Podcasts are becoming the television of modern times. Podcasts are free, they are varied and, like the 1950's family gathering around the television, they fit our mobile lifestyle. It is also easy to spend hours consuming and learn absolutely nothing.

Instead of listening to popcorn podcasts, try on these three new programs that will challenge your senses, stretch your thinking and improve your emotional intelligence.

Oprah rarely does things halfway, so her new podcast takes the most powerful parts of her already intense Super Soul Sunday TV show and condenses it into a half-hour mega conversation. The guests vary from celebrities like masterful coach (and Zen Buddhist) Phil Jackson to humanitarian president Jimmy Carter. Each interview hones in on one worthy intention: How to have a balanced, emotionally-intelligent life.

Entrepreneur Sean Croxton takes a daily snippet from some of the best talks ever done. The speakers include heavyweights Les Brown and Tony Robbins as well as lesser known but equally powerful masters. There are two reasons why Quote of the Day stands above other podcasts. First, the content here is rich, as there is no fluff. In a brief podcast, Croxton captures the core idea of a talk, audiobook and seminar that can literally be a day long.  Second, each episode is 15 minutes or less, making it, like The Daily Stoic, a great daily companion on your commute or over your morning coffee.

The oldest of the batch, the podcast takes the premise of veteran consultant Whitney Johnson's popular Disrupt Yourself book and turns it into an ongoing conversation with rebels in all fields. The key here is that many guests intended on playing it safe until they realized a bigger calling that could no longer be denied. And Inc.'s own Lolly Daskal have shared their wisdom.

Start with this episode: Episode 27: Karen Walrond