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Learning Well-Being

Given the brain’s ability to change in response to experience and training, our research suggests that just like learning to play an instrument, we can also learn well-being.

Center researchers are working in collaboration with experts in curriculum development, video games and apps in efforts to promote well-being, with a focus on areas such as childhood development and the workplace. To measure the impact of these tools, scientists devise novel assessments and unique ways to track what works, what doesn’t work – and why.

In addition, our researchers seek to understand the impact of existing well-being practices and tools on well-being. For instance, why do programs such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) work for some people but not for others? Can we parse why a particular well-being intervention is effective? Our scientists and scholars answer these questions by examining cognitive and emotional processes, neural mechanisms in the brain, epigenetic markers, physical health and inflammatory processes for commonly used practices.

Ongoing Studies

Healthy Minds @ Work Demo
Developing a Program to Learn and Measure Well-Being at Scale

In collaboration with Healthy Minds Innovations, this project strives to learn how to teach and measure well-being to scale

Using Smartphone To Meditate
Evaluating the Healthy Minds Program Application in a Fully Remote Randomized Controlled Trial

Exploring whether meditation training via mobile technology (e.g., smartphones) could dramatically increase access to potentially beneficial practices.

Close up of police car lights
Exploring the Effects of Mindfulness Training on Police Officer Resilience and Well-Being

The goals of this work are to understand the impact of mindfulness training on police officer well-being and the well-being of people negatively affected by policing.

Mother Helping Her Daughter Do Yoga
Exploring the Impact of an In-Home Parent-Child Mindfulness Training Program

What impacts does an in-home parent-child mindfulness training program have on children and their families?

Hmp Follow Up Study
Healthy Minds Program Promoting Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Seeking to understand whether large-scale interventions such as the Healthy Minds Program may have a protective effect against stress and mental health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rorschach test photo by denamazanikignatencko via iStockPhoto
Impact of Experiential Curricula and Methods to Nurture Well-Being

Center experts are developing assessments and tools that examine ways to cultivate well-being across a variety of people and contexts.

Two People Meditating
Improving the Science and Measurement of Mindfulness

Researchers are broadening the methods to measure mindfulness

Photo of Tibetan singing bowl by bkkm via iStock
Mapping the Interface between Meditation and Neuroscience

Center researchers and collaborators are building new approaches to understand the links between traditional contemplative perspectives and scientific theory to better study the scientific effects of meditation training on the brain, body, mind and behavior.

Happy and sad face drawings by greenwatermelon via iStock
Measuring Well-Being

Center researchers are developing a program to teach scientifically-informed practices and principles that facilitate well-being.

Nccam Asthma Follow Up
Mindfulness-Based Training and Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Examining whether experience with mindfulness-based programs and training is helping people cope with daily stress and mental challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of cleaning chalkboard by XiXinXing via iStock
Pre-Service Teachers Project

Center researchers are investigating possible ways to prevent teacher burnout in the classroom.

Student Flourishing Research
Student Flourishing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Determining whether there are protective effects of learning well-being skills on stress during crises.

College students studying with computers and conversing image showing college students at work
The Student Flourishing Initiative

Center for Healthy Minds researchers, along with partners at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Virginia, are creating and studying the impact of a well-being curriculum for college freshman.

Photo of person planting seedling by weerapatkiatdumrong via iStockPhoto
Understanding the Mechanisms of Well-Being Training in Adults with and without Asthma

Center scientists and collaborators examine the impact of well-being training.