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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Science of Well-Being by Yale University

30,829 ratings
11,060 reviews

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. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life. THE SCIENCE OF WELL BEING WAS PRODUCED IN PART DUE TO THE GENEROUS FUNDING OF THE DAVID F. SWENSEN FUND FOR INNOVATION IN TEACHING....

Top reviews

Aug 27, 2020

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.

Jun 5, 2020

I couldn't have asked for a better class to be offered during this time. Got to learn a lot about myself and why I think or do certain things without even thinking about it. Thank you for this course!

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301 - 325 of 10,000 Reviews for The Science of Well-Being

By Mercedes P

Sep 22, 2020

I thank God to give me the opportunity to do this Well-Being Course that arrived at such right time to my life. The course content is very complete and updated. The sequential order of the topics is excellent. All the works and investigations presented are very good and the authors interviews interesting and pleasant. The forum interventions sharing experiences are also very good. Prof. Laurie Santos is great.

Although having experienced difficult circumstances in different times of my life I have always considered myself fortunate. I was raised by wonderful parents with five sisters and one brother and I still maintain constant contact with the six of them. We love each other very much and we accept the differences between us. I have six children and twelve grandchildren, all good and healthy people. And I keep close contact with all of them. My husband is a nice and clever man and best of all: he loves me deeply, as I love him.

When I started this course, I had lost my zest for life. I was living like just letting days pass by. We were recently retired. We had moved from our country leaving our lives and two of our children there. Maybe I was depressed. I don´t know. I have never experienced depression. Sadness yes. Joy many times. Anger sometimes. But never this “letting time pass”. Taken together with the terrible pandemic that hit us up unexpectedly! Under these circumstances this course is another blessing of God´s goodness to me. So, I´m really happy that I had the opportunity to take this course. My thanks to Prof. Laurie Santos for conducting this course in such a brilliant way.

By Patricia P

Sep 8, 2021

El curso es realmente muy bueno, he pasado momentos difíciles como pérdida de familiares muy cercanos y me ayudó mucho el imponerme nuevos recableados, me costó bastante reiniciar la actividad física, pero lo logré.

En Argentina el aislamiento obligatorio comenzó el 20 de marzo de 2020 y en la actualidad seguimos con algunas medidas restrictivas, hábitos ya adquiridos fue necesario suspenderlos. Ejemplo actos de bondad, en mi caso que pertenezco a una ONG que realizaba colectas de sangre e inscribía donantes en el banco mundial para el trasplante de médula, recientemente fue permitido, siguiendo muchos protocolos. Pero como me hace feliz hacerlo no fue difícil retomar el hábito

Me hizo muy bien continuar con las meditaciones.

La actividad física también pude continuarla con bicicleta fija, pero tuve que abandonar yoga. Estaba inscripta para tai chi y aun no comenzaron las clases. Igualmente adquirí gracias al curso necesidad de realizar actividad física.

Tengo el tiempo programado para personas conocidas ahora que se puede recibir a los familiares, especialmente a mis nietos a la salida del colegio y también me reúno con amigas. El desafío son las conexiones con extraños que las voy a poder practicar en las colectas.

Fue una gran decisión inscribirme en este curso, ha cambiado mi filosofía de vida, dejé de estar siempre ocupada, pendiente de lo que debía hacer después y llegué a saborear los momentos, no dejé de hacer las cosas, pero es como si el tiempo se hubiera hecho flexible.

Permanentemente siento la necesidad de rever los apuntes.

