10 Free Online Courses That Will Make You Happier

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Here’s something to smile about: These 10 free online courses are waiting to teach you how to create a happier, more fulfilling life. Learn about the study of happiness from professors and researchers at top universities as you implement techniques such as meditation, resilience, mindfulness, and visualization into your own life.

Whether you’re going through a rough spot or are simply looking for a few tips on creating a happier life, these courses can help bring a little sunshine your way.

Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World: Lesser Vehicle​ (University of Virginia)

You don’t have to join a religion to benefit from Buddhist teachings. This takes a look at some of the most common Buddhist practices (meditation, yoga, mindfulness, visualization, etc.), examines the science behind how they work, and explains how they can be used in personal, secular, or even professional places.

The Science of Happiness (UC Berkeley)

Created by leaders in UC Berkeley’s “Greater Good Science Center,” this extremely popular gives students an introduction to the concepts behind Positive Psychology. Learners study science-based methods of increasing their happiness and monitor their progress as they go. The have also been studied. Research shows that students who consistently participate throughout the course experience an increase in well-being and a sense of common humanity, as well as a decrease in loneliness.

The Year of Happy (Independent)

Want to make this year your happiest yet? This walks recipients through one major theme of happiness each month. Every week, receive an email related to that theme containing videos, readings, discussions, and more. Monthly themes include: gratitude, optimism, mindfulness, kindness, relationships, flow, goals, work, savoring, resilience, body, meaning, and spirituality.

Becoming a Resilient Person: The Science of Stress Management (University of Washington)

When stress strikes, how do you react? This teaches students how to develop resilience – the ability to positively withstand adversity in their lives. Techniques such as optimistic thinking, relaxation, meditation, mindfulness, and purposeful decision-making are introduced as ways to develop a toolbox for dealing with stressful situations.

Introduction to Psychology (Tsinghua University)

When you understand the basics of psychology, you'll be better prepared to make decisions that bring you ongoing happiness. Learn about the mind, perception, learning, personality, and (ultimately) happiness in this .

A Lifetime of Happiness and Fulfillment (Indian School of Business) 

Developed by a professor nicknamed “Dr. HappySmarts,” this draws on research from a variety of disciplines to help students understand what makes people happy. Be prepared for videos featuring interviews with happiness experts and authors, readings, and exercises.

Positive Psychology (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Students in this are introduced to the study of Positive Psychology. Weekly units focus on psychological techniques that are proven to improve happiness levels — upward spirals, building resilience, loving-kindness meditations, and more.

Psychology of Popularity (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

If you think that popularity doesn’t affect you, think again. This introduces students to the multitude of ways that experiences with popularity in their younger years shape who they are and how they feel as an adult. Apparently, popularity can even change DNA in unexpected ways.