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Learner Reviews & Feedback for A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment by Indian School of Business

5,740 ratings

About the Course

What are the determinants of a happy and fulfilling life? This is surely one of life’s biggest questions, and a question that has interested many of our ancestors. Buddha famously gave up his kingdom in search of happiness. Several Greek philosophers (from Aristotle to Epicurus and Plato to Socrates) had their own views on what it takes to be happy. And of course, we all have our own theories about happiness too. How valid are our theories? Until recently, if you wished for an answer to this question, you would've been forced to base it on discussions with spiritual leaders. Or, if you were lucky, you could've based it on late-night (and perhaps intoxicant-fueled) conversations with friends and family. Happily, all that has changed now. Over the past decade-and-a-half, scientists have gotten into the act big time. We now have a pretty good idea of what it takes to lead a happy and fulfilling life. This course, based on the award-winning class offered both at the Indian School of Business and at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, developed by Prof. Raj Raghunathan (aka "Dr. Happy-smarts") draws content from a variety of fields, including psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral decision theory to offer a tested and practical recipe for leading a life of happiness and fulfillment. Although not mandatory, reading Prof. Raj's forthcoming book, titled If you're so smart, why aren't you happy? can help you review and assimilate the material covered in this book at your leisure. For Coursera learners alone, the hardcover version of the book is available for a deep discount of 50%, plus shipping and handling. You can order the hardcover for 50% off by writing to Aaron at: Please mention that you are a student of the "coursera happiness course" in your email. The course will feature guest appearances by several well-known thought leaders, including: - Dan Ariely (author of Predictably Irrational and, soon to be released, Irrationally Yours), - Ed Diener (“Dr. Happiness”), - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (author of Flow), By taking this course, you will discover the answers to questions such as: - Why aren’t the smart-and-the-successful as happy as they could—or should—be - What are the “7 Deadly Happiness Sins” that even the smart and the successful commit?, and - What are the “7 Habits of the Highly Happy” and how can you implement them in your life? By the end of the course, I expect students who have been diligent with the lectures and exercises to not just gain a deeper understanding of the science of happiness, but to also be significantly happier....

Top reviews


Apr 23, 2018

Excellent course, Professor Raj is great. I found it very helpful to see what types of personality traits I have that may contribute to my happiness level and possible approaches to dealing with them.


May 23, 2021

This course is a joy! I cannot recommend it highly enough. Practical advice based on long-term research, interviews with worldwide experts on the topics discussed, and a fabulous professor. So great!

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1976 - 2000 of 2,014 Reviews for A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

By Anne L

Jul 26, 2020

I enrolled in this course in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic. I watched all of the video lectures, completed the quizzes, submitted my assignments and reviewed the work of my peers. The only thing I did not do was submit my final exam (reasons below).

What’s great about the course: There is a great deal of content that introduces lots of social science concepts that affect happiness. You can delve deeper into those elements that interest you and have a base line knowledge of those that don’t.

Dr Raghunathan is a great presenter with passion for his subject. The cheesy music and jokes grew on me as I realised they were his authentic style.

Some of the exercises were fun and introduced their concepts in a gentle and thoughtful way.

What could be improved: The errors in the course are distracting and disappointing (I’m talking about the ones that impact how the course works operationally (e.g. not being about to upload assignments in a certain format when videos say that you can do so, being told assignments have been submitted late when they have not, being told you have answered questions in lectures wrong because you did not use a capital letter) rather than typo errors or the wrong pictures being referenced). I understand that there isn’t a commercial drive to correct these errors in a free course, but we are six years on from when it was first created and some of the main errors impact people’s enjoyment and progress, which in turn will impact whether people will pay for a Certificate at the end (it did me).

Peer reviews: while I completely understand that this course aims to be as inclusive as possible, it lacks credibility for people to pass assignments when they don’t understand the assignments, or have plainly put no work into them. For example, one of the questions was “what makes you happy?” To gain points one simply had to list a few examples of things they personally did that made them happy, an answer presented to me just said “lots of things” and nothing more, When I tried to award zero points, I encountered error messages and could not submit my marking.