Muchas gracias por todo lo recibido

By Noa M

Dec 25, 2020

This course has been so inspiring and enlightening in so many ways. Not only has it taught me many more detailed and often unexpected and counter-intuitive aspects to Positive Psychology, it has also taught me how many of my old habits and thinking patterns were more self-destructive and unfounded than good and how Fixed my mindset was before this. Through the timely pacing and the warm, welcoming, yet professional academic environment of Ms. Laurie, one really gets to dive into and benefit from the findings and wisdoms of research-based Positive Psychology, but also challenges how to apply them into your own life (through WOOP strategies) and realise that the G.I. Joe Fallacy (i.e. Knowing is NOT half the battle) is often wrong and over-estimated and how visual illusions, especially many over time, can negatively harm us in the long run. Ms. Laurie teaches us to question and bring us back to the basics of what is best for our Mental, Social, Physical, Psychological and Emotional wellbeing in the long run and how to realise how to truly come into our own and put our wellbeing and happiness first for ourselves and for the natural positive trickle down effect in our environment too! Couldn't recommend this course, especially for Coursera and Academic students and people of ALL walks of life, enough! Thank you Ms. Laurie and will continue to be curious and put my best foot forward for my own Health, Wellbeing and Happiness!

By Melonie G

Jun 7, 2020

I simply LOVED this course. There were several AHA moments for me, and I truly appreciated the practical nature of the course. I loved that the course was backed up by research but offered in a comfortable and easy to understand manner. I had not realized the reality that knowing something did not automatically guarantee that it would change behaviour. I also realized that I was guilty of allowing several annoying features to cloud my own sense of reality, and how blessed I am. It was an eye-opener to realise that some of my reference points were off, and I needed to reset those, which made a massive difference to my personal perspective. I have a real sense that I have changed over this course. We, as a country, have been in lockdown, and I have lost all income, because of my inability to work, BUT I had a real sense of being mindful of what I did have, and what I could control. I have spent lockdown with my family, and that has been a special gift. For someone who travels a lot generally, this has been a special joy to have daily tea dates with my parents, spend time with my adult children and have daily play dates with my brand-new grandson. I believe that the course has played a large role in that, and for that, I thank Yale for making it possible, as well as Prof Santos for being so gracious and generous in sharing this gift with the world.I

By Nicole W

Nov 2, 2020

An engaging, achievable, fun, way to learn about well being! I appreciated the authenticity of the professor (Laurie) and that the material was broken down into bit sized videos and readings with the option to further explore the material through optional reading material. I liked the video transcriptions too. The mini questions scattered throughout and the larger quizzes were all very reasonable and a great way to check in on my own understanding of the concepts and seek further clarity if needed by referencing back to the material in the lesson. The discussion forums and the other optional participation opportunities of were a creative way to engage without expectation. Thank you for creating this opportunity. And for offering the option to not have a certificate. I chose not to have a certificate as I wanted to explore the mindset of pursing something for the intrinsic value only. I wanted to not focus on attaining academic perfection (which is my approach in academia!). This allowed me to really enjoy the journey of learning. As I discovered that I am happiest when I am learning and the outcome does not determine my level of happiness as the process itself is rewarding in and of itself. So a big heartfelt thank you for sharing this wonderful opportunity with those outside of the Yale community! Kindest regards, Nicole Walleen

By Shelia R

Oct 28, 2019

This class has helped me learn how to look for joy and happiness within/intrinsically. It has helped me to understand my own happiness misconceptions, and that just knowing the tools that will make me happy does not make me happy. I have to do the work. It also made me realize that these tools have value in my life. That they are not just "fit ins" when I have the time. That I have to make the time for these things. It has helped me learn to savor moments, and to reflect and meditate. To take a deep breath and pause. It taught me the importance of sleep. I had no idea sleep was that important. Of course we know it's important, but not THAT important. And exercise. How do I find the motivation to exercise. These rewirements also made me think about circumstances. I have just finished breast cancer treatment before taking this course, and I'm tired. Fatigued at times. I know that I would have approached these rewirements differently if I was my in a different state of mind. But then I thought, isn't that exactly it? We are all dealing with some sort of stressful event in our lives on a regular basis. These rewirements will help them become less stressful if I make them a part of my practice. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this class

