There is a quiet—oh, so quiet—revolution happening on YouTube that is helping people with stress, depression, and insomnia fall asleep more easily. The videos elicit a tingling sensation that starts in the scalp and flushes away physical tension and anxious thoughts. One New York Times writer described feeling "carbonated bubbles through the back of my head." And no, it's not porn, although some have likened the euphoria of being triggered to "head orgasms." Reddit has defined it as "sounds that feel good." This phenomenon is ASMR, which stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
The first (intentional) ASMR-triggering video was uploaded to YouTube into 2010, and after seven years of tingles ASMR is finally being studied scientifically to understand who gets it, why (because not everyone does) and how we can use it to our benefit. Maria of Gentle Whispering, one of the most followed "ASMRtists," a term used to describe individuals who create videos specifically to trigger ASMR, surpassed 1 million YouTube subscribers this month. ASMR is having a moment.