Why are we, and our brains, so infatuated with ASMR?

by Erin Proud
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ASMR, or more scientifically known as, Autonomous Sensory Meridan Response has seemingly become all the rage within the past year, and with the endless amounts of websites and social media outlets that exist in today’s modern technological world, including sites like, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, it has become increasingly more difficult to escape viewing these often mentally addicting videos or clips. ASMR is the effect that is created from watching those famous videos you have all seen or heard of, but what is ASMR really? And more specifically, why are we, and our brains, so infatuated with it?

What is ASMR?

ASMR features soft noises of what more often than not appears to be random daily events or sounds that have actually been noted to calm the mind of the viewer or listener. This sense of calm also creates a sense, or even physical feeling, of pleasure at the same time. These feelings are often closely related to the feelings that one may experience when using a mediation, or mindfulness-based app or in person practice. Those that are able to experience the effects of ASMR often report back strong experiences or feelings of a tingling sensation that originates at the very top of the head, (think the scalp area), that then later travels down the spine of the rest of the body. This is an urgent and sudden feeling that can be best described as a “rush”. Since this tingling feeling is starting to be better known for inducing high and sudden levels of comfort, calm, or pleasure, its no surprise why people are flocking to view these viral online videos. One interesting note that can be made about ASMR, in general, is that not every individual has the ability to feel and experience this tingling rush sensation, and there isn’t really a proven reason to explain what differentiates those that can experience it, from those who cannot experience it.

Breaking Down ASMR Videos:

Effects of ASMR on the Brain:

Learning why people are so urgent to flock to watching ASMR, and learning how people can access ASMR videos and the feelings associated with them is one thing, but what are the actual physical and scientific effects, or benefits, that are being picked up on by our brains from the frequent viewing of these pleasuring and addicting videos? We previously mentioned the calming effects that can be created from viewing ASMR, but what does that truly mean as an overall mental effect on us? Frequent viewers of ASMR videos have claimed that the sense of calm caused from these addicting clips have actually helped them cure, or change their poor sleeping habits or tendencies, as well as lowering their overall personal stress levels, and even some individuals have reported ASMR lowered their overall heart rate levels. Those struggling with insomnia or just poor sleeping habits can use ASMR videos as a tool to help guide them to an effortless sleep schedule and cycle. The best results for those with these all too common struggles is to watch ASMR right before they would like to go to bed. This just shows us that people can actively use ASMR as an outlet to help with certain physical or mental health issues they may be struggling with once they learn more about ASMR and its benefits. Not only is ASMR a calming force, but it may also be a positive one. Users have made the claim that ASMR is an outlet to help promote and create positive thoughts and feelings in those that are fortunate enough to feel ASMR’s effects. For those that are struggling with mental disorders such as anxiety or depression, ASMR might just be the simple answer to quick relief. Anxiety and depression are disorders that are often accompanied by daily or frequent, negative thoughts and feelings about all aspects of life, and since ASMR creates a physical and mental rush of positivity and pleasure, it truly has a larger impact on our brains than we thought.


To a blind eye ASMR is just a weird internet obsession that is likely to fade, but to those that have taken the time to do their research, it is apparent that ASMR is so much more. The benefits and sensations that these videos cause cannot be ignored, and people should open their minds open to the possibility that ASMR could become a free tool for them to access to change, improve, or reduce an infinite amount of mental or physical problems one may be facing.
Erin Proud

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