What is the most popular class at one of the world’s most prestigious schools? At Yale, the most popular course on campus is not in engineering or medicine, but psychology. Professor Laurie Santos’ “Psychology and the Good Life” course explores what it means to truly live a happy life. And now you can take the class too.
The course began in the spring of 2018, but due to its overwhelming popularity, Santos created an online version using the learning platform Coursera. The online version is titled The Science of Well-Being and it is a free and public version of the course taken by Yale students, complete with lectures by Santos herself.
The course combines both abstract and concrete concepts to help students build happier daily habits. The online version is broken up into five weekly subjects: Misconceptions about happiness, why our expectations are so bad, how we can overcome our biases, stuff that really makes us happy, and putting strategies into practice. There are lectures as well as optional readings and “rewiring” activities to make wellbeing adjustments in your own life.
If you want, you can pay a $50 fee and submit written assignments for grading. At the end of the course, you’ll receive a science of well-being certificate.
The U.S. is a developed country, yet we rank 19th for citizen happiness. Understanding what makes us happy and making small daily changes to implement satisfaction into our lives is the first step towards a happier nation. So why not start with the free class so popular that one in four Yale students take it?