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Sep 22, 2023
The Science of Well-Being by Yale University (Coursera)

At the outset, let’s tell you that this is the most popular class in Yale’s history of 317 years and is now available for everyone to undertake for free. Yale Psychology Professor Laurie Santos introduced this class as “Psychology and the Good Life” in the spring of 2018 to help students navigate the rising levels of anxiety, depression and stress in their lives. The class instantly became so popular that almost a quarter of all Yale undergrads enrolled in it in the inaugural year itself.

As the demand for access to the class’ content kept growing amidst lots of media attention, Professor Santos created an iteration of the course for Coursera titled “The Science of Well-Being” so it could benefit a wider audience.

In this course, Santos has collected all the psychological science out there and come up with a step-by-step process for boosting happiness. The course focuses both on positive psychology — the characteristics that allow humans to flourish, and behavioral change, or how to live by those lessons in real life. The first part of the course discusses things people often get wrong about happiness, plus aspects of our mind that make us think the way we do. Then, it goes into methods that have been scientifically proven to make us happier. The last part of the course gives learners time, tips, and social support to work on the final assignment which asks learners to apply one wellness activity aka “Rewirement” into their lives for four weeks.

The following topics are covered in weekly instalments:

  • Misconceptions About Happiness
  • Why Our Expectations are so Bad
  • How Can We Overcome Our Biases
  • What can we do to improve our happiness?
  • Putting Strategies into Practice
  • Final Rewirement Challenge

The course content includes video lectures (shot in Santos’ own home with a handful of Yale students in the audience), optional readings and a lot of homework centred on daily exercises geared toward changing your habits — recognizing and then dropping bad ones while developing new happier habits. In a nutshell, this course is a gold mine for life hacks.

You can either enrol in the course for $49 and get access to all course content, along with graded assignments and earn a certificate of completion at the end of the course. You can also choose to audit the course for free, in which case you’ll have access to course material but not graded assignments. You can upgrade to a paid certificate any time during or after the course.

Key Highlights

  • Most popular course in the 317 year history of Yale University with around 1200 students enrolled in the launch year
  • Learn how you can design your environment to help you change your behaviours
  • Get actionable tips that you can put into effect in your own lives immediately
  • Teachings backed by scientifically-proven theories
  • Tools to build better habits, become happier, more productive and better equipped to make big career, life and financial decisions
  • Prepare you to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life
  • Mini quizzes at the end of each week video lecture to help you summarize the main idea of the lecture
  • Access to discussion boards to talk about the course material

Duration : 10 weeks, 2-3 hours per week

Sign up Here

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