The Science of Well-Being

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Below are the top discussions from Reddit that mention this online Coursera course from Yale University.

In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.

Gratitude Happiness Meditation Savoring

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Taught by
Laurie Santos
and 11 more instructors

Offered by
Yale University

Reddit Posts and Comments

6 posts • 412 mentions • top 50 shown below

r/DecidingToBeBetter • post
622 points • chubdree
Yale's Online Happiness Course

Hello! Just wanted to share this resource with everyone here. It's an online course (FREE!) on Coursera called The Science of Well-being. I'm on my 2nd week of this course and it has been really helpful. I'm incorporating some things in my life already :)

r/askscience • post
2925 points • AskScienceModerator
AskScience AMA Series: I'm Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University. My lab studies what makes the human mind special by examining how monkeys, dogs, and other animals think about the world. AMA!

Hi reddit! I'm Dr. Laurie Santos, the Director of the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at Yale and the Canine Cognition Center at Yale. My research explores the evolutionary origins of the human mind by comparing the cognitive abilities of human and non-human animals, in particular primates and dogs. I focus on whether non-human animals share some of the cognitive biases that plague humans. My TED talk explored whether monkeys make the same financial mistakes as humans and has been viewed over 1.3 million times. I was voted one of Popular Science Magazine's "Brilliant 10" young minds, and was named in ]Time Magazine as a "Leading Campus Celebrity"](

My new course, Psychology and the Good Life, teaches students how the science of psychology can provide important hints about how to make wiser choices and live a life that's happier and more fulfilling. The course recently became Yale's most popular course in over 300 years, with almost one of our four students at Yale enrolled. The course has been featured in numerous news outlets including the New York Times, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, GQ Magazine, Slate and I've also developed a shorter version of this course which is available for free on Coursera.

I'm psyched to talk about animal minds, cognitive biases or how you can use psychological sciences to live better. I'll be on around 4 or 5pm EST (16/17 UT), AMA!

r/freebies • comment
52 points • Bash_at_the_Beach

Here is the link to the course.

r/Foodforthought • comment
41 points • tommia
r/financialindependence • comment
27 points • IHeartKoalas

Agreed! I highly recommend this free online course, titled "The Science of Well-being." It's where I learned about hedonic adaptation, and how to look for the things that will actually bring us happines instead of the things that don't.

r/meirl • comment
24 points • Sinthex

You're completely right. There was a study done to measure this threshold. Basically, money does kinda make you happier up until around $75k per year. After that, it kinda just levels out and you won't feel much happier. So, yeah, your emotional well-being does rise with money but not much after that threshold. Maybe because that's when you start feeling that money isn't as much of an issue.

Another interesting thing from this study was the 'life evaluation' results. Just how you judge and perceive your own life success. It showed that your life evaluation continues to rise even past the $75k threshold.

Having a high income doesn't really make you that happy but it makes you feel like you must be living a really good life, but it doesn't really translate to that.

Sauce: been going through the Science of Well-Being by Dr Laurie Santos, talks about that topic in the second week. Highly recommend if anyone feels mleh.

r/leanfire • comment
15 points • orangeGlobules

That's awesome and rare.

I've been retired almost ten years now and can easily binge on video games for 3-4 days a week. So I get that.

But for me, those other 3-4 days a week I explore and exercise outdoors, play in rec sports leagues, and hangout with a friend or two.

Taking a class in positive psychology is kind of like taking a cooking class where the recipe is human happiness. One thing I took away from that is that there definitely are rare (<1%) people who are happy with little to no socializing, you must be one of them.

For most people, isolating and not going outdoors is like taking a daily depressant pill that builds up in their system over time.

r/EOOD • post
13 points • rob_cornelius
Yales famous course "The Science of Wellbeing" is available for FREE. Learn about wellbeing, meditation and more. Ideal for these times we are living in
r/CollapseSupport • post
13 points • MakeTotalDestr0i
The Science of Well-Being | Coursera
r/chile • comment
9 points • elmati3

Me da penita (y un poco de enojo) ver tanta gente con estrés emocional. Dense el tiempo de hacer este curso si pueden (Science of Well-being) []. Y hechenle una mirada a una app Youper, es un diario emocional que tiene IA y te guía en ejercicios para calmar tus emociones

No sé si puse bien el link, estoy en móvil

r/TopMindsOfReddit • comment
8 points • Dave-C

You misunderstand the quote, science can also mean "a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject." Much like saying "The science of well-being." The quote doesn't mean that math is a science just like "well-being" isn't a science. The quote is basically saying that mathematics is a organized body of knowledge.

