The Foundations of Well-Being


The Foundations of Well-Being

To get a sense of the potential benefits of the Foundations of Well-Being program, we sent out a voluntary survey to participants before they began the program and then many months later, so we could make “before” and “after” comparisons. The survey consisted of ten well-established psychological measures that are listed in the Table of Results, and it was analyzed with standard statistical methods.

In sum, participants reported significant improvements in every single area that we assessed.

In particular, they described becoming more mindful, self-compassionate, satisfied with life, and grateful, with increased happiness, self-esteem, and a sense of connection with others. They also reported less anxiety, loneliness, and depression.

Table of Statistically Significant Results

“The Foundations of Well-Being has given me the resources, strength, and clarity to be an active participant in the obstacles that “come up” in life, as well as valuable tools to really let go of a lot of pain and unnerving, habitual self-torture.”

-Chris R

“After a trauma, I was in a very desperate place, and really struggling. After 12 months in the Foundations program, I am still in the same life but with a completely different approach. It has changed everything for me. I am so truly grateful.”

-Joanne R.

I’ve learned so much. And in a more internal way, I feel so many subtle shifts. Rick is able to explain concepts in a way that’s comprehensive and yet easy to digest. 

– Julie M.

After a traumatic experience that had me hopelessly stuck for three years, the Foundations of Well-Being program is helping me tremendously. I feel there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.

– Mary W.

I’m building an internal powerhouse to a level I didn’t even know existed. 

– Stephanie K.

The Foundations of Well-Being program has influenced me profoundly in both personal and professional ways. Because the material is presented in a concise and straightforward way with lots of real-life examples, I am able to retain the concepts. I can’t think of a better way to learn how to cultivate well-being.

– Beverly R.

I truly believe that I have retrained my brain to think and feel more positive and to make faster progress in fulfilling my life’s goals.

– A.J. Z.

After a painful journey led me to take this course, I have freed myself from negative thoughts of overwhelming grief. This is such a marvellous course for healing and self-growth.

– Kay L.

This is the single best experience of learning I’ve had in recent memory. 

– Julia M.

The Foundations of Well-Being program continues to change my life and the way I think about things and manage stress.

– Ann R.

Take the First Step Toward Lasting, Positive Change

Every week Dr. Rick Hanson will support you through an enjoyable, effective, and warmhearted year of growing the inner strengths you need.

Take the First Step Toward Lasting, Positive Change

Starting January 1, Dr. Rick Hanson will support you through an enjoyable, effective, and warmhearted year of growing the inner strengths you need most.


$600  $485USD

Convenient Payment Plan

$60USD x10

Try the Foundations of Well-Being risk-free. Not happy with it in the first 30 days? We’ll send you a full refund.

Save 15% when you sign up with a buddy or a group. Fill out our group form to get started.

For those who are unable to pay for the Foundations of Well-Being program, please see our scholarship information.

Lifetime Access and 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Lifetime Access and 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you create the Foundations of Well-Being?

We want to provide great resources that are accessible and affordable to anyone with an internet connection, and do what we can to help the world become a better place.

Why is the Foundations of Well-Being program so effective?
Why do we need the Foundations of Well-Being program?
Who is the Foundations of Well-Being program for?

The Foundations program is for the general public, with special benefits for coaches, counselors, educators, healthcare professionals, and human resources trainers.

How much time does the Foundations of Well-Being program take?

We encourage you to take this program at your own pace, and to the depth that works best for you and your life. That being said, about an hour or two a week is plenty of time to get the primary benefits of the program. And you can always dive in more deeply if you like. Plus you can go back and explore the Foundations offerings any time you want. This program is designed to be flexible, so that different people can easily adapt it to their needs.

How much time should be put into the experiential practices to see change?

There is nothing that’s clear about the “dosing effect” of social-emotional practices (broadly defined), such as the ones in the Foundations program, other than the general principles of:

• the greater the frequency of practices, the greater the lasting effects seem to be
• the more depth of experience during a practice, the greater the lasting effects seem to be
• if one were going to spend, say, 60 minutes a week in experiential practice, six 10-minute practices would likely have more impact than one 60 minute practice (though sometimes a long deep practice that draws someone into deep absorption can be very powerful)
• there are individual differences, so that a person just needs to try different approaches and find the one(s) that work best for oneself

Is the Foundations of Well-Being psychotherapy?

No, it is not.