By Marlene H

Aug 30, 2020

I wish this course had been around 50 years ago! How different my life would have been but, of course, many of its insights are only recent psychological discoveries so perhaps my wish is futile. I have benefited enormously from the insight that well-being is an emotional state that depends on one's outlook and one's outlook can be improved by simple things such as getting sufficient rest and exercise and practising daily meditation along with remembering always to give thanks for the blessings life gives us and to spread the warmth of our well-being through acts of kindness. I've also learned how easy and misguided it is to focus on possessions at the cost of experiencing life's simple pleasures and how easily one can miswant things in one's life that lead only to disappointment. Negative visualizing has also helped me to truly appreciate the abundant and extraordinary life that I enjoy. It doesn't surprise me that this excellent course has attracted millions of participants. Well done to Professor Laurie Santos who is so special and to whom I owe such an enormous debt of gratitude. Thank you so much, Professor Santos, and may you continue to bless the lives of those fortunate enough to discover what you are offering.

By Diachok N

Aug 30, 2020

First of all, I want to thank everyone involved in creating this course, especially Professor Santos.

My path as a course student began when I overcame the effects of stress by COVID-19 (with antidepressants), so my level of happiness, of course, was not too high… This course has become a kind of savior for me, so that thanks to him I not only learned how to be happy, but also became one and found a purpose in my life and, as a bonus, got to know myself and my wiches better! I started doing the exercises from the first week of classes (combining theory and practice at once). And literally from the first week I realized that it really works.

Honestly, I used to think that happiness is when you have a lot of money, a stable job, a husband. How wrong I was!

After taking the course, I realized that happiness really lies in simple things: the ability to be grateful (to life, people, yourself), to be able to live the moment and enjoy it, to have good health (and this requires at least minimal physical activity and normal sleep )! Having received such a wonderful result after the course, I am not going to stop there and continue to work on what to be happy! I wish everyone to find their well-being!

By Mary L R

Oct 9, 2020

I really enjoyed this course and learned a lot from it. Dr. Santos has a nice presentation style and provided a significant amount of relevant information. I found the results of the research on happiness to be very interesting and helpful in increasing my understanding of well-being, which enabled me to increase my overall sense of happiness. Also, I am currently reading two of the books Dr. Santos recommended, and appreciate that she gave us so many good recommendations for further study. I would have preferred to take the course face-to-face because there's so much potential for great discussions, which i find more difficult to have in an online environment, but I am glad that technology enabled me to take the course while living far away from Yale.

The pandemic and the current political situation in our country have made it much more difficult than usual to maintain a good level of well-being, so the course came at a really good time for me, and I appreciate that Yale made it available tuition-free. I think my friends and family would benefit from the course as well and have recommended it to many of them. Thank you to Dr. Santos and Yale for providing this very useful course!

By Judith B

Jan 11, 2021

This course and experience of online learning FAR exceeded my expectations. After reading about the course and it's goal for the student, I expected this to be of great interest to me (I'm a science, stat, human behavior person) and exploring my own happiness level and where I could improve to be worthwhile, especially during this pandemic. Each week's lecture & discussions were very interesting and well presented. I found that I did much more reflection of my state of mind and areas to improve than I expected. I was constantly impressed on how the class was structure and brought me to a logical point to put some new habits into place. It all fell into place like a 5 course, 5 star meal. (I also like to cook - can you tell?) Even following the final assignment in week 10, I had the "aha" moment that many of my greatest strengths have existed in my subconscious. This class pulled them out to the conscious part of me which made feel liberated in a way and great about who I've always been. What a great happiness building moment for me. Dr. Laurie Santos is a solid professional in her field and great instructor in the online venue. Thank you for this wonderful experience!!

By Tammy P

Jan 5, 2019

Where do I start? Love this course. I am going to post this course in/on as many things as I have access to. Ms Santos is engaging, well spoken, organized, charming, and well versed. How she presented the course and herself were confident, knowledgeable, related, and bright. The statistics, related studies, and articles were monumental and life changing. I am astounded and humbled at what I thought I knew and/or related to was being challenged and studied ever; let alone, the question of well-being being studied years back. I loved the stats, the quizzes were great, the studies profound, and the solutions/adjustments applicable and obtainable. Thank you for sharing this knowledge Ms Santos (Yale). I strongly suggest that you continue down this path and offer additional courses like such. You have the power, professors :), influence, and reach to enhance peoples lives. Use your platform!

