Squish Your Stress Away

Add another item to the list of “things I didn’t know people did videos about.”

I’ve already written about “study with me” videos, pressure washing videos, and mukbang videos where you can pay to watch people eat.

I’ve also read about unpacking videos, where you can watch people, you guessed it, by unpacking things.

So while there is not much left to surprise me when it comes to learning about what people watch online, today’s Wall Street Journal succeeded in doing so.

The story was about a type of toy that is expected to be quite popular this Christmas, and that toy type is squishy things.

Squishies, expected to be one of the biggest sellers this holiday season, are pillow-soft foam toys that look like cute animals, whimsical characters or surprisingly realistic food and usually cost between $3 and $20. People like poking and crushing them into balls, but connoisseurs gauge their enjoyment by how slowly a squishy returns to its original shape.

And what better way to offer such enjoyment to people than by creating Youtube videos of people squishing their foam toys and watching them return to its original shape.

There seem to be a few people who create such videos, and they’ve got big followings.

30-year-old Holly Woodruff of Escondido, Calif. has a YouTube channel, TheHollycopter, which often features her collection of 1,100 squishies. A 49-minute video of Ms. Woodruff’s hands squeezing-and-releasing more than 700 squishies one-by-one has been watched 3.1 million times. Most fans—some of them adults—watch the videos to relax, Ms. Woodruff says.

Here’s one of her videos; this one has over 700,000 views and is an hour and 24 minutes long:

Karina Garcia, a YouTube star known by her 8.4 million subscribers as “the queen of slime” because of her prolific online slime-making videos, has also made several squishy videos, many of which have over a million views. Here is one such video, with over 2,ooo,ooo views:

When toy company Jakks Pacific Inc. developed its squishy line, Squish-Dee-Lish, they studied fans’ online videos to determine how slowly a squeezed squishy should resurrect, ultimately deciding that six seconds was the ideal pace.

And after watching the two videos above, I’ have to agree that there is something mesmerizing and relaxing about watching the foam return to its original state. And I do like when the squishies take a little bit longer to return to its original shape.

So if squishies really do help to reduce stress and anxiety, I wonder if my health insurance company would allow me to buy some and treat the cost as a medical necessity so that I can include the cost as part of my flexible health care account.

I’ll leave you with this video that has been viewed over 125 million times (it’s in another country, which shows that this is not just a U.S. fad). Sit back, relax, and enjoy.


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