This is an educational program, not treatment for any physical or mental health condition. Participants take responsibility for their own experience in the program, and Rick Hanson, his staff, and the guest experts do not have a professional relationship with them.

We welcome your comments and questions. We’ll let you know we received your question or comment, but please know that in a program of this size, it is just not possible for us to offer an individual reply.

Could the Foundations of Well-Being be helpful for psychotherapy, coaching, or mindfulness training?
The Foundations of Well-Being program is an educational program, not psychotherapy or treatment for physical or mental health conditions, coaching, or mindfulness training. But it could be a useful adjunct to these, as well as to human resources training, to classes in self-compassion or stress management, and to informal personal growth practices, such as meditation.
If you have serious psychological issues or a history of suicidality, complex trauma, psychosis, or other severe mental health issues, you should not participate in the Foundations of Well-Being program, as it could stir things up for you without there being the option of individual support – and we strongly advise that you seek professional treatment.
The Foundations of Well-Being program could be a useful resource for normal range experiences of anxiety, blue mood, stress, loneliness, and interpersonal conflict, including for people in psychotherapy for these concerns. If you are in psychotherapy while engaging the Foundations of Well-Being program, please tell your therapist.
For example, you’ll learn how to turn your passing experiences in psychotherapy or other activities into lasting psychological resources encoded in your brain. You’ll also develop particular resources – such as self-understanding, emotional balance, vitality, and assertiveness – that could increase the benefits you get in any kind of mental health activity.
Can someone be too depressed, anxious, traumatized, broken, etc. for this program to be helpful?

Dr. Hanson really believes that no one is too wounded to improve. It’s really just a matter of finding the practices that work for you. The Foundations of Well-Being certainly has the potential to be of value to anyone – regardless of their history – and if you find that it is not beneficial, we of course would be happy to give you a full refund.

How is the Foundations of Well-Being different from Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses?

MBSR is a wonderful, 8-week program in mindfulness.

The Foundations of Well-Being is a comprehensive program in the methods of positive brain change applied to growing 12 vital mental resources, one of which is mindfulness. There are 72 guided practices in the Foundations of Well-Being (Dr. Rick Hanson’s guided meditations/practices, plus the creative activities), and we love it when people do them daily – but busy people can engage the heart of the program in just an hour or so a week for twelve months, and we also set it up so that people can go through it at their own pace.

How old do you need to be to take the Foundations of Well-Being program?
You must be 18 or older to register.
If you are under 18 but are a teenager who is self-aware and motivated, this program could be helpful to you. Please have a parent or guardian register for you, and have this person send an email to rick@rickhanson.net, giving their permission for you to take the Foundations of Well-Being.
Are there any risks in this program?
The Foundations of Well-Being program emphasizes the having and the internalizing of experiences of various inner strengths – psychological resources – such as mindfulness, resilience, gratitude, compassion, and courage. These experiences are usually enjoyable, and as people develop inner strengths, they typically become more able to handle the challenges and other risks of life – and with less sense of upset or overwhelm.
Nonetheless, as with any educational process of personal growth, psychological material may get stirred up for you that is uncomfortable. Please engage the Foundations of Well-Being at a pace and a depth that feel good to you. Draw upon the coping skills and other inner strengths you already have as well as the ones you are developing through this program. And if need be, please reach out to professional help if that would serve you.
Does this program include live, personal support for individuals?

Like almost all other self-help books or programs, the Foundations of Well-Being program is very much a “do-it-yourself” process, and is not set up to offer individualized support or counsel for participants – especially not in live conversation with Dr. Hanson or our staff.

We do realize that this could be disappointing, but with over 20,000 participants and growing, we trust that you can understand our stance here.

In lieu of live phone support, the program does contain extensive guidance for how to engage with it, and member forums to seek out support from others.

Is there a money-back guarantee?

You bet. If you decide that this program is not for you, just tell us at foundations@rickhanson.net within 30 days of purchasing the program, (or within 30 days of the program beginning, if you signed up before it began) and we’ll give you a full refund.

Do you offer group discounts?

If you decided to do the program with a buddy (which we highly suggest!), then you will get the 15% discount applied to whichever payment option you choose.

In order to get the group discount, you will need to fill out the form on this page.

Do you offer scholarships?

