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

35,655 ratings

About the Course

NEW TEEN VERSION AVAILABLE HERE: 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


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!

Jessica Rhoades


Aug 21, 2020

Great fun way of learning about personal thought processing, attitudes and well-being.

Very helpful course to get me to assess my life and how to make the changes I needed to improve my well-being.

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

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 Adi B

Oct 22, 2022

How happy are you?

Do try to really think about it.

How often do you savor the pleasure of everyday life, or really (make an effort to) connect with somebody?

Do you offer a helping hand to a stranger out on the street, or show random acts of kindness?

How about expressing gratitude to your loved ones, and others around you?

Could you allow yourself a daily break from your daily routine just to STOP, "smell the flowers", and/or meditate ?

How about making room for some more exercise, and improving your sleeping habits?

Have you ever thought what are your SIGNATURE STRENGTHS, and how to best cultivate them, in order to improve not just your life, but the life of the people you care for, too?

It's completely fine to draw a blank on some of these, and it's okay if you don't have all the answers.

But, you could be one step closer to a healthier, happier, and more productive you - thanks to Coursera in partnership with the prestigious Yale University, and their wonderful professor Laurie Santos!

Happy learning!

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 Митяева Я В

Sep 14, 2022

it was an incredible 10 weeks of practice and useful information! This course opened up a new world of research and scientific knowledge for me! I asked questions to my teachers at the university - does yoga affect the physiological properties of the brain or is it just self-hypnosis? 2 teachers could not answer this seemingly simple question for me! And it turns out that my questions were not in vain asked. Too bad teachers don't care. so endless thank you for my new world! for my new habits! for new knowledge! discoveries! and oh my, how many books have not been translated into Russian! and I don't understand why. I'm sad that the course is over. Thanks to Laurie Santos, Yale, and everyone involved. With such teachers and courses, you want to live, find the meaning of life and the desire to make this world a better place becomes huge! I want to hug everyone involved! I don't know if you have such an expression, but in Russia there is "send rays of good." fell in love. forever yours.

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!

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 Richard 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 Leah P

Mar 21, 2023

This course has been exceptionally helpful for my overall happiness. The strategies provided to increase happiness are not complicated, but just take dedication and practice. We are provided with so many blessing each and everyday and we need to train our minds to view the present moment and leave the future ahead of us. One of my favorite lessons from the class is the idea of reference points and how I am programmed to use the incorrect points to assess my own success. Now when my day does not seem to be going as well as I had hoped, I think about women my age are forced to live without the freedom I have in America. I am free to "change" my circumstances of my life for the better while many women as "stuck" in their circumstances due to religion, poverty, laws, lack of education, etc. When I keep these ideas in mind, I am reminded not only of blessings, but also my power to create change.

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

Dec 10, 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 Susana M

Jun 15, 2022

I recommend this course to everyone, because it teaches in a simple way, (but showing all the studies that are behind), how we can be happier, healthier, more aware of what is good and bad for us, this brings us responsibility for taking the necessary initiatives to achieve our goals on an ongoing basis, creating new habits that also help us to be more prosperous and more successful in all areas of our lives. Recomendo este curso a todas as pessoas, pois ensina de uma forma simples, (mas mostrando todos os estudos que estão por trás), como podemos diariamente ser mais felizes, mais saudáveis, mais conscientes do que nos faz bem e mal, isso traz-nos a responsabilidade de tomar as iniciativas necessárias para atingirmos os nossos objetivos de forma continuada, criando novos hábitos, que nos ajudam igualmente a ser mais prósperos e a ter mais sucesso em todas as áreas da nossa vida.