Chevron Left
Back to The Science of Well-Being

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

30,779 ratings
11,051 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

Jan 8, 2021

This course has the power enough to change the course of your life. It can be a journey from misery to well being, if you follow the instructions given in this program. A must must must attend course.

Jun 15, 2020

Love this course! Best class I’ve taken. I teach Social Skills and there are so many things I can incorporate into my classes as well as tools I can use in my own life! - Thank You!\n\nJessica Rhoades

Filter by:

326 - 350 of 10,000 Reviews for The Science of Well-Being

By William C R

May 13, 2021

I enjoyed it so much, Professor Laurie Santos. You are a remarkably fluent presenter--the words flow from your mouth as the curly locks from your head :) I have also appreciated your warm, inviting manner.

In thinking about the course, I have learned the value of sleep, savoring, gratitude, exercise, and kindness, among other aspects of Well-Being. While one might say, "Of course, those are the essentials to happiness," the strength of the course, for me, lies in these 3 aspects: at heart the secret of happiness and well-being is simple, but it is helpful to be reminded of that; the careful studies which bear out the previous point; and finally the powerful notion that not only do we inculcate gratitude, kindness, and so forth, we can wire it right into our physical selves, the brain and nervous system.

Thanks again and good luck with the next 3,000,000 students. You are making history in education at Yale.

Sincerely, William C (Bill) Rives

By John H

Apr 17, 2020

One of the most important classes I’ve ever taken, if not the most important class. As a current Master’s student in psychology, I was fascinated with learning about the things that make me happy and affect my happiness. I started this class and then 5-6 weeks in, covid-19 appeared in the U.S. and changed all of our lives drastically. The first week of starting the class, I took 2 different assessments to measure how happy I was. Yesterday, I retook both assessments to see if the scores changed. My overall happiness had gone up. Amazing in that during a time of crisis and so much uncertainty, my happiness improved. I remember being in constant panic when it started. Thankful for this course because it made me realize while bad news doesnt make me as sad as I would think, the same applies for good news. I’m excited to keep learning about the Science of Well Being on my own and will definitely recommend this course to others. 5/5 without a doubt.

By Michael W

Jul 18, 2020

I really enjoyed the course. I met a great group of people for weekly chats - from all over the world (US, New Zealand, Australia, Canada). We are still going after the course.

I think the main improvement for the course would be to do the student interviews about their progress every week from week 7 to 10 - with a new set of students. I felt the course went into a lull when the lecture stopped. I get it that we need to be on our own to experience and do stuff, but more reflection on how people went would be good - give a sense that everyone finds this hard and there are ways to keep at it. I felt when that interview came in in about week 9 or 10 it really made sense again. I felt I needed that earlier.

My PERMA score went up by about 1.5 points. I've cultivated some great habits. Now it's a question of keeping "air in the tyres [as we Australians spell it]". This course is very worthwhile for anyone I think. I would really recommend it.

By Lo W

Sep 4, 2021

This course was so much more than a typical "How to Change Your Life in ## Steps". The course looked critically on common misperceptions about happiness and gave credibly researched findings on what actually makes us happy as well as strategies for change.

Laurie herself was wonderfully honest about presenting these findings and sharing a bit about how she also struggles to make changes. She accepted in her students that making progress is difficult and offered encouragement, almost as a dare to change.

I'd love it if there were a post-grad experience where folks could pick up with the learning if they were unsuccessful at first, or be supported in continuing with new habits once the course ended. I read a couple of comments from other students (including myself) that suggest this might be welcome.

Thanks again. This was an excellent introduction to Coursera. I've already signed up for 4 more courses and completed 2 already!


Dec 15, 2019

This course is amazing! At the beginning of the course I was the same like the other persons who believed that money, fame, accolades, a sexy body and a good romantic relationship are all the things that can make me happy. This way of thinking made me to be more competitive and more eager to raise myself up whether at work or in any situation or instances. Taking up this course made me realized that the very things I wanted to achieve/reach are the things that were causing me stress and made me unhappy. Now I understand that these things that most people sought after will not make us genuinely happy, although I must admit they can be an adjunct to our happiness. I realized that happiness can be achieved through sharing, kindness, being mindful and being appreciative and grateful of what one has. Indeed, there is no cost on being happy. W just have to alter our way of thinking and appreciate the beauty that is in front of us.

