What you'll learn

  • Explore diverse definitions of happiness and understand its function in everyday life

  • Learn how genetic, social, and economic influences impact your happiness

  • Apply the science of the mind, body, and community to manage emotions and behaviors for greater happiness

  • Develop a happiness portfolio focused on your deepest goals and desires

  • Recognize how success and achievement impact short versus long-term happiness

  • Write your ending — build happiness strategies for your work and life at any age or stage

Course description

What is happiness? What makes you happy?’ Can you get happier through study and effort? 

Maybe you have pondered these questions over the course of your life, but haven’t been able to come up with any definitive answers. Still, you’d like to think that happiness is something you can understand and manage, right?

This is a class that answers these questions and shows you how you can use the answers to build a happier life. It introduces you to the modern science of human well-being and shows you how to practice it. Unlike other happiness courses, Managing Happiness goes a step further and demonstrates how you can share the ideas with others, thus bringing more happiness and love to the world and supercharging your own well-being efforts.

Led by Harvard professor, author, social scientist, and former classical musician Arthur Brooks, this course will introduce cutting-edge survey tools, the best research, and trends in social science, positive psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy to help learners unlock the strategies to create a more purposeful life, full of long-lasting enjoyment and satisfaction. Managing Happiness uses philosophical and technical insights to challenge your assumptions about happiness — helping you break bad habits that hold you back and build good ones you can use for the rest of your life.

Happiness is a core competency for those that want to be in charge of their lives — both personally and professionally. The concepts learned in this course will lead to enduring improvements and lifelong learning. At the end of the course, you will take away key concepts and actionable insights to apply to your daily routines. People around you will notice the difference.


William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School

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