Enrollment in Yale’s ‘The Science of Well-Being’ spikes amid coronavirus crisis

Enrollment in an online Yale class designed to “increase happiness” has skyrocketed amid the coronavirus outbreak — making it the most popular course in the school’s history, according to a report Friday.

A total of 1.3 million people signed up for the class titled “The Science of Well-Being” by Thursday evening — many of whom hail from countries hit hard by the pandemic, including the US, the UK and India, according to BBC News.

“What’s particularly crazy is the last three weeks,” Professor Laurie Santos, who teaches the course online and on campus, told the outlet. “We had around 500,000 learners but just in the last three weeks we’ve more than doubled that.”

One reason for the striking sign-up rate may be that people are stuck inside, under quarantine, and feel the urge to hunt for solutions during the public health crisis, she said.

“[It’s] an act of taking agency over your mental health, and doing so in an evidence-based way,” Santos said.

The class engages students in “challenges designed to increase your own happiness,” and teaches how to “build more productive habits” and “incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life,” according to a description of the class.

Its enrollment page has more than 13 million recent views. The number of students who signed up increased by 295 percent between December and March 2020.

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