Oil gently sizzles in a pan as a pair of hands chops crunchy-looking, colorful peppers with a chef's knife. In the background, you hear birds chirping and see the water from a river crashing into rocks. Barely a word is spoken. Welcome to the world of ASMR cooking, which has become a popular trend on social media for some time now. It’s a popular category under the general ASMR genre that manages to distill the act of cooking to its most aesthetic, soothing, and “tingly” core. No annoying chef-hosts barking orders, no distracting music in the background—just gorgeous visuals paired with natural ASMR-quality sounds.
The cooking aspect is fun to watch and draw inspiration from, and the calming, creative way that these videos are filmed is an added bonus. Not only do they help you de-stress, but the creative, fun recipes can also hopefully give you some inspiration to change up your cooking routine!
WHAT IS ASMR?
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR, is a physical and psychological sensation that instills a feeling of calmness for those that experience it. People report feeling a tingling sensation on the back of the head and neck, a lower heart rate, and a relaxed mood.
It's usually brought on by listening to quiet sounds, such as a crackling fire or whispering, or watching videos of people performing actions slowly, like painting or cooking. However, not everyone has the same reaction. For some people, ASMR videos do nothing at all. For others, it is said to reduce anxiety, alleviate stress and help people fall asleep.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ASMR
The ASMR sensation was first identified in 2007 by Jennifer Allen, a healthcare IT consultant. When Allen watched videos of space, she sometimes felt a tingling that spread through her scalp as the camera pulled back to show the marble of the earth. It came in a wave, like a warm effervescence, making its way down the length of her spine and leaving behind a sense of gratitude and wholeness.
Allen searched the internet a number of times for any indication of what the experience was or who else might share it, but found nothing. She shared her own experiences on an online forum and, finding like-minded souls interested in finding answers, opened a Facebook group and created a term that would be easy for people to talk about without fear of ridicule.
After starting a website that was originally meant to be a place where ASMRtists (ASMR artists) could post their own content, Allen went on to start her own ASMR YouTube channel called “Whispering Life”.
Since then, the ASMR community has grown into a full-on movement, with AMR videos amassing billions of total views on YouTube alone.
WHY ARE ASMR VIDEOS SO POPULAR
How ASMR works vary greatly from person to person. Some — perhaps most — people don’t get it at all.
People get the feeling of ASMR from various triggers. Some people enjoy role-plays in which someone gives close personal attention and whispers. Others like videos that show incredibly mundane tasks such as spraying a water bottle, tapping, stirring a bowl of soup, or crinkling wrapping paper. Additionally, there are those who are triggered by more elaborate role-plays, which can vary from someone acting like a doctor to getting a haircut.
The University of Sheffield and Manchester Metropolitan University published one of the first studies into ASMR. The findings suggested the videos may have benefits for both physical and mental health.
According to the study, people who experience brain tingles from ASMR sounds have significantly reduced heart rates while watching ASMR videos compared to those who do not. They also showed significant increases in positive emotions, such as relaxation and feelings of social connection. In fact, ASMR videos could be just as effective for relaxation as listening to music or mindfulness.
HOW TO MAKE ASMR VIDEOS
ASMR videos come in varying forms – all offering different audio and visual experiences. If you’re considering making ASMR videos, you’ll need to first decide what type of video you’re going to create. Effective ASMR videos include several elements, including:
- A sensitive microphone. Remember, ASMR videos are all about sound, so you’re going to want a powerful microphone to record yours effectively.
- Calming and soothing voice or music. A lot of ASMR videos rely on voice, whether whispering or speaking slowly. You’ll need to keep yours soft and soothing. The same rules apply if you choose to use music instead.
- Use what you have at home. Whether painting, brushing your hair or using an iron, most of the tools used in online videos can be found around the house.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE ASMR VIDEOS
The room: It’s unlikely that you’re going to make your first video in a professional soundproofed studio. Fortunately, it is possible to make a good recording in your own room. First of all, you want to make sure that unwanted background noises won’t get to your mic. Another important thing to do is reduce echo in your room.
The gear: A highly sensitive microphone is a good investment as the quality of sound is important in ASMR videos. The visual part of the videos also matters. However, you don’t need a new professional camera to start. Even your phone (if it comes with a good camera) will do. A simple tripod will make your shoot much easier, especially if you’re going to make an ASMR cooking video or shoot a close-up.
Don’t forget to take care of the lighting. Find two lamps with similar light and place them around your working surface. Use light diffusers to make the whole thing look nicer and softer. Finally, you’ll need editing software to perfectly synchronize the visual part and the sound before your video is ready.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is watching ASMR weird?
Falling asleep to the sound of a person on the other side of the world chewing gum can be viewed as strange. But for people who experience “brain tingles” caused by ASMR, the sensation calms them down and even helps them fall asleep. ASMR is not for everybody, and for those who don’t find it enjoyable, they may refer to it as weird.
What is ASMR cooking?
It refers to videos where the focus is on food preparation with no talking. They usually have an appealing aesthetic and can have low, soothing background music that never reaches a high decibel level or ASMR-quality sounds, like the sound of vegetables getting chopped up on a wooden board.
How to make ASMR cooking videos?
To make an ASMR cooking video you need to create a shooting setup around your cooking area. This includes a sensitive microphone, a camera or phone on a tripod, and lights. Once you’ve shot the video, you need video editing software to create the perfect blend of the images and sound.
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