When Did ASMR Become Popular?

Have you ever felt a pleasant tingling on the back of your neck when someone whispers or when you hear the soft tapping of rain against a window?

That feeling is called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR for short. Some people describe it as a ‘brain massage’ and it has quickly become a favorite way for many to relax.

It became widely known in the early 2010s, largely through YouTube where creators made videos designed to trigger ASMR.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what ASMR is and why it gives that relaxing tingle. We’ll explore the history of ASMR and how it went from being a little-known concept to a widely recognized phenomenon.

We’ll also dive into the kinds of content that ASMR creators produce on platforms like YouTube, and discuss the science behind why these videos can make us feel so calm.

Plus, we’ll touch on how ASMR has made its way into mainstream media and what the future might hold for this fascinating sensation.

Whether you’re a longtime fan or just curious about the hype, you’ll discover why so many people turn to ASMR videos to unwind after a long day.

Key Takeaways

  • ASMR is a calming sensation that can feel like a gentle tingle in your body, often triggered by certain sounds or visuals.
  • It became widely known in the early 2010s, largely through YouTube where creators made videos designed to trigger ASMR.
  • There are many different ASMR triggers and content styles, from whispering to tapping.
  • Research on ASMR suggests it may have real benefits, such as reducing stress and helping with sleep.
  • ASMR has been used in mainstream media and advertising, showing its growing acceptance and influence.

Introduction to ASMR

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s a fancy term for a relaxing feeling that you might get when you hear whispering, soft tapping, or other gentle noises.

This feeling is like a tingle that starts in your head and can move down your back and arms. Not everyone experiences ASMR, but for those who do, it can be a very calming and enjoyable experience.

Today, you can find a lot of videos on the internet that are made to help people feel this ASMR sensation. These videos include different sounds and visuals that trigger the feeling. They can be really helpful for relaxing and falling asleep.

History of ASMR

The term ASMR was coined in 2010, but many people have felt its effects long before they had a name for it. Online communities began to form around 2007 when people started sharing their experiences of these strange, tingly feelings.

It wasn’t until someone decided to give this sensation a name that the community really started to grow. Discussions about ASMR took place on internet forums and soon spread.

I remember being part of that community when I saw how quickly people everywhere were beginning to talk about their own ASMR experiences. When content creators on YouTube started making videos to intentionally trigger this sensation, the trend exploded in popularity.

It was fascinating to witness how a small online discussion could grow into a global phenomenon.

ASMR Content Types

When it comes to ASMR videos, there are so many types to choose from. Some common triggers that creators use to help people feel ASMR include whispering, tapping, and crinkling paper.

Everyone has different triggers, so content creators often try a variety of sounds and visuals to reach a wider audience. Some of the most popular ASMR creators have millions of subscribers on YouTube.

They’re really good at finding new ways to create those tingly feelings, and they often use high-quality microphones to make the experience even better for their viewers.

It’s not just about the sounds, either. Visual triggers, like watching someone brush hair or fold towels, can also cause ASMR. It’s amazing how these simple actions can have such a big impact on helping people relax.

The Science Behind ASMR

There’s still a lot to learn about ASMR, but scientists are starting to study it more. They’re looking into why some people get this tingly feeling and others don’t. Some studies have found that ASMR might help with things like stress and trouble sleeping.

It could be that the gentle sounds and visuals remind us of being cared for when we were little, which makes us feel safe and relaxed. Another idea is that the triggers cause our brains to release certain chemicals that make us feel good, like endorphins and oxytocin. Not everyone experiences ASMR, and that’s okay.

It’s kind of like how some people love the taste of cilantro and others think it tastes like soap. Our brains are all just a bit different. But for those who do enjoy ASMR, the benefits can be as real as a warm hug.

ASMR in Mainstream Media

ASMR might have started online, but it didn’t stay there for long. Big companies have noticed how popular it is and started using it in their commercials.

From beer ads to campaigns for soap, these companies are making ads that include ASMR triggers to try to catch your attention and make their products seem more comforting.

Even celebrities have gotten in on the craze, with some recording ASMR sessions that you can watch. It’s clear that ASMR is not just a passing fad—it’s become a part of popular culture.

Seeing big brands and famous faces embrace ASMR shows that it has a strong appeal and can connect with people in a unique way. It makes sense that they’d want to be part of something that makes so many people feel good.

