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25 Courses to Nurture Wellbeing and Support Mental Health

The courses described below are related to the fields of resilience, mental health, wellbeing and self care, which are all about reducing stress and taking better care of oneself. They also cover physical therapy, arts, music, nutrition, etc., as tools to achieve relaxation and stay fully healthy.

Healing With The Arts

Healing with the Arts is a Personal Development course offered by University of Florida. Taught in English for approximately 13 hours in 4 weeks, this course is focused on art tools that are useful in healing every sphere of life, mental, spiritual, physical and emotional. The tools utilized include dance, music, visual arts, and writing. They are also paired with spiritual practices, as well as guided imagery. Skills to be gained are Music, Art, Meditation and Visual arts.

Using online readings and videos, the syllabus covers an initial introduction to guides, getting a kit and work space; visual arts; music; and movement.

Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and Why 

Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and Why is a Basic Science course offered by the Duke University. The instructions are given in English for approximately 14 hours spread over 4 weeks.  Subtitles are available in English and Spanish. Using a biological framework, this course explores the aesthetics of music, tone combinations, and the emotions music elicits. Via analyses carried out, the idea of tunes, emotions elicited, chromatic scale, etc., all stem from tones and their characteristics.

Skills to be gained are in Biology, Music, Evolution, and Neurobiology. The syllabus covers an introduction to music as biology; perception of sound stimuli; vocalization and vocal tones; and full exploration of music and why we like it.

Resilience Skills in a Time of Uncertainty

Resilience Skills in a Time of Uncertainty is a psychology course offered by the University of Pennsylvania. It is taught in English for approximately 13 hours spread over 4 weeks. The Covid-19 pandemic has proved a time of uncertainty, hence this course which is a free version of Dr. Karen Reivich’s “Resilience Skills” course from the Specialization Foundations of Positive Psychology, helps the participants learn resilience interventions for personal and professional lives. This thorough exploration involves cognitive strategies, as well as important relationship enhancement skills. Examples of individuals who are successfully incorporating these skills are provided.

The syllabus covers Resilience and Optimism; Cognitive Approaches to Resilience; Managing Anxiety and Increasing Positive Emotions Like Gratitude; and Leveraging Character Strengths and Strengthening Relationships.

The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness 

The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness Is a Government and Society course offered by the University of Toronto. Instructions are given in English for approximately 16 hours spread over 4 weeks. The course dwells on promotion of mental health by social attitudes and developments, and how they influence the onset and course of mental illness, as well as, affect diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses around the world. The course focuses on mental health and how they are related to our social environment.

The syllabus covers an introduction into the History of Madness; What is mental health and what causes mental illness?; The social context of diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses; and Culture, mental health and mental illness.

Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise

Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise is a Patient Care course offered by the University of Toronto. The benefits of physical therapy and exercise are explored in this course. Taught in English for approximately 11 hours spread over 6 weeks, the 4-module syllabus covers an introduction to the course, and health management under the following sub topics: Why physical activity and exercise are important; Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease; Exercise and Osteoporosis; Exercise and Cancer; Common Sports Injuries; and Exercise and Arthritis.

Mindfulness and Resilience to Stress at Work

Mindfulness and Resilience to Stress at Work is a Business & Management course which forms part of a professional certificate, The Science of Happiness at Work, offered by the University of California. The instructions are given in English for 4 weeks, with about 1 – 2 hours effort required per week. Prerequisites of two of the other courses in the program, Science of Happiness, and Foundations of Happiness at work, are recommended but not required.

This course focuses on strategies -which are results of research carried out-  that help one build mindfulness, handle stress and avoid burnout. Case studies drawn from companies that have implemented the science of mindfulness in their own programs, are also looked at. Participants will also learn generally about stress and its effects, both healthy and toxic stress; and benefits of mindfulness in building resilience to stress, plus innovation and team spirit at work.

Becoming a Resilient Person – The Science of Stress Management

Becoming a Resilient Person – The Science of Stress Management is a Communication course offered by the University of Washington. Taught in English for 8 weeks, with about 2 – 3 hours put in per week, the course focuses on learning skills to aid one in managing stress, optimizing wellbeing, and fully taking care of oneself. This introductory course without prerequisites is to build resilience in participants.

The course effectively puts together positive skills, strategies and routines to enable you thrive. By the end, you should be able to explain resilience and its benefits, practice resilience skills, make healthy choices, clarify important personal values, and develop a resilience plan that would help you now and in future.

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work is a Business & Management course which forms part of a professional certificate, The science of happiness at work, offered by the University of California. Taught in English for 4 weeks with an effort of 1 – 2 hours per week, this introductory course focuses on skills -drawn from research- which are able to improve empathy and trust at work, while also strengthening togetherness and creating generally satisfying, innovative and productive experiences at work.

Prerequisites of two of the other courses in the program, Science of Happiness, and Foundations of Happiness at work, are recommended but not required. Participants will learn just how much our emotional well-being depends on our relationships with other people, thus the course will explore emotional and social skills which maintain positive relations at work, and generally help in leadership. Also, the psychological and biological roots of empathy, trust and cooperation will be explored.

