though the response is supposedly audio-only.
For the people who get tingles from ASMR, triggers are a godsend. “Triggers” (not to be confused with trigger warnings) is a word used by the YouTube ASMR community to describe the auditory, and sometimes visual, stimuli that cause the relaxing tingly sensation. That said, ASMR is more than just a tingling sensation. Anyone who has found an ASMR video that works wonders for them knows that great ASMR can leave you groaning and shivering.
“He would turn my brain to fuzz—this enjoyable, relaxing fuzziness.” Craig Richard, PhD, told Health about what Bob Ross’ talking did for him as a kid. Richard is a professor of biopharmaceutical sciences at Shenandoah University who wrote Brain Tingles, a guidebook for ASMR. In my case, my intro to ASMR was this binaural haircut video that had me audibly gasping the entire time because of all the tingles.
Sadly, YouTube ASMR is not a world of wonders for everybody. People with misophonia understandably loathe videos where the whole point is making a bunch of weird little sounds, including mouth sounds and slime squishing.
If you aren’t sure whether your body responds to ASMR triggers or you’re just looking for more ASMR creators to watch and fall asleep to, keep on reading. These YouTube ASMR creators make what are honestly some of the highest production value videos on the platform and they are a delight to watch and listen to (if you don’t have misophonia).
1. ASMR Zeitgeist’s Color Coded Triggers Give Both Visual and Auditory Tingles
Michael, the guy you see in the thumbnail, runs a YouTube ASMR channel called “ASMR Zeitgeist.” The channel has over 2 million subscribers tuning in to listen to him talk softly at the start of his videos before proceeding to mix orbees by hand. Michael makes what is, at least to me, hands down the most visually satisfying ASMR content on YouTube. The audio triggers don’t fall behind either.
If you’re wondering where to start, I recommend Michael’s “Color Themed Triggers” playlist. It currently has seven videos, each of which is roughly two to three hours long, and only uses trigger objects that fit the theme color.
So if it says “ASMR Turquoise Triggers,” you can bet that all the objects used are the same exact shade of turquoise. Aside from his color-themed ASMR videos, there are also extremely creative “personal attention” themed ASMR videos like one where he is a sleep technologist helping you fall asleep in outer space.
Seriously, check that one out. The production value is nuts, especially when you consider that he doesn’t run midroll ads. If you like ASMR Zeitgeist’s content, you can donate to his Patreon.
2. Ediyasmr Creates Spiritual ASMR Videos That Soothe the Soul
The ASMR community is divided not just among those who experience and don’t experience tingles, but also between ASMR lovers who are pro-talking and anti-talking. If you happen to be part of the former camp, then you need to check out Ediyasmr.
Ediya makes spiritually soothing ASMR videos centered around meditation, shifting realities, Reiki, and tarot card readings. Whether you personally believe in any of that won’t matter when you start hearing her talk.
Ediya has one of the most buttery smooth and cloud-soft voices of all the female YouTube ASMR creators I’ve come across so far. It also doesn’t hurt that she has such a gentle, graceful way of moving her hands that’s borderline hypnotic when you’re half-asleep at some ungodly hour of the night.
The atmosphere of her videos is also peak relaxation since they all use this mellow yellow lighting that makes it feel like you’re indoors with her, sitting near a fireplace on a chilly evening.
3. Atlas ASMR Brings Hollywood Production Value to ASMR
If you thought ASMR Zeitgeist was over the top, you need to check out Atlas ASMR who edits what are practically feature-length ASMR films. To give you a quick idea of just how insanely good his work is, he does these movie premise ASMR videos that span everything from the Kingsman movie to a cyberpunk workshop.
His videos hit all the right notes. The audio is crisp and feels like he’s directly next to you, the visuals are so well done that it’s hard to look away, and the storylines are so detailed that the experience becomes wholly immersive.
Having said that, I should also mention that his videos are all talking ASMR and that while he speaks gently, Atlas ASMR doesn’t talk in constant whispers or repeats word triggers. Before you skip him though, check out his videos first because his voice is just the best one out there among the male YouTube ASMR creators.
