Yale Offers Free Access to its Wildly Popular ‘Happiness’ Course

In light of recent events and a world that has grown increasingly housebound, Yale has decided to offer free access to its enormously popular course on happiness. It’s called “The Science of Well Being” and is traditionally led by psychology professor Laurie Santos (in the picture below) for students on campus. Unprecedented times call for greater flexibility in learning. Yale’s decision is proof of that.

Psychology professor Laurie Santos

A Course on Happiness

The goal of Yale’s course is to focus on research that debunks common misconceptions about what makes people happy and fulfilled. It presents a step-by-step solution to living a happier, more rewarding life, which is something we could all use, no matter the current situation.

Between March 20th of 2018 and March 19th, 2019, the total enrollment for the happiness course was 539,000 people. This made prof. Santos’ class the most popular online course in Yale history. In March 2020 alone, nearly 632,000 people had enrolled, making the total number of enrolled enthusiasts to stand at 1,153,744.

The Science and Practice of Well Being

The goal of the course, as professor Santos herself says, is to explore psychological science, what it has to say about well being, and to dive into the practice of living a good life. Students will not only get the theory but also the practical guidance on how to apply the techniques in their personal lives.

Woman working on her laptop

From misconceptions about the nature of happiness, all the way to answering the mind-boggling question of why we think the way that we do, professor Santos will walk students through the journey of understanding and experiencing well-being in full. The course is available for free, and you can access it through Coursera. The professor and her colleagues even have an app that allows students to track all the practices they’ve learned from the course in their own lives.