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A woman has revealed that she makes more than £45,000 per year by uploading videos of herself whispering online.
Lottie Fellows, 20, an accounting and finance student at the University of Bath, makes bank by uploading ASMR videos that regularly rack up over 250,000 views, with the aim of helping people to relax and fall asleep.
ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is the feeling of a tingle-like sensation in the head, neck, spine and even legs that can make people feel sleepy and relaxed.
It can be triggered by certain noises and visuals, including whispering and stroking.
When explaining how she got into ASMR, Lottie said: "My earliest memory of experiencing tingles was in primary school, listening to a teacher softly reading the class a story.
"The soft-spoken words and the sounds of the pages turning made my head tingle, and I would always feel sleepy.
"I only discovered ASMR online in early 2018 after my mum had heard about it on the radio and suggested it to me after I'd been struggling with mental health and sleep.
"I remember looking it up on YouTube and initially thinking it was the weirdest and funniest thing. After watching it for a few minutes I then realised that it was a massively relaxing feeling that I had always experienced but didn't know exactly what it was. I have been hooked ever since."
Lottie first launched her channel in September 2018 after looking for a new hobby and ways to improve her mental health.
After going through a few growing pains as she learned how to script, film and edit her videos, Lottie's channel continued to grow steadily in popularity. She now has 170 videos and over 84,000 subscribers.
The supermarket worker turned YouTuber said: "I was shocked when my channel began to grow, it was very surreal.
"I remember watching my videos back and cringing a bit, so knowing others were enjoying it was a surprise."
In her videos, Lottie likes to whisper phrases such as 'hello my darlings', as well as occasionally roleplaying as a medical practitioner, big sister or stylist in order to give her videos a more personalised, intimate feel.
Describing the feel of ASMR, Lottie explained: "It's like the sensation you get from a scalp massage or when someone plays with your hair.
"It's that intense feelings pf relaxation that almost makes you shake it's so good."
But despite her content being designed purely for relaxation and sleep some people interpret the purpose of Lottie's videos to be sexual, a misconception that frustrates Lottie.
She explained: "When people say ASMR is sexual I respond with the argument that anything can be sexualised.
"I can understand why slow whispering or the words 'roleplay' can be misinterpreted as being sexual, and there are some female creators who show a bit of cleavage to get more views.
"It frustrates me because without giving it a chance people can easily dismiss ASMR as weird and sexual when actually it seriously helps so many people! In general, there is nothing sexual about ASMR, and when it's sexualised, it's totally misrepresented."
ASMR videos are primarily designed to help treat anxiety and depression, with one recent study from the University of Sheffield even showing that people who experienced the classic 'tingles' had a reduced heart rate rate while watching the videos, and showed a significant increase in positive emotions, including feelings of relaxation and a greater sense of social connection.
Lottie added: "I make ASMR videos because I do really enjoy it!
"I love using my creativity to edit videos and interacting with viewers is so lovely.
"People reach out to me a lot saying how my content helps them, and that motivates me to carry on.
"Obviously the money is also a bonus as it means I don't have to have a mainstream job, I have bought myself a car, and am saving money for a house deposit.
"I feel lucky to get paid for doing something I love - I wouldn't change it for the world!"
Featured Image Credit: Jam Press/LottieLoves ASMR
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