11 online courses that teach you how to be happier — most are free and taught by Ivy League universities

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Positive psychology, or the study of meaning and happiness, is a unifying topic for humans at any point in the year. 

But, at present, while the world has shuttered to a standstill and millions of individuals have retreated into a separate but shared isolation, the pursuit of life satisfaction has become a greater point of interest than usual. For instance, an article I wrote last year about Laurie Santos’ free course on “The Science of Well-Being” has, in the matter of a few weeks, been viewed millions of times and, according to YaleNews, seen about 600,000 new students. 

Below, you can find that exact course, and more affordable options like it, that will bring positive psychology to wherever you are in the world. 

Many of them come from top schools like Yale, Berkeley, and the University of Pennsylvania, and are designed to turn abstract and concrete topics into actions you can take every day. And, since the field is relatively young, it’s taught by some of its leading minds. Martin Seligman, who is “often regarded as the godfather of positive psychology” per Psychology Today, is an instructor of one of the courses. Laurie Santos, the professor who designed Yale’s most popular course ever and The Science of Well-Being for online learning platform Coursera, has coined and conceptualized some of the most contemporary research in the field.

Most of the courses are free to audit, which typically means you’ll have access to course materials but won’t get your work graded or a certificate of completion. If you’d rather pay for the certificate or the full experience, prices range from $15 to $200 depending on the course and the learning platform.

11 affordable online classes that teach you how to be happier:

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