If anyone is reading this and wondering, if they should take this class please don't even think twice. Give this to yourself. I've taken approximately 8 such courses on two different online platforms and by far this is superior. Enjoy.

By Juan C E P

Aug 29, 2020

The Experience in General was surprisingly wonderful, since I finally understood it is almost always so difficult for us to be happy in life, and why so much value to material things when they should not have it. It also allowed me to better prioritize my goals in life and especially to dedicate more time to those activities that are worthwhile and that in the end are the most satisfactory and that are almost always the ones we already have and that do not cost us anything financially speaking. I am very grateful to God and to life for allowing me to have the opportunity to receive this course, which has definitely allowed me to be a better person and especially to have achieved a greater integral well-being in my life. I think that everyone should have the opportunity, especially young people, to receive a course like this "THE SCIENCE OF WELL-BEING" since in this way I am sure that the World would be better. Special thanks to LAURIE SANTOS for the dedication, patience and professionalism of this course. Many thanks also to all the colleagues who did their best to achieve the goals they set for themselves.

By R R M

Oct 8, 2018

Dr. Santos data driven approach to happiness and well being is EXACTLY what I needed to make some shifts in my life. Thank you, Dr. Santos, and all those involved in making this course.

The only way for this course to make a lasting difference is to put the tools we've learned to use. By dedicating the last 4 weeks of this course to "rewiring" assignments, Dr. Santos has given us the time to apply our knowledge and make us accountable to ourselves as well as others taking the course. As an academic, the first 8 weeks are like learning any other topic. I'd suggest that the final four weeks is more like learning a new sport. When I was an athlete, one of my coaches suggested there are four levels of learning: 1) you don't know that you don't know, 2) you know that you don't know, 3) you know that you know, 4) you don't know that you know. By following the final four weeks rewiring assignments, we're pushing towards being at stage 4 of learning... when habits become habits that we don't even have to think about because we simply DO them. So, as Nike said, so long ago..."Just Do It."

By Alisha A R

May 2, 2020

An Incredible course and an amazing professor!

What I love about the course is the balance between theory and practice. The Science of Well-Being is for anyone, whether you are passionate about psychology or a very different field. This course shares insightful information about happiness through looking at psychological studies and ideas, but more importantly, it informs us of how we, ourselves, can be happier. The use of weekly tasks helps with this. Although not graded, the activities, in my opinion, help us develop "intrinsic motivation", which is a term that is discussed in the course. In other words, this course may not guarantee someone to become happier but certainly provides them will the tools needed to do so.

In addition to the material, the professor is lovely. Her examples make the information comprehensible and her touch of humour ensures that you are engaged. It is clear that she put in a lot of effort for all of her students to learn about positive psychology and about themselves. I really hope she will be sharing more online courses in the future.


May 13, 2021

Gracias a Laurie Santos por hacer este curso aprendí demasiado sobre mi y como debo llevar mi vida, antes de comenzar este curso padecía de DEPRESION y ANSIEDAD, por que terapia y los medicamentos psiquiátricos no me ayudaban a mejorar, así que después de que conocí el curso y llevando al pide de la letra, pude salir de ello, mi vida a cambiado totalmente, ya no voy a terapia ni tomo medicamentos antidepresivos, ahora todos los días hago ejercicio, medito, agradezco e incluso ha sido tan importante para mi el ejercicio en mi vida que pienso certificarme en pilates para ayudar a personas.

La ANSIEDAD y la DEPRESION son enfermedades mentales que duele demasiado existir, agracias a este curso evito que cambiara mi forma de ver la vida, inclusive podría decir que me salvo de cometer un error, por que antes de esto no dejaba de pensar en el suicidio, pero ahora quiero compartir con el mundo la persona que soy y lo bonita que es la vida a pesar de sus altibajos, la felicidad esta sobrevalorada, la verdadera felicidad es disfrutar cada momento.