By Rich H

May 23, 2019

If you are like me, you could be thinking to yourself that you SHOULD be feeling happier or maybe your blessings aren't aligning with your gratefulness or perhaps you're just so tired of feeling like you should be enjoying your life more. For whatever the reason, this class has helped me TREMENDOUSLY put things into perspective and helped me to see exactly why I kept feeling like I should have more, or feel happier or be more satisfied and the tools that it has been providing thus far, have genuinely made a profound impact on the way I view every day life and all that I have taken for granted for so long. I would strongly suggest this course to anyone, even couples as a team event, and what have you got to lose? There are absolutely no harmful effects of learning how to be HAPPIER. This class is the first step to a new outlook on life and how to make yourself feel better about the one you're living.

By Rikke N

Jul 1, 2021

Dear Laurie Santos,

I wanted to say Thank You! This is the most important course I have taken in my life, and I’ve taken many! I wish that everyone on this planet would take it, and I think it’s the most beautiful gesture, that you guys have actually made that possible! I have no doubt that the world would be a better place if more people were informed by “The Science of Well-Being” and preferably, taught by you:) 

Your ability to hold space, meet us where we are and be ‘one of us’, is incredible, especially with such high intellect and in the position as the professor, AND doing it online. -That’s so very admirable!! -I feel we’re friends now, and that I know you:) -I certainly feel and notice that the teachings and this entire experience have lifted my well-being and my vibration, and for that I’m forever grateful.

Thank you. Much love to you, and beams of continuous light.

Rikke Laya Norgaard

By Cris C L

Jun 21, 2020

I really liked the videos of the teacher Laurie, they were very practical and above all the intentional strategies were very clear to apply them to our life, what I loved about the course was that every week I repeated the requirements there was a lot of feedback so that we did not forget , every week I was anxiously waiting for the topics that were going to play to be happy. The only thing I did not like about the course was week 7 to 9 when we had to answer the questions and post them in the forum and when we rated peer week 9 I did not like it. I think that in those weeks from 7 to 9 that are practice, if you want us to interact with each other or see how we are doing in practice, you should support us with an advisor or zoom in to make it more interactive, so you don't lose that connection. true social and not writing in a forum where I felt I was writing to something that does not exist.

By Leila A R

Jul 4, 2020

I really enjoyed this course, I signed up after seeing a facebook friend post about the course and as the course was free and I was struggling with my mental health I thought it would be a good way to give myself a boost. I had already done extensive reading on mindfulness on a I had read about mediation, journaling, gratitude etc and that they. had benefits but my brain had always been but why so I thought if this course can answer. those questions then over all I am going to be. in a good place. The Course does a fantastic job of explaining the science and how and why things work which answered every single question my brain had about the why aspect. I do have a BSc in Psychology however even if you don't not have a background in science the course is structured in such a way that provided you are open, willing to learn and engaging with the content then you will understand and benefit.

By Nicole T

Jun 11, 2020

I believe this course should be a must for all, young people especially, so they can digest this early in their lives. I have truly felt the course to be not only worthwhile but also enjoyable and enlightening. It has impacted my life in a way very few individual classes over the years have. I have convinced a handful of friends and family to try it out and I have only heard positive reviews. As I type this, it crosses my mind that it would be a great “book club read”, take the course independently but come together to discuss. I also think discussing character strengths and acts of kindness as a group could add fuel to the fire, in a good way. I do know that I have a foundation that I never before had, the wherewithal to create and the belief and knowledge that these new rewirements woven into my life will enhance my abilities for my internal and external self. I am grateful and thankful.

By Mochammad R

Oct 1, 2021

Overall the experience I gained when I was doing this course has been nothing but pleasant. It feels good to have my intuition and understanding about the things that make me happy readjusted.

I already have this habit of putting question mark on the things I have long taken for granted from time to time, including on the things that I thought will make me happy.

On my meditation, before taking this course, I figured that happiness is not a destination, it is a path that I am walking on, it is a state of mind, the ability to stay grateful, to keep walking calmly even in the midst of a storm. I figured that much but I never really knew, systematically, how someone can actually reach that state of mind.

After taking this course I would say that what I have learned here align with my idea of happiness, and what was taught in this course does provide an opportunity for anyone to truly be happy.

By Vince S

Jul 22, 2021

I​ recommend the course because the teacher is the main reason why should take it. She is passionate about her students and the subject matter. There are many people, like myself, who don't realize that they have yet to find a purpose in life. Combined with using the wrong approach for finding and obtaining happiness in one's life, this course will put you in the right direction by describing and explaining what is truly important to a human being. The course is a lot of fun, and it is meant to be an introduction to a misunderstood subject. You should not expect to put a lot of time into this course because it's not meant to be difficult. You get the real results from this course by applying what you have learnt after you have completed the course. That is where and when you will truly benefit from having taken this course. Think long-term and you will be rewarded. I am a big fan.