Music For Wellness

Music For Wellness is a Humanities course offered by the Berklee College of Music. Taught in English for 4 weeks, with about 3 – 5 hours put in per week, this course focuses on the ways by which music can help one reduce stress thus, generally improving health and well-being. There are no prerequisites for this course which harnesses potentials of music to enrich body, mind, and spirit.

Simple techniques are developed by a board-certified music therapist and a vocalist/pianist/composer/recording artist specializing in Indian music, wherein science and wisdom of eastern philosophy are combined. Participants will learn how to unlock their creativity, listen to music in a new way, and listen to the impact of music on them. The syllabus covers expression of creativity, music techniques for comfort and awakening, and how to find one’s special music.

The Science of Happiness

The Science of Happiness is the first MOOC designed to teach participants positive psychology. It is offered by the University of California, and instructions are given in English for 11 weeks with about 4 – 5 hours put in per week. The introductory course is set on teaching sciemce-based principles and practices that can be utilized in living a happy, meaningful life. A lot of ideas on what happiness entails and how to achieve it abound, but seeing as many of them aren’t based on science, this course provides a new approach.

The instructors are leading experts on positive psychology, and are also joined by other world renowned experts. A multidisciplinary approach via fields of neuroscience, evolutionary biology, psychology etc., will also be used to support the findings applied in this course.

Exercise Prescription for the Prevention and Treatment of Disease 

Exercise Prescription for the Prevention and Treatment of Disease is a Healthcare & Medicine course offered by Trinity College, Dublin. Taught in English for 2 weeks, with about 4 hours weekly study, the course is specially designed for healthcare professionals. However, no previous qualifications or experience are required.

The course focuses on helping patients including those with cardiovascular disease, mental health problems, paediatric conditions and cancer, get better using physical exercise. Physical therapy has been proven to be of benefit not only in prevention, but also in treatment of disease. This course explores that knowledge using evidence-based studies.

Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture

Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture is a Psychology & Mental Health course offered by the University of Liverpool. Taught in English for 6 weeks with about 3 hours weekly effort, this course is designed for a general audience with interest in maintenance and nurture of their wellbeing, while understanding more about and psychology and mental health.

The participants will learn how to improve health and well-being by a psychological understanding of their emotions and behaviour. Also, they’ll explore current challenges and debates in diagnosis and treatment via psychological therapies, and particularly gain new perspectives on the nature vs nurture debate.

Ethical Social Media

Ethical Social Media is a Creative Arts & Media course offered by the University of Sydney. This course is for a general audience as almost everyone is connected in one form or the other via social media platforms, hence important for us all to explore ways of engagement which are not only constructive, but ethical. Instructions are given in English over a duration of 5 weeks, with about 3 hours weekly.

The course will explore social media data analytics, and the algorithms behind the advertisements; examine the concepts of being social, of self-representation, online identity and publishing; examine users of social media and their motivations; and consider accusations of social media organisations exploiting their users. Generally, one would explore online identity, social media communities and their users alongside the most common ethical debates in social media. This course comes with free digital upgrades until 30th of June.

Management and Leadership: Well-being and Welfare at Work

Management and Leadership: Well-being and Welfare at Work is a Business & Management course offered by The Open University Business School – triple accredited by AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB – and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – the leading authority on management and leadership in the UK. The course is designed for managers, whether new, aspiring or experienced. It will enable you to demonstrate your continuous professional development and go on to achieve a CMI Level 5 Award as part of the Management and Leadership, Personal Development program. This course will help in identification, implementation, and assessment of plan for professional development. It’ll also help one develop, support and promote staff welfare and well-being.

Nutrition and Wellbeing

Nutrition and Wellbeing is a Healthcare & Medicine course offered by the University of Aberdeen. Instructions are given in English 3 hours weekly, for 4 weeks. This course helps you process all the conflicting information out there on nutrition, health and lifestyle, by making it easier to understand.

Participants will gain skills needed to evaluate nutition information, learn nutrition facts, myths and truths, and also apply this nutrition knowledge to personal food choices and patterned diets. A new and different theme will be looked at each week

Dementia and the Arts: Sharing Practice, Developing Understanding and Enhancing Lives 

Dementia and the Arts: Sharing Practice, Developing Understanding and Enhancing Lives is a Creative Arts & Media course offered by the University College London. Taught in English for 4 weeks with about 2 hours weekly effort, this course allows you explore, challenge and shape your perceptions of dementia through science and the creative arts. The course is for any and everyone interested in dementia care.

In this course, the various arts are explored as a common ground for improvement of lives of people with dementia. Participants will also learn to investigate the role of language and communication on the perception of dementias, as well as apply knowledge to model a broader understanding of the experiences of people living with dementias.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Identify the patterns undermining your confidence

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Identify the patterns undermining your confidence is a Business & Management course offered by the University of Southern Queensland. Instructions are given in English for 3 weeks, with a weekly effort of 5 hours. If you ever feel like you don’t have it together while everyone else does, or inadequate since assuming a leadership role, or aspiring for a leadership role, then this course is for you.

