Cover Yale Professor Laurie Santos is teaching a free online class about wellbeing (photo: Getty Images)

Want to learn how to be happy? Here's how to enrol in the 10-week course

Take an Ivy League professor's class—for free. Yale Psychology Professor Laurie Santos has collaborated with Coursera to launch a ten-week practical course on "The Science of Well-Being", a topic that is especially relevant to our mental health in the era we live in now. 

According to the course description: "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. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life."

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The ten-week curriculum leads students through a series of self-assessments, videos, readings, and peer-graded assignments, all with the goal of helping each individual take steps towards an improved sense of wellbeing utilising coursework (skills and tools). Available in English with Arabic, French, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Korean, German, Russian, Turkish, Spanish, and Persian subtitles, the programme addresses:

  • Misconceptions about happiness
  • Why our expectations are so bad
  • How we can overcome our biases
  • Stuff that really makes us happy
  • Putting strategies into practice
  • Rewirement challenges

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As well as a series of exercises including:

  • Measuring your baseline happiness
  • Finding and using your signature strengths
  • Savouring
  • Gratitude journaling
  • Performing random acts of kindness
  • Making social connections
  • Engaging in physical exercise
  • Sleeping more
  • Meditation
  • Writing a gratitude letter

The Science of Well-Being is free to enrol in at Coursera; the course begins on 19 January and runs through 1 April.