The Good Life Center — a Yale center dedicated to promoting the mental, physical, and social wellbeing of students — this week opened a new space at the Yale Schwarzman Center (YSC), a move that will ensure that its popular programming is accessible to all students.
Established in 2018 by Laurie Santos, the Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon Professor of Psychology and head of Silliman College, the Good Life Center offers free wellness programming for all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to help them nurture their mental health while navigating the stresses of academic life.
Programs introduce students to evidence-based tools for improving their well-being, including strategies that promote mindfulness, gratitude, self-compassion, spending time with others, exercise, and more. The aim is that students will employ these strategies during their time at Yale and beyond.
The center’s new home at YSC includes rooms dedicated to the power of rest, giving thanks, and spending time in nature. Students will be invited to write notes of appreciation in the Gratitude Room, to mindfully engage with nature in the Green Room, and to grab badly needed rest, even in the middle of the day, in the Nap Room. When the Good Life Center Lounge is not occupied for wellness programming, students can also borrow books about the science of well-being or explore activities that spark a sense of play and mindfulness.
The center’s original space, located on the fourth floor of Byers Hall in Silliman College, will remain open for casual student use. However, main programming will move to the new YSC space.
The new space will also allow for new programming that is aligned with the Schwarzman Center’s vision of creativity, social cohesion, and self-expression. Located at the corner of Grove and Prospect streets, the Yale Schwarzman Center recently opened to students, faculty, and staff for the first time.
In the future, the Good Life Center hopes to develop more satellite wellness centers in other residential colleges and locations.
The new spaces were designed by Alexa Vaghenas, a Woodbridge Fellow at the Good Life Center, Sergio Gonzalez, operations manager at Silliman College, Corinne Coia, a community wellness specialist, and Santos herself.