The Introduction to Wholebeing Happiness is a self-directed 5-week online course, giving you the science and skills to aim towards your highest and best.

Students are introduced to key principles from the diverse sciences of optimal human functioning, including positive psychology, neurobiology, and the social and behavioral sciences. The research is integrated through the SPIRE model of well-being. Students are introduced to the concept of aiming towards an ideal self, the advantages of a positive focus, the five perspectives of well-being, how to engage character strengths and appreciation, and using evidence-based tools to make lasting change.

Objectives and Outcomes
Understand the key principles of positive psychology

✓ Practice new perspectives—and learn how changing our mindset can be a leverage point for positive impact

✓ Apply the SPIRE model of well-being to increase appreciation for and application of a multifaceted view of thriving

✓ Focus attention towards the positive for more creativity, motivation, health, and overall success

✓ Integrate the personal learning by constructing a narrative that aims towards the ideal self


Megan McDonough, is the CEO and co-founder of Wholebeing Institute. She is the lead faculty in the course, responsible for your weekly video lessons. As a CEO, teacher, and mom, Megan uses divergent thinking and creative perspectives to lead, harnessing the best in people for the greatest good. She is the award-winning author of three books on mindfulness, and has been teaching well-being for more than two decades.
Who This Is For
This course is for those who are seeking to define, understand, and move towards their ideal self personally and/or professionally. From day one, you get actionable, down-to-earth video lessons that help you aim higher—for more happiness, resilience, joy, and connection that you can apply in your own life and in your work as a coach, consultant, therapist, or any other role you play in life.
Course Flow
In the weekly video lessons and homework, you’ll get stories, science, and personal examples, plus worksheets and exercises so you can apply what you’re learning. You’ll have time to reflect, to inquire within through writing and journaling with the aid of prompts—going deeper into what each aspect of wholebeing happiness means to you personally or professionally.

Your week looks like this:

✓ First video lecture

✓ Exercise to apply what you’ve learned

✓ Second video lecture

✓ Exercise to apply what you’ve learned

The course is designed so that you not only take in information, you also use it as a catalyst for transformation.

That’s the intent of this course—transformation.

Students are exposed to various voices from the field through interviews and videos integrated into the lessons. Featured experts include the following:

Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, is among the most highly cited scholars in psychology. She’s the Director at the PEP lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, focusing on the study of positive emotions.

Sara Algoe, PhD, researches social interactions. She’s assistant professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, & the director of the Emotions & Social Interactions in Relationships Lab.

Patty Van Cappellen, PhD, is an experimental social psychologist interested in the psychology of religion, spirituality, health, and morality. Patty is the associate director of the Interdisciplinary and Behavioral Research Center at Duke University.

Kristen Lindquist, PhD, studies the nature of emotion.She’s an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and director of the Carolina Affective Science Lab.

Megha Nancy Buttenheim, MA, E-RYT 1000, is CEO and founding director of Let Your Yoga Dance® LLC, and author of Expanding Joy: Let Your Yoga Dance, Embodying Positive Psychology. A lifelong singer, dancer, and actor, Megha is a longtime teacher-trainer at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and director of movement and meditation for Wholebeing Institute.

Maria Sirois, PsyD, is the course director for WBI’s yearlong certificate course. She’s an inspirational speaker, seminar leader, and author who has worked at the intersections of wellness, psychology, and spirituality for nearly 20 years. She’s the author of Every Day Counts: Lessons in Love, Faith, and Resilience from Children Facing Illness and A Short Course in Happiness After Loss.

Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD, is co-founder of Wholebeing Institute. Tal taught one of Harvard’s most popular–and life-changing–courses on positive psychology, and is the author of five books, including the best-sellers Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment. He holds a doctorate in organizational behavior and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology from Harvard.

Lesson Overview
You’ll have two lessons each week. Here’s the overview of each lesson:

✓ Lesson 1 is about the happiness set point—our habitual way of falling back into our comfortable emotional level, and how we can lift that happiness level over time through our choices and actions. What we say yes to is important. You’ll also begin to see, understand, and make sense of the many different, sometimes conflicting voices or selves within us. You’ll play with the notion of aiming towards your “ideal self,” the aspirational vision you hold for yourself.

✓ Lesson 2 is all about the five perspectives of well-being, and how to paint your masterpiece of life using all five. You’ll also learn how to learn—the practice we use to make sure lessons are not just superficially understood, but deeply taken in.

✓ Lesson 3 is usually a game-changer for students. You’ll learn about putting your strengths front and center. And, in case you don’t know your own strengths, we’ll give you a tool for identifying what enlivens and energizes you—your personal power.

✓ Lesson 4 helps you understand why positive emotions matter, and how our view of the world is shaped by the emotional lens we’re looking through.

✓ Lesson 5 covers the importance of paying attention, and how that focus can help build meaning and purpose in life.

✓ Lesson 6 is all about relationships. You’ll learn about the power of appreciation, of noticing what is working well in your connections with the people who are most important to you.

✓ Lesson 7 and 8 are about the physical body—how to take care of it and how to align body and mind.

✓ Lesson 9 is about fostering and following curiosity, using an open, engaged mind to stay connected to learning and growth.

✓ Lesson 10 weaves it all together as you create a plan for a 30-Day Practice that serves you after the course is over.

This course is about lasting change and continual movement in a positive direction —and a quicker recovery if you get off track (and we all do!).

Your course material is housed in the virtual classroom, a password-protected area where students watch the videos, connect on the forum, and get information on all course-related material.
Registration Information

Tuition for this course is $395. USD