Edit - I've noticed this from many T_D users, you are willing to go to great lengths to prove your original theory correct. I googled the quote and I could only find it in a few websites in foreign languages. That must have been hard to find, yet you looked past everything until you found the first thing that agreed with you. Why is that?

Edit 2 - Stephen Hawking died recently, he spent a good portion of his career arguing that black holes could delete information but he recanted that once he was shown evidence that proved otherwise. This is one of the smartest men of our time, if he can admit he is wrong then why is it so hard for others to do the same?

r/IWantToLearn • comment
23 points • Gogosoto

There is a Coursera personal development course from Yale that is offered for free. I have not personally take the class but it wouldn't hurt.


The Science of Well-being

r/AskReddit • comment
7 points • Azzkaya I recommend to check out the above Yale course on Coursera. I enrolled a few days ago and already feel better.

r/VeryBadWizards • comment
7 points • MobsterKadyrov

Link to the Coursera class

r/infp • post
13 points • DistantShadow
A free online course on happiness and well-being from Yale

Hello all,

I experience there are many here who write about being unhappy in different ways. Nothing wrong with that at all, I like that this sub can be an outlet for people who need it. For those of you who would like to increase your happiness level, and this is for everyone in general I would say and not only for people who feel unhappy in their lives, I want to share this with you.

Yale has a free course called The Science of Well-Being. It offers a theoretical look on happiness and well-being. It also gives you practical challenges to try and increase your happiness. It is online and you can do it in your own pace whenever. It's a 10 week course. Not counting the challenges, it will take about 2-3h a week or so I'd say. It varies a bit.

I'm currently enrolled and on week 4. I like it so far and have learnt a lot. It is the combo of theory and practice that makes it work I'd say. I like the challenges. Some are easy and some are a bit tough. Has the course increased my happiness as of yet? Not sure. The first thing you do is to take two tests to measure your level of happiness. In the end of the course you are to take them again to see if it has increased.

This course is supposed to be for yourself. I personally don't think it's hard and it doesn't take up too much energy. I kind of long for it every week to be honest. It gives you a lot of food for thought. The teacher is great. It has a 4.9 star rating. And I mean, its's a bit fun to say that you have taken a Yale-course.

If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask me! :)

Here is the link to enroll, where you can check out the syllabus etc:

r/MGTOW • post
6 points • throwaway152038
Science of Well-being, a coursera course.

I'm doing this now:

It's kinda cool. :)

r/dataisbeautiful • comment
11 points • taropuff_

Link for the lazy:

Haven't finished it myself nor will I say it has helped me be better. But it is quite eye opening.

r/financialindependence • comment
5 points • danfirst

From the article:

r/AskReddit • comment
5 points • PineCreekCathedral

Is it "The Science of Well-Being" by chance?

r/brisbane • comment
5 points • vj88

Somethings I am doing:

  • I am getting back into learning guitar (using Yousician, it's pricy but its a pretty solid ipad app to use to learn)
  • Yale released a class "The science of well-being" for free so with the way things will become I decided to do this to keep in a good state
  • I am working on a body weight plan with possibly going for runs outside (Until the government tells me otherwise, I will be keeping social distance and I still ride my bike to work into the CBD each day so I see no issue).
  • I have two work udemy courses, one powershell and one windows security, to do for work.
  • I have a lot of movies and tv-shows that i haven't seen so theres always them.
  • I have a number of books/audiobooks/comics i still need to read.

I want to come out of this in a much better place rather then just sitting around.

r/myfriendwantstoknow • comment
4 points • tillandsia

Yale University has a course on "happiness" that is apparently quite popular with students, indicating it might actually work. It is available for free on Coursera:

Also, I would also like to suggest your friend consider a therapist.

I realize that your friend is interested in feeling better right now, and I want that for them, but there also would be benefit in laying the groundwork for longer lasting well-being.

