05/18/2010 09:14 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

No Hoax: the Happiness Class at Harvard

By Claudia Ricci

A reader emailed me shortly after my piece on happiness appeared here the other day. She wrote to say a) she loved the piece, and b) she'd been talking to friends about the topic, and telling them about a class on happiness that was taught at Harvard. Indeed, it was at one point the most popular class on that august Cambridge campus.

Well, so, some of the folks she was talking to -- a couple of them apparently are academics in similiarly august institutions -- were a bit, shall we say, skeptical that Harvard would ever have offered a class on happiness. So she wrote to me asking if I could send her any additional information.

So I am HAPPY :) to report that there was a ton of publicity on this happiness class at Harvard.Even though Tal Ben-Shahar is apparently teaching elsewhere now, you can still download the syllabus for his Harvard happiness class.course syllabus You can also get the reading list reading list for the class.

There are also a number of articles, including one from articles from Harvard Magazine and another from

The New York Times ran a blog post on the topic, NPR did a segment, and funny man Jon Stewart had the Harvard prof on The Daily Show. It's a great interview.