Podcast Asylum masthead

History of the Podcast Asylum

The Podcast Asylum started as a joke—but the joke was born from serious realisations podcasters and podcast listeners had about the way podcasting was changing their behaviour. The Asylum’s founders all have a passion for podcasting. We have drunk the podcasting Kool-Aid. We have smoked the podcast dope. We continue to find new benefits to podcasting. We recognised early on that podcasts are addictive.

The informal style of most independent podcasts (that is, the ones that aren’t just repackaged radio or TV content) and the intimacy of earbuds creates a sense of connection between podcasters and their audiences, a one-to-one relationship other media don’t offer. Podcasters aren’t just talking heads—they’re friends.

The proliferation of podcasts on every conceivable subject means there’s now an alternative to trying to find something on the radio during a long commute.

You can find podcasts on subjects that would never get airtime on television or radio. Discover new musicians, comedians and authors. Learn a language. Learn a craft. Develop a spiritual practice. Let experts show you how to market your business. All for free.

You can listen to audio podcasts anytime, anywhere. If you have to stop in the middle, you can pick up where you left off. Podcasts change your whole approach to tedious tasks like driving, housework, shopping, exercising, and walking the dog.

The new appliance that makes doing the washing-up fun isn’t a dishwasher—it’s an MP3 player.

Like any addicts, podcast listeners can get a bit strange when deprived of a fix. Anything that impinges on listening time starts to affect the mental health of podcasting fans.

In September of 2005, ‘Professor’ Lee Hopkins began chronicling some of these behaviours, starting with Podcast Anxiety, first described by Derek Leverington in a comment to the For Immediate Release podcast. Then ‘Professor’ Sallie Goetsch noticed the strange, cut-off sensation she had walking around the grocery store whilst listening to her favourite podcasts, and christened Podcast Solipsism. Several of Lee’s blog readers chimed in with their own sightings of sufferers from Earbud Isolationism.

And so the Podcast Asylum was born, in a blog post on September 21, 2005. The original announcement starts as follows:

With funding from the World Health Organisation, leading mental health researchers Professors Lee Hopkins and Sallie Goetsch have opened the world’s first mental health facility for sufferers of various mental health issues relating to podcasting.

The asylum, located in the glorious and tranquil Adelaide Hills, Australia, offers peaceful, 24-hour attention from skilled and caring nursing staff and immensely qualified doctors. Set in 200 glorious acres of sculptured gardens and enchanting forests, The Podcast Institute offers caring, counselling and rehabilitative treatment for the following mental health issues...

In reality, we don’t have 200 glorious acres of sculptured gardens, nor a staff of dusky handmaidens and a masseur named Sven. (Not yet, anyway. Second Life offers some interesting possibilities in that direction.) And we are not medical professionals. What we are is professionals who know how and why podcasting works.

As more and more people started to ask us to speak about what podcasting could do for their businesses, we realised that the Podcast Asylum had potential to be more than a joke. The Asylum has become a way for three different independent professionals, in three different countries, to combine forces and turn our joint obsession with podcasting into a means by which to help our fellow human beings.

Check out our Services page to find out how we can help you.

Podcast Asylum Logo

‘A joke, disguised as a religion, disguised as a joke.’

That’s one definition Wikipedia gives for ‘Discordianism,’ and it seems appropriate here, as does the old ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch about a product called Shimmer that was both a dessert topping and a floor cleaner.

Podcast Asylum Masseuse

One of our trained massage therapists expressing her extreme joy in helping podcast mental health victims.

Asylum Timeline

Podcast Anxiety
Podcast Solipsism
Founding the Asylum

The Asylum in the News

Podcast Syndromes

Do you suffer from any of these conditions? We can help!