Mental health classes from top schools to get you on the path to wellness

While the pre-covid-19 mental health scenario around the world was already a cause for serious concern, the collective grief, anxiety and isolation of covid portend a serious mental health catastrophe. Even though we ask ourselves why education has not enhanced our mental well-being and why it is not in any curriculum, we can learn important and defining lessons from the lives of world-renowned psychologists and thinkers. to discover the meaning of life. All of these top-notch courses, taught by reputable Ivy League colleges, are either free or audited (auditing allows a student to take a course without grade or credit), through online learning platforms. line. To dive.

The Science of Wellness, Yale University via Coursera Help

Taught by: Professor Laurie Santos

A cognitive scientist and professor of psychology at Yale University, Santos is also director of Yale’s Comparative Cognition Laboratory, while his podcast, The Happiness Lab, has been downloaded 35 million times.

The most comprehensive of all courses available free online, it is packed with information about experiences and research around the world gleaned from studies by leading psychologists to decode the science of wellness. Santos started this course after seeing a sense of unhappiness and stress that Yale students felt, and has grown into the most popular course in Yale history – over 3 million people have signed up.

Weekly exercises and daily activities create a roadmap for decluttering what we think we know and using strategies to create positive, assertive behavior. Santos teaches gratitude, flavor, social relationships, and plenty of time to help identify goals and rewire years of negative action.

Free, English, 10 weeks, average course of two hours or more or do it at your own pace. Paid certificate available.

The Way to Happiness: What Chinese Philosophy Teaches Us About the Good Life, Harvard University via EDx

Taught by: Michael Puett

Walter C. Klein professor of Chinese history and anthropology at Harvard University, Puett teaches lessons that we can imbibe Chinese philosophies and apply them to contemporary life. In this 13-week program, adapted from one of Harvard’s most popular courses, Puett delves deeply into the tools of self-awareness and understanding the power of ritual. The course makes you understand the philosophical precepts and how they fit into your world, thinking and possibly “your action”. The biggest lesson comes from a “reflection journal,” a personal notebook that helps everyone document every thought and action, week after week.

Free online course (audit), English, 13 weeks, 1 to 2 hours per week or at your own pace. Paid certificate available.

Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty and Stress, Yale University via Coursera Help

Taught by: Marc Brackett

Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor at the Child Study Center at Yale University, Brackett teaches about assessing emotions, moving away, observing and realizing their origins. This course, which contains lessons specially designed for the post-pandemic world, explores Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), why emotions are important and how they can help and hinder attention, decision-making, relationships , health and performance. The first half of the course is designed to support more advanced emotional vocabulary, as well as health and wellness through evidence-based strategies.

Free online course (audit), English, 8 weeks with 9 hours of material. Paid certificate available.

Buddhism and Modern Psychology, Princeton University via Coursera Help

Taught by: Robert Wright

Wright, visiting professor of religion and founder and editor of, teaches how Buddhist thought intersects with modern psychology. For those who wish to discover the meaning of life and self, this course answers many questions, such as “Can meditation make us not only happier, but also better people?” Wright speaks of experimental evidence that “the thing we think of as the conscious self or self, the thing we think of as running the show, may not run the show as much. We give it perhaps more power than it really deserves. You may need to gently understand these principles, which have shaped evolutionary psychology, moral psychology, and neuroscience.

Free online course (audit), English, 6 weeks, 15 hours of material

Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Tells Us, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera Help

Taught by: Connie Scanga

Nursing professor Scanga is about to walk you through vital signs to understand what the body might be telling you, whether it’s your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate, or pain. The premise of the six-part course is to help understand the body and its signs, which leads to a deeper understanding of physical and mental health. Each week, the course introduces students to a vital sign through pre-recorded videos, discussing normal ranges, normal variants, and the mechanisms underlying changes in objective measurement of vital signs.

Free online course, English, 6 weeks with approximately 14 hours of material. Certificate available.

Health Behavior Change: Evidence to Action, Yale University via Coursera Help

Taught by: Marney White

White, associate professor of public health at the Yale School of Public Health, is a clinical psychologist specializing in eating and weight disorders.

Humans often fail to make rational decisions that affect health. To increase understanding of the social and behavioral factors that contribute to health decisions and behaviors, the ultimate goal is to improve public health. Originally a full graduate course, it has now been designed for the short format. By giving you insight into behaviorism, inducing and controlling stimuli, you begin to understand the human response. Professor White explains how to stimulate positive behavior, especially in children, such as a token system or the Premack principle in a classroom.

Through a series of experiential learning exercises, students learn to apply the science of behavior in health to change their lives. The course provides an overview of the importance of physical activity and its benefits, and how to increase and maintain physical activity levels or the need for intervention in physical inactivity. The strategies suggested can help teachers, parents and individuals. A session on nutrition and mental health helps to be proactive in setting goals.

Free online course (Audit), English, 8 weeks, 15 hours of material. Paid certificate available

Positive Psychology Honors Project: Design Your Life for Wellbeing, University of Pennsylvania via Coursera Help

Taught by: Martin EP Seligman

Seligman is considered the father of positive psychology and his efforts to scientifically explore human potential. What if you applied your behavior to a set of personal strengths? Wouldn’t that be a game-changer for achieving your goals? This course teaches you through examples, research-based strategies and affirmative action. How do you break patterns to create lasting change in your life? The first step, according to Dr. Martin EP Seligman, is to identify areas of life that require more work.

There are four previous courses in the Foundations of Positive Psychology specialization that are suggested prior to this course, however, this one brings in all the key concepts. Practice as you develop and test a new positive intervention for an audience of your choice. The idea is to identify opportunities in life to increase well-being using this knowledge.

Dr. Seligman’s Authentic, which he created, exhibits his teaching, with initiatives on positive psychology. Dr. Seligman offers tools to assess the effectiveness of a positive intervention based on subjective and objective measures. You can compare how positive empirical and non-empirical interventions can be applied to influence a person’s life. Yes, some of us are better at certain things, that’s the key message.

Free online course (Audit), English, Four weeks, 12 hours of material. Paid certificate available

Best tips:

Most courses start in July and can be registered even afterwards, and taken at your own pace

Go to Coursera or EDx, link to Audit Course on individual course pages.

Some courses include assessment items (but not a certificate) for free. Simply sign up for a full course, without a certificate.

Some courses offer certificates for a nominal fee. Click on the certificate to improve learning.

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