And then, as a mom, obviously not your friend's, I would just like to point out how complete internet strangers are here, trying to find a way to help your friend - we just want your friend to feel better. Can those good thoughts, going out to your friend, do anything to help them feel better? Even if not, we are here, thinking them. There's got to be some worth in that....

r/Existential_crisis • post
4 points • Messiah
Free Class On Happiness From Yale
r/Coronavirus • comment
4 points • redredwineboy

Same. The first few weeks were the worst for me because going outside and working was my coping method. When lockdown happened I truly felt awful. Probably the worst I've ever felt. Something that helped me get through it was an online course called the science of well being. It requires work but omg it helped, and it's free.

r/happy • post
4 points • tapac333
Free popular Yale course on how to achieve happiness and well being
r/DecidingToBeBetter • post
4 points • candrade2261
Summary of Yale's famous Science of Well-Being Course

Yale's famous happiness course is available for free right now through Coursera, and it is AWESOME. But if you don't have the time for it, I wrote up a (very, very) brief summary of its contents. Again, I highly encourage you to check out the course for a lot of science, sources, and more information, but hopefully this brief summary is useful for someone.

  • Things we think will make us happy that don't:
  • having a high paying job
  • having a lot of money
  • technological and societal advancements (we are no happier on average today than 40 years ago)
  • cars, material possessions, true love, perfect body, perfect grades
  • basically, through "hedonic adaptation", these things make us happy only briefly before we either start comparing to others again and/or move onto the next  thing we think will make  us happier
  • About 40% of  our happiness is under our control (not determined by genetics, etc)
  • One of the biggest takeaways: our minds'  strongest intuitions about how much we will like something and how happy it will make us (OR how unhappy it will make us) are often wrong
  • Our minds don't think in terms of absolutes - we judge relative to reference points (e.g., my house is nice but not as nice as the neighbors')
  • We don't  realize that our minds are built to get used to things (i.e. hedonic adaptation).
  • Things that actually make us happy/how to be happier:
  • rethink what "awesome stuff" is
    • invest in experiences over things
  • thwart your hedonic adaptation
    • savor enjoyable moments; take a second  to really be there and enjoy it
    • use negative visualization ("what if I didn't have this awesome thing?")
    • think as if today was your last day to increase gratitude (esp.  in terms of jobs)
    • practice gratitude daily
    • reset your reference points (i.e., what are you comparing your life/stuff to?)
    • interrupt consumption (take a break from a good movie or fun thing; it will make you appreciate coming back to it more - commercial breaks actually increase enjoyment of shows)
  • Things that actually make us happy"
    • signature strengths in a job > money
    • "flow" in a job > money
    • growth mindset > fixed mindset
    • practicing kindness
    • social connection (even when you think it will not make you happy!!!)
    • time affluence > money (value your [free] time more than money)
    • mindfulness via meditation
    • exercise
    • good sleep
  • implementation
    • use situational support (e.g., putting candy in a drawer instead of on your desk will make you less likely to eat it; set yourself up for success)
    • set specific goals
    • practice goal implementation intentions (i.e. If it is this time in this place, I will do this behavior)
    • Practice WOOP - Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan


If you have questions, I really recommend checking out the course. There are a ton of awesome additional resources and content. Some of the "things that don't actually make us happy" were really hard for me to buy until I actually listened to the science and studies behind them. Note: I am not saying that these things are 100% true in every case, I am just presenting information from the course (which I did find to be very convincing).

r/lifehacks • comment
4 points • nothardly78

Yale has a course online on how to be happy. It’s the most popular course in the history of Yale and it’s free!!

How to be happy!

r/sydney • comment
4 points • greenbeensprout

For anyone with the boreds, panics or needing a little more happy in their life; there is a free course on coursera called "The Science of Well-Being"

About the course:

In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change....

r/financialindependence • comment
4 points • flamethrower2

That's it, thanks, the answer is: per the comment below.

r/Frugal • comment
8 points • askew88

Yale offers their art of happiness course online. That’s what I’d like to take. happiness cours

r/psychology • post
3 points • SandyBeachWater
Yale University's “The Science of Well-Being” free on Coursera
r/news • comment
3 points • zaphod42

Everyone should learn about the science of happiness.

r/AskLosAngeles • comment
3 points • High_Life_Pony

If you are curious and have the time, Yale is offering their most popular course, The Science of Well-Being, for free online.

r/helpme • comment
3 points • livinglifetomax

Don’t initiate conversation with him at all when he is swinging wildly.

