10 Free Online Courses That Will Make You Happier

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Here’s something to smile about: These 10 free online courses are waiting to teach you how to create a happier, more fulfilling life. Learn about the study of happiness from professors and researchers at top universities as you implement techniques such as meditation, resilience, mindfulness, and visualization into your own life.

Whether you’re going through a rough spot or are simply looking for a few tips on creating a happier life, these courses can help bring a little sunshine your way.

The Science of Happiness (UC Berkeley)

Created by leaders in UC Berkeley’s “Greater Good Science Center,” this extremely popular 10-week course gives students an introduction to the concepts behind Positive Psychology. Learners study science-based methods of increasing their happiness and monitor their progress as they go. The results of this online class have also been studied. Research shows that students who consistently participate throughout the course experience an increase in well-being and a sense of common humanity, as well as a decrease in loneliness.

The Year of Happy (Independent)

Want to make this year your happiest yet? This free email course walks recipients through one major theme of happiness each month. Every week, receive an email related to that theme containing videos, readings, discussions, and more. Monthly themes include: gratitude, optimism, mindfulness, kindness, relationships, flow, goals, work, savoring, resilience, body, meaning, and spirituality.

Becoming a Resilient Person: The Science of Stress Management (University of Washington)

When stress strikes, how do you react? This 8-week course teaches students how to develop resilience – the ability to positively withstand adversity in their lives. Techniques such as optimistic thinking, relaxation, meditation, mindfulness, and purposeful decision-making are introduced as ways to develop a toolbox for dealing with stressful situations.

Introduction to Psychology (Tsinghua University)

When you understand the basics of psychology, you'll be better prepared to make decisions that bring you ongoing happiness. Learn about the mind, perception, learning, personality, and (ultimately) happiness in this 13-week introductory course.

A Lifetime of Happiness and Fulfillment (Indian School of Business) 

Developed by a professor nicknamed “Dr. HappySmarts,” this 6-week course draws on research from a variety of disciplines to help students understand what makes people happy. Be prepared for videos featuring interviews with happiness experts and authors, readings, and exercises.

Positive Psychology (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Students in this 6-week course are introduced to the study of Positive Psychology. Weekly units focus on psychological techniques that are proven to improve happiness levels — upward spirals, building resilience, loving-kindness meditations, and more.

Psychology of Popularity (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

If you think that popularity doesn’t affect you, think again. This 6-week course introduces students to the multitude of ways that experiences with popularity in their younger years shape who they are and how they feel as an adult. Apparently, popularity can even change DNA in unexpected ways.

The Science of Well-Being (Yale University)

Yale's famous "happiness" course is available as a 6-week, 20-hour course that anyone can take. Designed to increase happiness and productivity, the course introduces students to the brain science of happiness and suggests a variety of wellness activities that can be incoroporated into daily routines.

Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills (University of Pennsylvania)

Being resilient is an important element to increasing happiness. In this course, students learn about resilience research and strategies, which are intended to help manage negative emotions such as anxiety and increase positivity, gratitude, and more.

Crafting Realities: Work, Happiness, and Meaning (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore)

Work is one of the biggest stressors for most of us, but it doesn't have to be. This self-paced course shares theories on positivity from several different fields (positive psychology, neuroscience, sociology, and philosophy) in order to help students learn to build positive work attitudes and experiences.

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Littlefield, Jamie. "10 Free Online Courses That Will Make You Happier." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/10-free-online-courses-that-will-make-you-happier-1098092. Littlefield, Jamie. (2020, August 27). 10 Free Online Courses That Will Make You Happier. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/10-free-online-courses-that-will-make-you-happier-1098092 Littlefield, Jamie. "10 Free Online Courses That Will Make You Happier." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/10-free-online-courses-that-will-make-you-happier-1098092 (accessed March 30, 2023).