Want to be happier overall? Yale has a class for that -- and it's available online, for free

This course might make you reevaluate your life. Also, no required reading!

By Michelle Ganley - Graham Media Group
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A personal question for you: Are you happy?

Do you ever wonder if there’s anything you could do to make yourself happier?

We ask because a class at Yale University called “The Science of Well-Being” is now being offered online -- for free! -- and apparently, it teaches you how to be happier.

The class is based off a course called “Psychology and the Good Life,” which became the most popular class ever taught in Yale University's 317-year history, earning national and international media attention, according to Business Insider. It only launched in 2018.

Now, this online version is available through a web-based learning platform called Coursera.

Psychology professor Laurie Santos introduced the IRL version of the class at Yale, and she also teaches the online course.

We wanted to check out the sign-up process, and see if it really was as easy as Business Insider made it sound.

It sure seemed to be.

If you Google “The Science of Well-Being,” the Coursera link surfaces first in your search results, so you click through, set up an account and you’re in.

You can start as soon as you’d like.

If you’re OK with accessing all the course materials and taking the class without getting a certificate at the end, it won’t cost you a dime.

If you decide you want the certificate, that will run you $49.

We couldn’t figure out why someone might want the certificate, but it did say online you could post it on your LinkedIn profile. So that’s cool, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Coursera, by the way, appears to be pretty intuitive, easy to navigate and simple, in our limited experience clicking around.

We feel confident in saying that old and young people alike could figure this out, no sweat.

Back to the class. Here are some of the topics you’ll cover:

  • Misconceptions about happiness
  • Why our expectations are so bad
  • How can we overcome our biases?
  • Stuff that really makes us happy

There are some quizzes involved, and you do have to watch videos, but reading isn’t required if you pay attention during the clips.

A lot of the reading is complementary, Business Insider pointed out.


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Even though the work is divided into weeks, it looks like you can take the course at your own pace.

Santos is coming to you from her home, so these lectures, as they’re called, don’t feel like the lectures that you might remember from high school or college. Santos is relaxed, warm, relatable and it kind of just feels like listening to a friend.

It’s a cool concept. There are even "rewirement" activities, as they’re called, to help you change how you think.

Thinking about taking the course? We are too, actually. Email us if you do! We’d love to hear about it.

Sign up here.

Graham Media Group 2019