You are not what he says to you.

You are probably ready to drive just a bit scared since it is a new experience. Relax, be confident, and be safe. Pay attention to the task of driving and you’ll pass with flying colors.

In the long term you need to work on improving your self esteem since it’s been damaged by your upbringing.

Take the free online happiness course offered by Yale Univ:

r/depression_partners • post
3 points • cmonster42
Free online course about happiness and how to increase it that sounds like the real deal
r/Frugal • comment
3 points • gayvoter97

The most fundamental frugal life hack: learn to want less and learn to prioritize what you truly do want. Personally, the (free) online course The Science of Well Being ( taught me a lot. It shows a lot of strategies for being happier and talks a lot about the importance of deprioritizing material things. It gives a wide overview of different viewpoints and doesn’t preach any one practice in particular.

r/depression • post
3 points • zkhil1
There is course on Coursera called 'The science of well-being'

It's a 10 week long course. You can enroll for free. It has been rated 4.9/5 (total 2.9k reviews)

I've just started, thought might help some people in here. :)

r/AskParents • comment
3 points • Energieo2

I don't think you're being unfair. I've had my parents very simply, although lovingly, say to me, we don't have the money to pay for your ticket. And so I paid my own way.

Understanding money and financials is very important. I agree with everyone here that your girls might benefit from more guidance. It sounds like you've shown lots of love and support them well, so great job.

Also, I'm taking this free course through Yale, the science of happiness:

And it essentially teaches that all that material stuff they want to go burn their money on won't actually make them happy. Rather that trip experience is exactly what will make them happy and the science proves it! They might get some benefit from the course, it's a type of therapy in it's own way.
Good luck!

r/philadelphia • comment
3 points • Phooey-Kablooey

I'm giving this a shot. When else am I ever gonna be able to say, bullshit or not, that I took a class at Yale?

r/slatestarcodex • post
7 points • Kalenden
Are the following free university courses "The Science of Well-Being" and "Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects" worthwhile?

Are the following free university courses "The Science of Well-Being" and "Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects" worthwhile?

For free on: and

r/AskMenOver30 • comment
3 points • zig_anon

I was listening to a podcast the other day about cognition of self and related topics like happiness

There is pretty clear research that after a fairly low level of material success more does not increase happiness at all.

The researcher said the best evidence is happiness is about 10% circumstantial, 50% genetic and 40% under the control of the individual.

A few other interesting things that stood out is just how much more anxiety ridden our current culture is, how we become habituated to success and the good things in our life so quickly, how our feeling of success is truly relative to those around us and not absolute.

Lots of stuff to think about for me.

Here is the course

r/argentina • comment
3 points • laaaaaaav

r/slatestarcodex • comment
3 points • not_sane

There's also this free course on coursera about happiness in general, with the original target audience being college students.

r/Coronavirus • comment
3 points • Owls_In_A_Trenchcoat
r/exjw • post
46 points • Asterios390528
A brief comment on the physical changes your brain has to make to escape.

I've seen a lot of people posting lately who have just escaped and are feeling lonely, or fearing what will happen to them after they escape, or driving by a congregation and feeling all sorts of things.


One thing I don't think we discus around here enough is our current knowledge of neuroscience and how the mind/brain works to cement memories and knowledge. You have neurons in your brain. They are pathways, that get strengthened each time you use them (think of how you learn something, like guitar or riding a bike). It starts off shaky but eventually the growth can be quite surprising, right?


A lot of things work like this, and we don't notice it happening. One of them is culture and religion. Part of the reason the JWs continue on about things with intense repetition is that they know this - the more you re-run these neurons, the deeper set they get. They become default, which is what you're now trying to get out of. It takes effort and will to get yourself on a new path. It's worth doing, even if you don't feel like it.