The Future of ASMR

The future of ASMR looks very bright. With more and more people discovering ASMR every day, we can expect to see even more creative content being made.

The community around ASMR is also growing, which means there will be more sharing and discovering of what triggers this sensation best. One trend that’s getting more popular is the use of virtual reality (VR) to make ASMR experiences even more immersive.

Imagine feeling like you’re really in a peaceful forest or sitting beside a gentle stream. Technology might also help us understand ASMR better, like by tracking which parts of the brain light up when someone experiences it.

As we learn more, we could even start using ASMR to help with health issues like anxiety or insomnia. It’s an exciting time for fans of ASMR, and there’s no telling what new discoveries or content will come next. The one thing that’s for sure is that ASMR has a place in many people’s hearts (and ears) for years to come.


In conclusion, ASMR has seen a remarkable journey from a niche interest to a widely recognized and embraced phenomenon. Its unique ability to trigger relaxing sensations has not only captured the attention of millions of individuals looking for ways to unwind but has also sparked scientific curiosity.

With the variety of content available and the continuous exploration of its potential benefits, ASMR’s future seems as bright as ever. The impact of ASMR extends beyond individual relaxation; it influences mainstream media and advertising, showcasing its powerful connection with audiences.

As we move forward, the ASMR community will likely continue to thrive and evolve, bringing soothing whispers and gentle taps to all those in search of a little comfort in a busy world.

Frequently Asked Questions about ASMR

What is ASMR and how does it work? 

ASMR is a sensation that feels like a relaxing tingle in your head, neck, or other parts of the body, usually triggered by certain sounds or visuals like whispering, tapping, or watching someone perform a task. While the exact science isn’t fully understood, it’s thought that these triggers can cause a release of feel-good chemicals in the brain, providing comfort and relaxation.

Can everyone experience ASMR? 

No, not everyone experiences ASMR. It’s similar to taste preferences where some people find certain foods delicious and others don’t. The ability to experience ASMR varies from person to person, and some may not get the tingling sensation at all.

Are there any benefits to watching ASMR videos? 

Many people find ASMR videos helpful for relaxation, reducing stress, and falling asleep. While more scientific research is needed, some studies suggest that ASMR could have benefits for mental health by providing a sense of calm and well-being.

What are the most common ASMR triggers? 

The most common ASMR triggers include whispering, soft-spoken voices, tapping on various surfaces, the sound of crinkling paper, close personal attention, and slow, deliberate hand movements. Different people may have different triggers, so what works for one person might not work for another.

Is ASMR just a trend or is it here to stay? 

Although ASMR started as an internet trend, it has significantly grown in popularity and influence, making its way into mainstream media and advertising. Its enduring appeal and the ongoing research into its potential benefits suggest that ASMR is more than just a fleeting trend and is likely to remain a part of many people’s routines for relaxation and stress relief.


  • Janine Swart

    Legal Advisor & Social Media Manager
    In 2011, I achieved admission as an attorney to the Western Cape High Court of South Africa, signaling the initiation of my fulfilling legal journey. Since then, my diverse professional roles immersed me in the intricacies of civil, labour, and criminal law, fostering a well-rounded understanding of various legal domains. Even before my formal admission, my exposure to criminal and labour law laid the foundation for my eventual specialization. Throughout my career, I have remained dedicated to the principles of justice, fairness, and equity, shaping my approach to legal practice. While I hold a special affinity for labour law, my openness to exploring positions in other legal fields underscores my eagerness to expand my expertise and contribute to the legal community in diverse capacities. Beyond my legal practice, I have found a unique intersection between law and modern communication through social media management for law firms. Leveraging my legal background, I bring a distinctive perspective to enhance a law firm’s social media presence. Recognizing the pivotal role of effective communication in the legal realm, I apply my knowledge to curate content that not only engages but also educates and informs the audience. My blend of academic knowledge, practical experience, and commitment to ethical standards positions me as a formidable force in the legal arena. As I continue to evolve professionally, I remain steadfast in my pursuit of a legal career that not only positively impacts individuals and society but also enhances a law firm’s digital footprint through strategic social media management. My social media management skills include: - Facebook Marketing - Instagram Marketing - YouTube Marketing - LinkedIn Marketing - Social Media Marketing