For those still unfamiliar with ASMR and are in need of a quick explanation, I really like the way Ephemeral Rift puts it:
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and is the current (non-scientific) name given to the feeling characterized as a pleasurable tingling sensation felt in the head, scalp, back and other regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli, such as crinkling bags, hand movements, whispering and personal attention.
ASMR videos are not only meant to help induce ASMR or “tingles”, but also help provide a relaxing, calming and soothing experience for the viewer while helping to relieve their anxiety, stress, insomnia, to help those suffering with PTSD or depression, to serve as a study aid and more.
Last week I introduced Ephemeral Rift to you all, and the week before that I wrote a piece introducing ASMR itself. This week as promised I will introduce another of my favourite ASMR artists, Heather Feather.
Introducing: Heather Feather
What makes Heather Feather special? For me it’s the sheer volume of work she’s put out over the years since she joined YouTube in 2012, her experimental and inquisitive nature and the human warmth she comes across with. She’s clearly passionate about ASMR and that gives me more motivation to explore it myself. Her body of work covers a whole range of voice techniques, objects that make the most curious of sounds, hand techniques, role plays, small compilations of triggers, vast compilations of triggers over many hours and even some guided relaxation videos. I mean, that’s a lot of work! Oh and we mustn’t forget her cat or hedgehog either.
Here’s a Snippet
That’s enough writing for now, let’s meet Heather Feather and listen to one of her Sound Slice videos. The idea is to put some headphones on, sit back and relax. Listen to the sounds for a few minutes, while letting your mind empty itself of thoughts. You can listen for just a few minutes to get a taste or the whole video, it’s up to you.
Okay. That could have been a bit weird or rather relaxing, depending on your mood and sensitivity. I also find that if I’m not willing to relax, it doesn’t work. So let’s explore that a bit further.
Who Benefits from ASMR
Judging by the mass of followers, there are many people incorporating ASMR into their lifestyle. Following ASMR is largely about spacing out or switching off for a while to let the brain relax. In a world that constantly floods us with information overload, finding that space can be a precious thing. One follower commented that they used Heather’s videos to overcome their PTSD induced insomnia, another had panic attacks that they combat with ASMR, but most seem to use it for a straight forward relaxation session. I’ve actually seen many unexpected uses for ASMR, and you may have a specific use for it yourself or perhaps you know someone who should try it. The triggers are deliberately gentle and unthreatening to provide an atmosphere of calm security.
ASMR is a very helpful de-stresser in my experience and I let my mood determine when the best time to listen is. I generally feel very mentally refreshed afterwards, effects I would usually associate with meditation. However, don’t over-do it.
Incorporating ASMR into Your Routine
When I first got into ASMR a few weeks ago I basically binged on videos to find out as much as possible as quickly as possible and that quickly got me to a state of ASMR overload. Given that the ASMR artists I’ve been watching and listening to have released their work over many years and have a thriving mass of followers I think it’s safe to say that it would be better if someone did just one or two ASMR sessions a week, much like you or I would do with yoga or meditation. I suppose with yoga or meditation it’s actually possible to do a short 15 minute slot each day, but I don’t have that level of discipline. Do you? Regardless, I find that if I want to listen to a 30 minute to 1 hour ASMR video I personally would be better off limiting myself to once or twice a week like I just said, but for you, you should go with your own judgement. You may be highly stressed and would benefit from a daily session or perhaps your life is mellow and you do a session a month, or when you feel like it.
For the content producers themselves, a weekly video is probably a healthy pace for producer and follower alike. Heather Feather roughly produces a video per week on average currently, which gets me quite excited because I find that to be a sweet spot for anything periodical and it’s easy to catch up or skip a week without really losing out. Heather Feather does produce some multi-hour compilation videos occasionally and I found them to be interesting background noise while I was working on a task in lieu of putting on music. Sometimes I’m just burned out on music and this makes a nice change.
More of Heather Feather’s Material
Heather’s amazing “Draw My Life” story is well worth a listen. She’s got a lot of backbone and goes on my list of inspirational people just for this.
For a broad sweep of her work, I linked this video in my first article with a whopping 120 triggers in it.
This video is spliced together from Heather Feather’s other videos, so if you liked something from the compilation then there’s a parent video that goes into that sound further. There is an amazing 150 trigger sound video currently in the works that I’m really looking forward to. On Heather Feather’s YouTube channel she’s organised her ASMR videos into a number of playlists for easy viewing:
In Heather Feather’s own words:
Here you’ll find 50+ role plays (15+ original characters), Sound Assortments, Guided Meditations, original stories, Pure Sounds, & Sound Slices. I love experimenting with my content, & don’t believe in creative boundaries when it comes to eliciting ASMR.
I won’t put direct video links in for all this because the page would literally explode with embedded videos, but Heather’s words will give you an idea of the variety of videos on offer for your viewing and listening pleasure. Happy ASMRing!
That’s all for this week. If you want to comment on your experiences (or anything related!) please do in the section below, and if you want to subscribe to my updates please use the follow buttons above. See you next time.
Image and Video Credits : Heather Feather