One of his recent videos is this steampunk-themed ASMR inspired by Arcane. Atlas ASMR’s channel is a treasure trove for ASMR listeners who love fiction and video games so if you want to support his work, here’s a link to the Patreon.
4. Atmosphere Is a YouTube ASMR Channel Specializing in Historical ASMR
Moving on to other roleplay ASMR videos, have you ever wanted to be pampered by a servant like you’re a noble?
Atmosphere’s channel has your back. Not only does she have historical-themed ASMR videos, but the videos are as close to era-accurate as possible, making it feel like you’ve really traveled back in time.
Depending on how you identify, you can enjoy being dressed as a Victorian lady or gentleman. You don’t even have to worry about wrinkles in your skirts or coat since she irons it out with an actual coal iron first. Why are you getting dressed? Because you’re visiting an ASMR ghost that reads poetry.
The fantasy doesn’t end there. You can go even further back in time to the Byzantine era and watch her sculpt clay in a Roman villa for 20 minutes.
Feeling even more adventurous? You can go to an elven blacksmith and get custom magical pockets installed into your armor. Before you turn that offer down, please consider it because later, you’re going to be sparring with Ciri from The Witcher and you’ll need all the help you can get.
Why are you training, you ask? Because Atmosphere is going to ambush you while whispering softly.
5. Annura ASMR’s Aggressive Nail Tapping Is Oddly Comforting
On to more traditional ASMR videos.
If repetitive word triggers and fast hand movements are your things, Annura ASMR is the creator for you. She specializes in soul healing ASMR videos where she plucks negative thoughts out of your brain. Self-defeating thoughts? Gone. Insecurity? Gone. Self-hate? Gone. Stress? Gone. There are no bad vibes that Annura ASMR hasn’t thought of plucking before.
For the folks with ADHD who have a hard time finding ASMR videos that don’t bore them, she even has a video specially made for you. Annura ASMR also creates slice-of-life roleplay videos like this one where your mean girl classmate does your makeup for you in the school library. Very specific genre, but hey, it’s very relaxing.
6. Tabuhan ASMR Gives the Most Relaxing Massages on YouTube
Everybody loves getting massages, but that’s not always possible unless you’re getting a home service every night. So why not get your massages from this YouTube ASMRtist.
When I say Tabuhan ASMR gives the best ASMR massages on YouTube, I mean it. He even has this low perspective POV that’s meant to simulate the feeling of lying down and getting massaged. When he’s not giving virtual full-body massages, Tabuhan ASMR is giving thousands of viewers a spa facial treatment.
His other videos feature negative energy removal, spiritual cleansing, and chakra balancing in a cozy, dimly lit room filled with fairy lights. Talk about relaxation. Like ASRM Zeitgeist, he sometimes provides sleep clinic services for chronic insomniacs.
While he isn’t as extra as the other male creators on this list, it’s really hard not to relax when someone starts a video by greeting you as his special friend (but in a completely platonic and soothing way). Also, the hand sounds. This guy has the best-sounding hands on this list.
7. Travel Back in Time With Miniyu and Myaling’s Joseon Korea Themed Videos
Some people like listening to ASMR in a language they don’t understand because it makes them focus on the sound rather than what’s being said. That won’t be true for you if you happen to speak Korean, but these creators are going to give you the tingles either way.
Miniyu ASMR primarily makes videos in Korean where she does everything from roleplay cleaning your ears, feeding you strawberries, and pretending to be a witch who runs a small potions shop. Her most unique video, though, is this one where she sits in a traditional Korean room and pampers you like you’re a Joseon-era lady.
There’s also Myaling ASMR who will do your makeup with the cutest traditional Korean themed makeup products.
I know that probably doesn’t float your ASMR boat if you aren’t interested in makeup, so why not pretend to be an ancient Korean king getting a herbal treatment from a doctor with Reyong ASMR.
If none of the creators mentioned above are giving you the fabled ASMR tingle response, try looking around YouTube for different ones. With so many YouTube ASMR creators, you’re bound to find one who makes content that suits you.