The final exam: This comprises of 12 questions in two parts (a) and (b) that covers all of the content of the course.The exam is a tall ask/order in terms of requirements and content, particularly when you consider the lower level of skill and knowledge students have needed to pass the assignments that have come before it. I would suggest that the part (a) sections of the final exam were incorporated into the weekly assignment tasks so we get accustomed to the rigour you’ll be expecting at the final stage. Then the final exam should only be comprised of the final six (part (b)) questions (and we were only required to pick three or four of those to answer and submit). I suspect a lot of people, like me, quit the course before submitting the final exam. I was all up for showing you what I learned and what I committed to do to improve my happiness; the final exam misses the mark in achieving that, which is a shame.

By Mary W

Mar 25, 2016

I had reached the last session of this course when it suddenly became impossible to access the video. i had to wait several days before this was possible (other videos from other sites were OK so must have been local to you and not a fault at my end) Then when I could access the site again I found I could not reconnect with the course at the level at which I had left it but would have to start again. Unsurprisingly I did not want to do this but would like to finish what was a very interesting and thought provoking course and the presentation was excellent and deserves 6 stars... the prof is a star. I hope you can help in this matter as there does not seem to be anywhere on your site where one has the opportunity to contact Coursera with problems such as this as I do not think this review page is truly relevant to the problem but where else can I go? Please do not suggest the Community Forum.


Mary W

By Juliet J

Feb 23, 2021

I probably had higher hopes for this class and what format it might take, which led me to find the class less rewarding than I expected. I was looking forward to learning a variety of practical techniques to develop happiness and fulfillment, but the course was for more clinical. It pulled study after study and recommended a wide array of self-help books rather than provide hands-on techniques and guides for building a base for happiness. Even the weekly exercises felt tedious more than fulfilling. The instructor was positive and brought a genuine enthusiasm to the class, although the team that offered additional support felt overtly canned. Other might get more out of it than I did, but the class was fine.

By Anna

Jun 28, 2020

Love the presenter, really nice and positive guy. However, not a fan of the content of the course. The idea of teaching happiness is an interesting one, but not well executed here, hence why I'm dropping out. Most suggestions are very basic and common sense and there is a lack of philosophical and cultural dimensions. Some research conclusions also lack basic critical reasoning skills eg survey where people wished for 3 things and only 6% wished for happiness. Well what about considering that the 3 things people wished for were what they thought would make them happy? Some research conclusions in the course have serious gaps and are too black and white for my liking.

By Marta H

Mar 10, 2016

The class was absolutely Wonderful, however I don't have the time to go at a student's pace (work , hom, life in general). I was trying to go back and finish week 6 video #4 but was unable to open the course! I want to llearn I wasn't aware there was a time limit to learn happiness. :(

By Deleted A

Jun 16, 2020

Happiness is when your life fulfills your needs.

In other words, happiness comes when you feel satisfied and fulfilled. Happiness is a feeling of contentment, that life is just as it should be. Perfect happiness, enlightenment, comes when you have all of your needs satisfied.

By Shyanne R

Aug 17, 2018

A lot of information and time spent on watching lectures. I find courses more enjoyable when there is a smaller amount of information, but more in-depth. My rating my change as the course continues.

By girija r

Aug 9, 2015


By Nihan G

Dec 9, 2015

That was very informative and motivating course. I wish the quiz was not that detail oriented and hard..

By Zahraa A

Dec 19, 2019

A great and fun course ❤ though the technical glitches while grading are a bit inconvenient


Aug 15, 2020

It was a good experience to learn about happiness. Enjoyed it.

By Marina B

Feb 6, 2016

It is a reasonable well-delivered course given the topic

By josephine p

Jan 24, 2022

Course was too long and eo were y er in 15 utes

By Elisa B

Mar 1, 2016

Good, simple, quite complete to a happier life.

By Sampa K

Aug 16, 2020

Certificate delay was a big problem to me

By Prerak S

May 6, 2020

Quite a lengthy course

By Dean M

Sep 10, 2017

excellent course

By Anil K P

Jul 13, 2021

Not expected

By Tzouliana T

Apr 29, 2016

a bit boring

By Aryan Y

Sep 10, 2018

Good course

By Deblina B

May 24, 2020

Very good

By Wang J

Sep 16, 2015


By Supichaya S

May 8, 2020


By Sunita P

Apr 26, 2020


By Kashyap K

Jan 2, 2022

content was kinda ok-ish.......but the length of this course was too long to be put in the MIXED category.......really long course......another problem is that there were too many questions in between the videos and the lectures were too over-acted at some places.......the lectures werent too engaging too........