By Jun-Ting Y

Aug 14, 2019

I think this has been the best course (both online and local) I have ever taken. I had high expectations of this course after hearing about it online and all the rave about it, so I decided to give it ago. I was happy with the speed of the course and how it dealt with one happiness rewirement at a time, giving time to get used to changing lifestyle habits into positive and rewarding ones. This course gives a lot of satisfaction because of how it helps 'nudge' you to put the hard scientific evidence into practice. Of course, it depends on whether you decide to do the homework/rewirements, but if you do, you will get a lot out of it. The course gives you the nudge to incorporate these habits into your life. My happiness rating did indeed improve after completing the course and I am grateful for Laurie and her team at Yale that has delivered such an amazing course. Thank you so much!

By Marie-Anne I

Feb 28, 2021

Nice and lovely presented, topic respected, easy to understand, a lot to think about, but that has not to mean that everything should be taken over blindly. I would only have wished to be able to ask questions to the teacher directly online. Some theories that have been proposed are open to discussion. For me, just this moment in my life, this course was exactly what I needed: question myself and receiving the tools to judge usable for me or not. So, you don't know where to begin ? May be this course listening could be a door to open your mind and to feel better and not alone, so : WELL-BEİNG. The thing is to know when to make a meanful choice and when to make no choice. İt should also be remembered that this is a MOOC, so an online course for an audience without any preconditions. Thanks to the teacher, the community and to my daughter who gave me the idea to sniff out courses .

By Vicki B

Jun 22, 2020

This was a wonderful course from beginning to end. The first half of the course was especially informative and useful and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the science behind each retirement. I love all the theory and research to back up that these strategies really do make you happy. I loved the distinction between what we think makes us happy vs what really makes us happy....some surprises there and a lot of confirmation of things I already knew and believed which was nice to hear. I really enjoyed how Laurie presented the material and tracking the actual 'doing' of the rewirements was especially significant in creating habits.

This was the first course I have taken in years and I'm so happy to have done it....these are life strategies that should be taught to everyone....I'm passing this onto my teenagers!

Thank you and I look forward to my next course on well-being.

By Bruce H

Jan 21, 2019

Whole new field to me! The assignment of "rewirements' left a lasting impact on me in the form of mindfulness. I especially benefitted from noticing and practicing daily acts of kindness and social connection, which made me appreciate happy moments. The concept of "hedonic adaptation" - in lay terms, the new normal - was also eye-opening. My only reservation is that the research indicates that happiness and income are well-correlated until a person reaches an income of $75,000, which is about $10,000 higher than median household income even in the United States! That difference makes me want to see the approach systematically tested on individuals with income below $75,000. Finally, I am so impressed that Professor Santos is Director of the Canine Cognition Center at Yale! Better understanding of how dogs think will make us even more appreciative of mankind's best friend.

By Anudeep

Sep 4, 2019

A wonderful course from the faculty Laurie Santos. She has done enough work to simplify the course as much as possible. students will be able to get that inspiration and encouragement to take intentional steps to work on their happiness factor. Clear efforts have been put from the facultys side in gathering the results of various research findings.

She was awesome and clear in delivering her view, decent in handling the doubts section.

Overall, this course served the purpose. Its worth spending the time. i would'nt talk of the fee that's collected as course era always gives us the option to do it for free as well. They just charge a nominal amount for issuing the certificate if we need.

The greatest part is we being able to access and learn the lessons which are being taught at yale without going in person to yale. Thanks to yale, thanks to course era. Time and efforts are saved.

By Leslie B

Jul 19, 2020

A heartfelt thanks goes out to Professor Santos and colleagues! You have created a "life changing" course in the "Science of Wellbeing"! I, thoroughly, enjoyed the "process" of rewirement, was challenged by the Challenge, and was able to rediscover and cultivate happiness! The Rewirement Challenge I chose was meditation and I began to realize how interconnected each of the rewirements were/are on the "journey". They not only enhance one another but they invite you to explore depths that are unique to each individual and promote a positive outlook in the life that we are, each, gifted with and must savour! Peaceful Blessings To All, Leslie

By Dr. R D

May 22, 2021

I would like to pass a message to the aspirant learners to this course , you are lucky if you choose to pursue it . The course will take you without any tension of reading many materials (obviously reading the suggested material helps a lot), but will make you to feel being well even while going through the course . The course does it work with its objectives judiciously . Especially , a lot of research findings have been discussed every now and then to realize the strength of the various techniques(technique..nothing to worry by thinking it might be difficult). Over the period , the course rationalizes us that most of the worldly things we think as providing happy are not really do that; but , helps us to understand how small changes we make in our life will be helpful our well being ,if we follow in life. DONT MISS EVEN A SINGLE MINUTE OF VIDEO ...Best wishes

By Alyona

Oct 11, 2018

This course is absolutely great and it met almost all of my expectations! Lectures with professor Laurie Santos were interesting, motivating and enjoyable. Sometimes I felt my mood lightening only by watching them. Also I really liked interviews with guests and students. It was really nice to see and hear points of view of other people on topics discussed.

