by a contributor
from Mark McKee, author of American Tourister:
When I was younger I used to watch a lot of PBS. Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, The Joy of Painting (with Bob Ross), Reading Rainbow. All of these had such a hold on me, it was like being transported to a different dimension. I had no idea there was a name for this phenomenon until a friend introduced me to ASMR earlier this year. According to wiki, ASMR is “a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli.” It doesn’t affect everyone, and I don’t always experience tingles, but what it does do is help me relax. Only problem, it’s hard to find full-length episodes of any of these PBS programs. Thankfully YouTube has an active community of “ASMRtists” dedicated to studying this phenomenon and paying tribute to the original masters. When life is hectic, I can listen to one of these and feel all the stress flow right out of me. Here are my five favorite ASMR videos. Prepare to chill!