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Already Ace Yale’s Famous Happiness Course? Try Another (Free!) Ivy League Online Class on Positivity

Kells McPhillips

Kells McPhillipsJanuary 25, 2020

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The Yale online course in happiness (“The Science of Well-Being“) has earned its spot as the online version of the university’s most popular course in its centuries-long history. It seems many of us are on a quest to live a life that’s filled with joy, and now, there’s another class, or rather slate of classes, you can take to build on those foundational basics. To enroll, simply transfer schools—er, websites—and sign up for the University of Pennsylvania’s “Foundations of Positive Psychology Specialization.”

The online specialization includes five full courses: “Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science,” “Applications and Interventions,” “Character, Grit and Research Methods,” “Resilience Skills,” and “Design Your Life for Well-being.” And, the whole positive psychology program will cost you exactly zero dollars—that’s right, no pricey textbooks necessary. If you work your way through seven hours of coursework per week, you’ll finish in exactly 7 months, but you can set your own pace to work through the class slower or more quickly.

The online specialization includes five full courses: “Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science,” “Applications and Interventions,” “Character, Grit and Research Methods,” “Resilience Skills,” and “Design Your Life for Well-being.

If the component of the positive psychology program you’re most interested in is fostering your own wellness rituals, you can skip right ahead to the final installment: “Design Your Life for Well-being.” That said, it’s highly suggested that you take the four preceding courses before you turn your knowledge on yourself. (So now is the time to decide if you want to be the teacher’s pet or the class rebel.)

Taught by Martin Seligman, PhD, director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center, the final, four-week course in the positive psychology program helps you identify your “five signature strengths” in week one. As you move into week two, you’ll discover what aspects define and strengthen your characteristics. Week three teaches you how to use your advantageous traits to veil your, ahem, less desirable ones. And in week four, you’ll funnel all your newfound knowledge into all aspects of your being to shift into a person who lives life by the positives rather than the negatives.

And it’s worth noting that the course’s 4.7-star average rating suggests that it holds the power to be pretty transformative. “I never knew I could be more optimistic than I already am—go figure…,” writes one reviewer. Another writes, “A really beneficial course in which you learn how to apply positive interventions to your life by first-hand and new techniques that contributes to your well-being in order to flourish.”

Consider it an expert-led metamorphosis that ultimately helps you learn about—and magnify—your positive traits. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up to be part of the Positivity Class of 2020.

So, you’re thinking about switching up your attitude? Here are a few exercises in positivity for skeptics… but make sure your new view on life doesn’t turn toxic

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