Health is wealth, they used to say. Even better, in recent years happiness has become an invaluable form of wealth, so much so that you can now study the science of happiness.
In fact Yale University launched a course titled “Psychology and the Good Life”, enrolling 1,200 students during the last semester.
The class teaches practical advice such as how to pick a meaningful career and how to separate satisfying pursuits from hollow ones. An expanded version of the class lead by Lauren Santos is now available for free on Coursera as part of a seminar-style series on “the science of well-being” using scientifically backed methods and teaching practical advice on how to live a purposeful, satisfying, and enjoyable life.
“Students want to change, to be happier themselves, and to change the culture here on campus. With one in four students at Yale taking it, if we see good habits, things like students showing more gratitude, procrastinating less, increasing social connections, we’re actually seeding change in the school’s culture.”
Laurie Santos, PhD
According to The New York Times, the course is the most popular in Yale’s 316-year existence. In fact, enrolment is so high, it had to be moved to Woolsey Hall, which usually hosts symphony performances.
“I think students are looking for meaning,” Yale president Peter Salovey, himself a pioneer in emotional-intelligence research, told Quartz at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year.