We operate on the honor system. If someone can afford this, then we hope they will pay it. On the other hand, if this fee is a hardship (as it could be for students, the disabled, elderly people on a small fixed income, folks who are unemployed or on public assistance, or many people in third world countries), then most definitely we want the person to apply for a partial or full scholarship.

When can I get started?

We believe there is value in not looking too far ahead, so we’ll be starting on January 1, 2023, releasing content one week at a time through 2023.

What do I get in each Strength of Well-Being?
  • Four (or more) inspiring video presentations by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. offering interesting information and useful tools and method
  • Four guided experiential meditations to hardwire the good stuff into your brain
  • Four revealing personality quizzes to understand yourself better
  • Two guided creative activities that deepen the impact of the program
  • A video interview (or two or three) with a distinguished guest expert
  • Audio-only formats of these videos for easy listening on the go
  • Reflection sheets and checklists
  • Access to participant-only forums
  • Weekly updates with inspiring quotations, suggested reflections, and bonus materials
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Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, and expert on the impact of toxic narcissism. She is a Professor of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and also a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg.

The focus of Dr. Ramani’s clinical, academic, and consultative work is the etiology and impact of narcissism and high-conflict, entitled, antagonistic personality styles on human relationships, mental health, and societal expectations. She has spoken on these issues to clinicians, educators, and researchers around the world.

She is the author of Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist, and Don't You Know Who I Am? How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility. Her work has been featured at SxSW, TEDx, and on a wide range of media platforms including Red Table Talk, the Today Show, Oxygen, Investigation Discovery, and Bravo, and she is a featured expert on the digital media mental health platform MedCircle. Dr. Durvasula’s research on personality disorders has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and she is a Consulting Editor of the scientific journal Behavioral Medicine.

Dr. Stephen Porges is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He is a former president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and has been president of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences, which represents approximately twenty-thousand biobehavioral scientists. He’s led a number of other organizations and received a wide variety of professional awards.

In 1994 he proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological states in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders, and has had a major impact on the field of psychology.

Dr. Porges has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers across a wide array of disciplines. He’s also the author of several books including The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation.

Dr. Bruce Perry is the Principal of the Neurosequential Network, Senior Fellow of The ChildTrauma Academy, and a Professor (Adjunct) in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago and the School of Allied Health at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. From 1993 to 2001 he was the Thomas S. Trammell Research Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and chief of psychiatry at Texas Children's Hospital.

He’s one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of trauma in childhood, and his work on the impact of abuse, neglect, and trauma on the developing brain has impacted clinical practice, programs, and policy across the world. His work has been instrumental in describing how traumatic events in childhood change the biology of the brain.

Dr. Perry's most recent book, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, co-authored with Oprah Winfrey, was released earlier this year. Dr. Perry is also the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children, and Born For Love: Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered. Additionally, he’s authored more than 300 journal articles and book chapters and has been the recipient of a variety of professional awards.

Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith is a child clinical psychologist who specializes in trauma and issues of race. She earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard and then received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She performed postdoctoral work at the University of California San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital. She has combined her love of teaching and advocacy by serving as a professor and by directing mental health programs for children experiencing trauma, homelessness, or foster care.

Dr. Briscoe-Smith is also a senior fellow of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and is both a professor and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Wright Institute. She provides consultation and training to nonprofits and schools on how to support trauma-informed practices and cultural accountability.

Sharon Salzberg is a world-renowned teacher and New York Times bestselling author. She is widely considered one of the most influential individuals in bringing mindfulness practices to the West, and co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts alongside Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. Sharon has been a student of Dipa Ma, Anagarika Munindra, and Sayadaw U Pandita alongside other masters.

Sharon has authored 10 books, and is the host of the fantastic Metta Hour podcast. She was a contributing editor of Oprah’s O Magazine, had her work featured in Time and on NPR, and contributed to panels alongside the Dalai Lama.

Rick Hanson, PhD is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and New York Times best-selling author. His books have been published in 29 languages and include NeurodharmaResilient, Hardwiring HappinessBuddha’s BrainJust One Thing, and Mother Nurture – with 900,000 copies in English alone. His free newsletters have 215,000 subscribers and his online programs have scholarships available for those with financial need. He’s lectured at NASA, Google, Oxford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. An expert on positive neuroplasticity, his work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, NPR, and other major media. He began meditating in 1974 and is the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. He and his wife live in northern California and have two adult children. He loves wilderness and taking a break from emails.

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