When you are thinking of leaving this faith, this truth (not the), think of it like exercising, riding a bike, or learning guitar, or something else that is a learning process. It's not all going to come right away. You probably aren't going to quit, then the next day feel some huge wave of relief (or you will, but you might slip back to other feelings). This isn't the case for everyone - some people leave and they've never felt better forever.. but you shouldn't kick yourself if this isn't the case. Not everyone is the same and has the same path, and there is nothing wrong with one way or the other.


Ideally (in my opinion) you can start to see others who are still part of it as humans (biological organisms) with brains, that have been exposed to certain stimuli over time, again and again, and are therefore convinced of certain things. It's not magic, and it's no one's fault (well, except for tony maybe!), and it becomes easier to see them as human (instead of monsters, evil, jerks, whatever). It's a process of forgiveness that comes with perspective. Once that happens, you start to see yourself as that same organism.. and now you're on a roll. You can forgive yourself. You can create mental room for yourself. You can choose to expose yourself to newness, to grow and to struggle, to find meaning.


My opinion: You need to start creating new experiences, new friendships, new communities outside of the JWs. Try new hobbies and especially habits. Get a cheap used instrument of kijiji and watch youtube lessons. Meet and talk with people you normally wouldn't (try Try music or movies you think you'll probably hate. Try spotify or your favorite music player, look for music you like, and hit "radio" or "suggest" and you'll find lots of new things. Get into the habit of the "independent thinking" that we were all counseled not to do. Watch The Office (it's hilarious and on netflix). Read Bertrand Russel's in praise of idleness ( Read about falsifiability ( and think about how much of your life has been falsifiable up to this point..


But first, turn off the computer and go for a walk for an hour, just listening to things around you. Get a treat you've never had before (not an old favorite this time!), and sit in the sun eating it (I recommend pastice de nata - portugese custard tart). Savor it, this is your life now. This isn't just screwing around; it's hard work and you're actually making physical changes in your brain. Once you forge new pathways, they will have strength that surpasses these memories.


For me, 20 years later, I look back and I legitimately can't even remember much of the doctrine. I remember little bits here and there, specific stupidity, that sort of thing, but I mostly remember how it made me feel (not good.). It's that far from my mind. I know it's hard to believe, but it does happen. And that my friends, is pretty great. I do notice though, that when I meet up with old friends who also used to be JWs, we get back into that rut of conversation and feelings - it's worth thinking about that. We are actively trying to build new non-jw things between us. Because the friendship matters more than shared trauma.


What's also weird is that some of those random hobbies and interests I picked up back then - now people know me as 'that guy', and I even get paid for some of them. Hardly anyone knows I used to be a JW. It doesn't define me anymore, not by a longshot. You can get there too. My parents are still JWs, and I still have a relationship with them. If you had told me 20 years ago this was possible, I'd of condemned you to Sheol in my head. Things come and go - don't think in absolutes like the JWs spend all their effort trying to get you to.


So while I think this community can be helpful for people to process things, I also really think it's important that its' not the only thing you rely on.


If you are interested in learning more about this, I recommend looking into neuroplasticity - and associated neuroplasticity exercises (like here or here


For those of you who are feeling really amped about this, I suggest checking out the free coursera course the science of wellbeing, from Yale University. See here:


It's supposed to be the most popular course ever taught at Yale - I'm planning on taking it in a couple of weeks myself, once I finish this masters degree (again, who would have guessed!). I've also heard it's free if you don't care about the certificate.. and I don't!


Just remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life.


All the best to all of you here,




r/Epicureanism • comment
2 points • hector_servadac

Starting March 2018!

r/relationship_advice • comment
2 points • retsuko_rage

I can totally relate! Broad hobbies and bored with the indoor ones now. Most of my boyfriend’s hobbies are indoor ones (gamer). I find myself clingy now that I’m bored. There is this class that Yale is offering, and it’s for free! I’ve been meaning to start it but haven’t yet, but my friends who have started it say they love it.

r/helpme • comment
2 points • lovebeautifulwomen35

She needs to listen to Joel Osteen or take this course:

r/Sober • comment
2 points • RAMdoss

I just finished the happiness class on Coursera, it was really cool! Might give you some insight into your dilemma :)

Congrats on your incredible accomplishment(s)!

r/AskReddit • comment
2 points • Himrin
r/lifehacks • comment
2 points • Welcome_A_I_Overlord

Coursera is offering The Science of Well-being free from Yale right now.