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Yale University’s “The Science of Well-Being” class has become one of the most popular classes in the university’s history. The course focuses on how to understand and increase happiness and well-being in your life.
If you believe you might benefit from this knowledge, there’s good news: The course is available for free online.
What Is “The Science of Well-Being?”
Yale’s “The Science of Well-Being” course on Coursera is a free online course designed to help increase your happiness and build more productive habits.
Taught by Laurie Santos — a cognitive scientist, professor and host of “The Happiness Lab” podcast — the 10-week course provides an overview of what psychological science says about happiness and how to improve your well-being. The curriculum was adapted from the one Dr. Santos began teaching at Yale in 2018.
Tens of thousands of students enrolled in the class during the first few semesters. And then, the pandemic hit.
“People were getting great evidence-based advice about how to protect their physical health — mask up, socially distance, get a vaccine, but people were struggling with what to do to protect their mental health,” Santos told CNN.
Since then, more than 3.7 million people have enrolled.
The course covers topics such as understanding our misconceptions about happiness, recognizing how our minds can play tricks on us, learning how to cultivate gratitude and savor the good moments in life and developing strategies for managing stress. It also includes practical advice on creating positive habits that can help you achieve lasting well-being.
How to Take “The Science of Well-Being” Course
To take the course, head to Coursera and sign up for an account. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be able to access the course materials and start working through the challenges.
The curriculum includes challenges designed to help students understand the science behind happiness and how to apply it in their own lives. For example, students are asked to track their sleep patterns, keep a gratitude journal, practice mindfulness exercises and more.
Professor Santos also encourages her students to think critically about what brings them joy and how they can make changes that will lead to greater satisfaction.
Anyone looking to audit the course can do so for free. However, if you want to take it a step further, you can pay $49 to complete assignments, submit them for grading and earn a certificate of completion.