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If you’re looking to improve your overall happiness and well-being, I have some great news for you. There’s a free Yale class, taught by psychology professor Laurie Santos, that everyone has access to online. Yes, I’m talking Yale University. I bet you never thought you’d hear Yale and free in the same sentence. The course is called The Science of Well-Being, and it’s been making waves in the world of psychology and self-help since it was first introduced a few years ago.
Now this isn’t the first time the course is being offered for free. It’s actually been gratis for a while. However, the course is receiving renewed buzz because of a new version geared towards teens. This also happens to be totally free. And chances are you know a teen or two who could use a little pep in their step (those years are hard).
Before I dive into what you can expect from “going back to school,” download the Krazy Coupon Lady app so you always have access to freebies at your fingertips.
Both the teen and college-level version of The Science of Well-Being help us understand happiness better.
If you’re intrigued, keep in mind there are several key topics that the course covers. And they are all designed to help you understand the science behind happiness. Then how to apply that knowledge to your own life. For starters, you’ll learn about common misconceptions about happiness and why our expectations can often lead us astray. You’ll also delve into the various biases that can impact our decision-making and learn how to overcome them.
But the course isn’t just about theory; it’s also about putting strategies into practice. You’ll learn practical tips for developing healthier habits and improving your overall well-being. And if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, there’s 4-week “rewirement challenge” to help you change your approach to happiness and health.
Related: On the go? Check out these five healthy travel hacks.
The “rewirement challenge” isn’t as intimidating as the name suggests.
What this “challenge” really boils down to is it’s a 4-week exercise designed to help you change your approach to happiness and health. It’s inspired by research that shows people often overestimate the impact of external factors, like money and status, on their overall well-being and underestimate the impact of internal factors, like mindset and habits.
You’ll be asked to imagine that you’ve retired and have all the time in the world to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. But here’s the catch: you have to do it all on a budget. This challenge is intended to encourage you to think about what truly makes you happy and fulfilled and to focus on the things that matter most to you. Pretty cool.
Whether it’s worth your time is a personal decision.
While I often consider the phrase “If it’s free it’s for me” my mantra, time is valuable. So you have to decide if the course is worth several hours a week of yours, even though it is free.
The college-version of The Science of Well-Being runs 10 weeks, while the teen course goes for six. Each week’s class and activity will take anywhere from two to three hours of your time. For what it’s worth, the reviews are overwhelming positive.
“This is an outstanding course! I was able to change into a more positive and productive mindset as taught in this course. I highly recommend it to everyone regardless of your profession or background.” – a student comment from 2019
The course’s teen version applies the same principles about happiness.
If you happen to be a teen, the 6-week version of the free Yale class is specifically designed for you. It covers many of the same topics as the original course but with a focus on the unique challenges and experiences that teens face.
Perhaps most importantly, the course emphasizes the importance of appreciating your progress and continuing to grow even after it has ended. There’s a final assignment that asks you to reflect on your mindset and think about how you can continue to build on the progress you’ve made throughout the six (or 10, for adults) weeks.
And hey, how often can you say you went to Yale … for free?