By Hala B K

May 24, 2020

This course has been extraordinarily helpful and very engaging. The rewirement exercises were very beneficial.

One of the rewirement that I picked for the final challenge was Kindness - increasing my acts of kindness. A month ago, my friends and I started the "Care Package" initiative. It's a word-of-mouth initiative aiming to bring the local community together in the service of its underprivileged members, especially during times of political and economic uncertainty that have ravaged Lebanon.

As the gap between the poor and the wealthy is in gradual expansion in what feels like a sudden crash of social and economic order, our goal is to offer support for our destitute and most vulnerable brothers and sisters!

Each care package contains food supplies, personal hygiene and protective equipment. We have narrowed down our list into what we have deemed as essential. Contributors can then donate as many items from a curated list as possible based on their purchasing power. We were able to deliver 12 boxes in just 4 weeks and this has been very rewarding!

By Carrie K

May 7, 2020

I thought this course was remarkable. If you are a person who aspires towards wellbeing or desires greater authentic happiness this course maybe for you. If you want the leverage that only understanding can generate -I strongly recommend you take this course. You will want to pay close attention to this very skilled and delightful educator and do the work of creating new habits based on real science. How refreshing and useful to embrace all our misconceptions and miss-wanting. To learn to say -we may have been mistaken and and move towards crafting better ways of wanting and being.

Personally I adored this course and wish to thank Professor Santos, Yale and Coursera for this magnificent work of education. It was so well crafted, accessible and timely. I found myself so eager, happy and grateful to be learning that I ordered up a Yale sweatshirt and signed up for two more courses. I thank you for this quality classroom and profoundly important subject matter.

Yours with much gratitude and a deep love of learning,

Carrie Lee Kelley

By Nancy S

May 28, 2020


Thank you very much for letting me be part of your course for the past 10 weeks. I have enjoyed it very much. I retired from my HR job 2 years ago but during the 34 years of working for the same company, I had many opportunities to attend seminars/classes. It always amazed me that even though I was learning things to help me in my job, I could also, almost always, apply what I learned to my every day life. I saw on facebook that this class was being offered during this COVID19 Stay at Home order, at no cost. I read more about it and decided to sign up. It has surely been an eye opening experience and I have learned exactly where I need to focus my attention. There is always room for improvement in everyone's life. It will be a challenge but I really think I can do it, thanks to you. You're kind, courteous and very good at what you do. Every aspect of the course was explained in great detail and in terms everyone could understand. I thank you for that. I hope you are well and I wish you much success in the future. Nancy Sharp

By Leo C

Sep 13, 2021

This course really helped me out.

Before starting this course I had way more social anxiety and I was unhappy most of the time.

By starting this course I had to do something other than procrastinating, the first 2 week were the one where I was most excited because I was thinking about what a great person I maybe would have become.

By sticking to the course, I learnt the main techniques that help you do stuff. By practicing them and some others strongly reccomanded, my happiness was at its peak and so it was my productivity, of course in these two months there were times when I didn't feel to do this and that, I obviously skipped some days of meditation, workout and journaling but if this happens to you, it only mean one thing, there still is room for improvment, you should always meditate, workout, journal and so on.

Even if you see little to none progress you're still in a better position that you started with and if you stop you will go back to that bad feeling.

Apologies if my english is not the best, I'm still learning

By Gido S

Jun 22, 2020

The overall experience was very pleasant, I feel this has ‘lit a fire’ enabling me to pick up and keep better habits in general. At first I felt the rewirement would cost me a lot of time. In the end it did not feel like that, I feel I ‘took’ the time from useless things we all do in our spare time.

Overall the course has really helped me see things in another perspective. I feel less inclined to do things like watch TV of spend time playing games or messing with my phone. What’s strange is that I would think beforehand I would feel ‘busier’ and ‘would have no time for myself’ but it turns out that a lot of these new habits are exactly that, they are time for yourself, just better spent.

I would recommend this course to everybody. I feel this course and the classic book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ have had the most profound impact on my self regulation I’ve ever experienced. A sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart goes out to all involved, including my fellow students reading this.

