This student earns over $70,000 a year filming videos of herself whispering
Sophie Michelle is only 21, and yet she's already making over $77,000 a year. How you ask? By whispering on camera for her many thousands of YouTube subscribers. Okay, so it's a little more complicated than that. Sophie, a performing arts student who hails from Cheshire in England, is an ASMR artist. For those of you who've never heard the term before, ASMR refers to autonomous sensory meridian response. In other words, it's the art of making sounds and sensations designed to give people a tingly, relaxing feeling, which relieves anxiety and sends listeners to sleep.
Sophie's relaxing voice has made her a huge hit in the ASMR community. She first discovered ASMR back in 2015, after her younger brother James was diagnosed with a brain tumour. James has since made a full recovery, but his brush with cancer was extremely stressful for Sophie. Searching for videos to help her sleep, she stumbled upon ASMR, and decided to make her own. She decided to launch her own YouTube channel for ASMR videos, and she's been so successful that now she's been able to fund her university degree with the money she's made through ad revenue.
Commenting on her unusual method of earning money, Sophie stated: "I loved creating my channel because ASMR is something that can really help with anxiety and depression. ASMR is a tingly feeling that makes you feel a sense of peace, almost like relaxing pins and needles that gives you a truly numb sensation. It’s amazing that I’m able to help people with their depression and anxiety. My fans online are so lovely and constantly grateful for my videos."
She added: "A lot of people who watch me suffer from stress and panic attacks, so they always seem thankful that I continue posting. Even though I knew the impact ASMR had, I never expected my channel to become popular. I was only on 30,000 subscribers last Christmas and was close to giving up, because I wasn’t getting anywhere. But in the January after it completely blew up after one of my videos about hypnosis got 2.5 million views – I was so shocked that so many people loved it. Now my subscribers have grown to over 200,000 "
Although her videos are intended to be non-sexual, some people might perceive the breathy whispering of ASMR to be titillating or even erotic. Sophie denies that her videos are intended to be fetishistic, stating: "A very small percentage of people online may use this kind of video for sexual reasons, but I think those people may have a personal issue if that’s the case. It makes me uncomfortable to think that someone is using it for sexual purposes because that is never my intention."
"As an ASMR artist, I really want to help people to deal with stress and anxiety. And with celebrities like Cardi B speaking out about it, it helps ordinary people to be open about what helps them to relax and to discuss their mental health issues without being embarrassed. Watching ASMR isn’t something to be ashamed of if it helps you get to sleep or calms your anxiety."
So if you need something to help you chill after a difficult day, or are struggling to get a good eight hours of shut-eye, then why not do yourself a favour and visit Sophie's YouTube channel to check out some of her content?