Almost a quarter of all the students that attend Yale University, one of America's most prestigious schools, enrol in the "Psychology and the Good Life" course, run by Laurie Santos. It is the most popular course at Yale, ever, and aims to teach students how to lead a happier, more fulfilling life.
Now, anyone can sign up and take the course for free.
PSYC 157: Psychology and the Good Life has attracted a lot of media attention recently. Santos' course was conceptualised after she became "worried about the levels of student depression, anxiety, and stress that [she] was seeing as a Professor and Head of College at Yale". She began PSYC 157 as a way to combat that and empower students to find ways to make their lives better, to be happier and to understand how the science of psychology can help them.
Because of the widespread media attention, Santos was overwhelmed with requests of people wanting to take the course across the world, far beyond Yale's green grounds. So she decided to make it available to anyone, via Coursera.
Quartz picked up that Coursera are offering "The Science of Well-Being" for free right now. The course is scheduled to start on April 30. You can sign up for it without paying the $49USD it costs to get a certificate and still access all the learning materials that are provided by Santos.
The course is six weeks long, with about two hours of material to get through each week. It will cover:
- Misconceptions About Happiness
- Why Our Expectations are so Bad
- How Can We Overcome Our Biases
- Stuff that Really Makes Us Happy
- Putting Strategies into Practice
Once you sign up for the course, you get the following greeting:
Over the next several weeks, we’ll explore what new results in psychological science teach us about how to be happier, how to feel less stressed, and how to flourish more. We’ll then have a chance to put these scientific findings into practice by building the sorts of habits that will allow us to live a happier and more fulfilling life.
Each week you will have requirements (graded quizzes) and “rewirements” (weekly practices aimed at rewiring your habits to boost mood and overall well-being). The final project will ask you to practice a scientifically validated wellness behavior for four weeks and write about the experience.
If you've ever considered exploring what really makes you happy and how you can be more positive - this looks like a good place to start.