Thank you!

By Aleksandro d S S

Jun 9, 2020

First of all, I'd like to thank all of people that have contributed - don't matter what everyone has done - to offer this amazing course. It was a great experience for me.

As a gratitude exercise I'd like also to share with you a personal achievement throughout this course. My wife has been diagnosticated as a depressive patient since last year. So, when I had the opportunity to know about the science of well-being, I've thought: "yes, I can try to help my wife sharing and discussing with her these concepts and techniques". And few weeks later er're harvesting the fruits. The average of my wife's well-being improvement was close to 46%, and right now she's getting better and better. My family, including my daughter and son, have been doing dialy pointing about their level of well-being in a tool that I've built during the course. I've called this tool Well-being Daily Monitoring.

Again, thank you so much professor Laurie Santos and The Science of Well-being team for this "gift" for all of us.

Be happy.

By Mary P O

Jun 11, 2020

I had heard about this class awhile ago but it was recent mention on BBC News that brought it to my attention. It was my great fortune! I gained so many insights into myself as well as others, but the increased awareness of who I am and my relationships to others was dramatic. I found a level of internal calmness develop that carried into my daily life. When I read that a wandering mind was an unhappy mind, I thought not my wandering mind. Then it sank into my being that indeed my wandering mind was unhappy. This led me to chose meditation as my project. As I submitted my final paper I felt comfortable to title it, “My wandering Mind has Unpacked her Suitcase.” Although I’ve only been doing this for 43 days, it has become a part of my day; rising at 6:30 to meditate for 10 mins to begin my day with this practice. This is still a "practice" but one I will take with me throughout my life. It has shown me a way to keep my mind focused and it bags unpacked. .

Thank you!

M. Patricia O'Connell

By Jeremy W K

May 4, 2020

This Science of Well-being course was a real eye opening to negative human behavior that we think will help us throughout our daily lives, but in fact is leading us in the pursuits in life. After the last five years of both my grandparents passing, my best friend since kindergarten dieding suddenly after child birth and then my cat of 13 years (also my close best friend to be honest) and then the outbreak of the corona-virus (which has really put a cover on my pursuing my dream job and education); i was really looking for the meaning of life. I think this class gives you new focus and insights on what should really matter in your life. To be happy, you must spend more quality time with family and friends, exercise more for your benefit, eat healthier, don't sweat the small stuff, find humor in the world, meditate every once in a while and learn that buying the most expensive stuff isn't going to make you happy in the long run. Thank you, Professor Santos for a wonderful class.

By Madhu B

May 17, 2020

This is a really effective course. If followed right you will really see results in your overall well-being. Before I took this course. I was going through a bad phase - anxiety caused by the pandemic something I never realised I had until it happened. Through this course I not only got rid of my anxiety but I have learned to be more mindful, to be more in the moment, to be more appreciative of what I have, it has helped my relations with friends, family, and coworkers, I can't be more thankful to Dr. Santos and Yale University for putting this course out here. I loved the practical aspect of it and i think that's what made all the difference. Best thing about it is that what I learned in this course is not something that just ends with finishing the course but something I will take with me in every walk of my life. I am grateful that I stumbled upon this course. I would definitely recommend this course to everyone that wants to live their life a little better.

By Friedrich L

Jun 7, 2020

If you answer the "What is the meaning of life" by saying "The meaning is to be happy" or if being happy is part of meaning of life in your opinion this course can show you the scientific data that tells us what actually makes us happy. You will find a great professor (Thank you, Laurie Santos, for this course!) who is very enthusiastic about the topics in the lectures, who has a lot of knowledge when it comes to ( Positive) Psychology and the topics and themes discussed in this course. There will be exercises and challenges for you. The main goal of these is to implement the knowledge and findings that you will get into your life and create habits. This is very important because (as you will learn pretty much in the beginning of the course) knowing is not half the way, implementing and practicing is far more difficult than it might seem.

I loved this course. 10/10. Would recommend and do recommend.

Take your time and complete this course. Chapeau!