This course will educate you on impostor syndrome, causes, and strategies that will help overcome it. Development of critical reflection skills needed to improve approach to work will also be looked into. This course comes with free digital upgrade up to 30th of June.

Sleep Deprivation: Habits, Solutions and Strategies Teach-Out 

Sleep Deprivation: Habits, Solutions and Strategies Teach-Out is a Healthcare & Medicine course offered by the University of Michigan. The introductory course is only for two weeks, and requires just a 2 hour weekly effort. If you’re looking to improve the quality of your sleep, then this course is for you.

Participants will be handed solutions and strategies to improve their sleep, and encourage healthy sleep habits in their communities. The epidemic that is sleep deprivation, and its impact will also be looked into. Participants are also entitled to a free digital upgrade.

Digital Wellbeing

Digital Wellbeing is a Psychology & Mental health course offered by the University of York. Instructions are given in English for 3 hours per week, for 3 weeks. This course is designed for anyone with an interest in understanding health and wellbeing in the digital age. It will particularly interest those concerned with social science, healthcare or online communities.

In a bid to answer the question, “do digital technologies affect our wellbeing?”, concepts such as health, relationships and society will be explored in the digital age. Participants will learn how to reflect on impact of their digital practices to their digital identity and well-being, and also learn to collaborate in online communities while considering impact on others.

Demystifying Mindfulness

Demystifying Mindfulness is a Psychology & Mental Health course offered by the Leiden University. Taught in English for 6 weeks with an effort of 6 hours per week, this course offers a multidisciplinary approach in learning the how and why of the science of mindfulness. It draws from political, psychological and philosophical perspectives to demystify the claims of mindfulness as a valid form of therapy.

The course is for everyone interested in mindfulness, both beginners and professionals. Participants will be allowed to experience for themselves, and judge whether it works or not. They’ll also compare the different approaches to mindfulness, while evaluating social and political significance of mindfulness, and learn its popular conceptions and misconceptions. Finally, they’ll discuss the topic of mindfulness into the future.

Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance

Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance is a Psychology & Mental Health course offered by the Monash University. This practical course is designed for all, as everyone can benefit from mindfulness. No previous knowledge is required. The course is taught in English for 4 weeks, with about 3 hours effort weekly.

Participants will learn techniques to limit stress and improve performance in work/study. The techniques that work best for each participant will then be incorporated in developing a mindful approach as a way of life. General research will also be carried out on mindfulness in different areas.

Cannabis, Mental Health, and Brain Disorders 

Cannabis, Mental Health, and Brain Disorders is course 3 of 4 in the Medical Cannabis: The Health Effects of THC and CBD specialization program offered by the University of Colorado. The beginner-level Public Health course is taught in English for about 16 hours spread over 4 weeks, and designed for learners to think about the health effects of cannabis.

Participants will learn influence  of cannabis on four different anxiety disorders (panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, PTSD). They’ll also learn the aetiology, risk factors, and research done on influence of cannabis on the following diseases: major depression, epilepsy, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Skills will be gained in Psychology, Pharmacology, Public health, and Personal development.

Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most

Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most is a Personal Development course offered by the University of Michigan. Instructions are given in English for a total of 7 hours spread over 4 weeks. The Beginner level course introduces the participant to the roles of science, philosophy and practice in living a purposeful life.

Different exercises will be carried out to figure out what approaches and skills work best for you so they can be applied in your everyday life. The participants will also be entitled to a complimentary access for a period of time, to the Purposeful App which is designed to build a purposeful rhythm into each day.

The Science of Well-Being

The Science of Well-Being is a Personal Development course offered by the Yale University. Taught in English with subtitles in English and Spanish, this course is designed in such a way that the students will engage in a series of challenges to increase their happiness, and build more productive habits. It’ll take approximately 19 hours to complete.

Skills to be gained are Gratitude, Happiness, Meditation and Savouring. The syllabus will cover misconceptions about happiness, mind features that make us think the way we do, as well as research to help us change.

Professional Resilience: Building Skills to Thrive at Work

Professional Resilience: Building Skills to Thrive at Work is a Business & Management course offered by the Deakin University. This course which entitles participants to a free digital upgrade will last for 2 weeks, with 3 hours out in weekly. The course is designed for anyone with interest in enhancing their career or skill set by virtue of in-built resilience, and would be useful to those working in, or aspiring for work in high-pressure environments.

Participants will learn all about resilience, application of its framework to one’s professional career, and creation of a personal resilience plan. Generally, dealing with stress both at, and off work via building resilience skills, is the goal of this course.

All the courses described above are free to audit. Except where a free digital upgrade is granted, a small fee would be required to purchase a certificate of completion. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

About Angela Odii

Angela Odii is a Pharmacist, Virtual Assistant and Writer who currently freelances on Upwork. When she isn't working, she likes to go out and connect with people.

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