The course has scientific approach rather than spiritual one. That suited me well, though sometimes I caught myself wanting to know more about how to decipher and interpret graphs. During this course I've discovered miswanting and how to handle it, power of gratitude and WOOP technique. It was interesting to read, what other students chose to practice during rewirement challenge and how they managed to achieve their goals.

Overall I'm really grateful for this course and for the work done to make it. Thank you!

By Sharon M

Sep 23, 2020

Excellent, science-based content that resulted in a 50% increase in my happiness level! Which I have sustained. The detail: Laurie is a warm, engaging professor who supported her learnings with facts and analogies relevant to her audience. At times, Laurie spoke to live audiences so the class felt more real, personal, and engaging than other online classes. I loved that she listed additional resources to read so that I could dig a little deeper. I liked that forms and apps were available, although I did not need them. Finally, Laurie measured the outcome of the class through pre and post surveys. For the first time, I could actually see the impact the class had on my own well being. You will not only learn a lot from this class, but you will also feel happier after taking it. I promise, and I have the scores to prove it -- a 50% increase in well-being.

By Luz S

Apr 8, 2021

When I started the course and perhaps during the first sessions I had many doubts about the true usefulness of what those 10 weeks of work would be. In general, I consider myself a very committed person with what I do and when I start something, I usually finish it. But connecting with the challenge is fundamental and that at first I did not see it so clearly, however, as the course progressed, the readings and support videos, the tools seen for rewiring and making a different strategy weekly, they achieved get hooked and find the meaning of the course. This learning time has been a gift to me, and I hope I can make it a habit in my life. Many thanks to Laurie Santos, it is an excellent course and for the students I am sure that it should change the vision of their lives and what should really be important and a priority to achieve happiness.

By Suehaven N

Mar 10, 2021

This course is excellent! I started the course, wanting the certificate...and thought maybe I'd learn something about improving my state of mind... I've struggled with depression my whole life. Everything was great until midway through when a dear friend of mine died...that sent me into a spiral of darkness. I stopped everything and lost my zest for life. Months later, I wanted to just finish the course and get a fresh start so I did. The assignment at the end was invaluable. I took 2 pre-tests before the class and took them again at the end (measuring my well-being)... BOTH scores went UP. Even with me going into a state of deep, dark depression half-way through. It was astounding! I will continue the things I learned in the course for my whole life... This course has been one of the best decisions of my life... I highly recommend it. :)

By Martha N A d A

Nov 10, 2020

Estoy muy agradecida a Laurie y la Universidad de Yale por el Curso tan bien organizado que me ha dado la oportunidad de analizar muchos aspectos de mi vida que me permiten valorar mejor las experiencias vividas y compartirlas con otras personas , asimismo buscar un tiempo libre para invertirlo en una mejor calidad de vida , vitalidad y alegría practicando ejercicios que se han vuelto un hábito y me gustan tanto, meditando, usando el dinero para compartir con otras personas, estableciendo prioridades, y tengo bien presente que ganar más dinero no nos hace más felices. Ahora voy analizando a través de Woop que me parece tan útil para ver resultados. Me siento realmente más optimista y feliz de utilizar lo aprendido en mi trabajo con mis pacientes .

Muchas gracias Laurie , un gran abrazo, es usted Genial impartiendo su experiencia.

By Maire M

Jun 20, 2020

I am going to miss this course. It was my own little haven for 10 weeks now. My weekend mornings spent in Yale !

I found the course to be well structured. Pacing was really appropriate for part time learners. I was able to do the reading and extra work at my own pace during the week and I had the discipline of setting aside the time to take the online pieces together in one sitting, which I think was important for me.

The scientific researched based knowledge was very well explained. For those who are not in a formal college setting much academic research can be daunting but here is was presented in context with good visuals and excellent relevancy. Thank you Professor Santos for making it so easy to access this important learning. This is learning that is both empowering for how I parent and for how I live life myself.