Lifestyle and Wellbeing Course

Scientific approaches to boost mental wellbeing

Explore practical and science-backed lifestyle changes to enhance your hauora (health). Developed by Clinical Psychologist, Professor Julia Rucklidge, this online mental health course teaches you expert insights and approaches to improve wellbeing.

Developed by Professor Julia Rucklidge.


In Professor Julia Rucklidge’s wellbeing series, you’ll learn how to boost and enhance the different aspects of hauora (health) through psychologynutritional interventions and the lifestyle changes explored in this course.

Feeling overwhelmed by all the noise about fasting, meditation and flashy wellbeing apps? It can be tough figuring out where to start for a healthier, happier life. 

In this online health and wellbeing course, you'll explore the evidence behind which lifestyle changes make the most difference to our mental health and wellbeing. Say goodbye to guesswork and hello to science-backed strategies that can truly transform your life. 

Boost your body and mind through practical, scientific insights from renowned Clinical Psychologist, Professor Julia Rucklidge. Through her research, you'll learn about practices that can help you handle stress and grow resilience, including mindfulness, spending time in blue and green spaces and practicing creative arts and music. 

Invest in yourself with this online wellbeing course and get away from second-guessing and following fads. Learn the practical, evidence-based strategies you need to get happier and healthier. 

This course is ideal for
  • Health industry professionals
  • HR professionals
  • Managers
  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Anyone interested in health courses online

The information in this course is intended for general education purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek advice on diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions from your doctor or other registered healthcare professional.


  • “[I enjoyed most] the practical content, the support and the dialogue with other learners.”

  • “I enjoyed most the scientific background information provided to all covered topics because that is something that is usually not readily available and would be difficult to research by yourself.”

  • “This course highlighted other aspects to wellbeing which are often brushed over.”

  • “I really enjoyed the content and the support”

  • “Very enjoyable. Not only for giving my brain a bit of a workout but I have picked up a lot of information that I'll be able to put to use in my everyday life.”

  • “I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot. [Most enjoyable was] the variation and practical steps to follow.”

What you'll learn

  • The factors and frameworks that contribute to wellbeing
  • Specific biological and sociological factors involved in developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Lifestyle changes and activities we can use to enhance wellbeing
  • How to develop effective and specific strategies to enhance personal wellbeing and/or the wellbeing of others using these lifestyle changes and activities

Course outline

Our courses are flexible, enabling you to plan your study around your other commitments. You can choose to study when it suits you during the learning period (7 October – 8 December, with a one-week study break from 4-10 November), followed by a 2-week review period for marking and feedback (9 –22 December).

We recommend completing around 6 hours of study a week during the learning period (excluding the study break) – you can view the course overview here for more details on assessment timings. 

Module 1: Introduction to wellbeing and the role of lifestyle
Learn about the impact of lifestyle factors on our wellbeing and become confident using the language of wellbeing. 

Module 2: Social connections and social media
Investigate subjective wellbeing, the significance of meaningful social interactions and relationships, and the potential adverse effects of social media on our connections.

Module 3: Being present
Understand the significance of presence to our wellbeing and learn how to be more mindful in your daily life by training the powerful muscle that is your brain.

Module 4: Physical interventions
Understand the physical aspects in our lifestyles that can have an impact on our wellbeing looking at exercise, sleep, cold and heat therapy.

Module 5: Enhancing wellbeing
Explore how music, the arts, and pet ownership can have a positive impact on our general wellbeing.

Module 6: Nature and environments
Look at the influence natural and man-made environments have on our wellbeing including green and blue spaces and urban environments.

  • 4 Module quizzes = 20% (5% each)
  • 4 Reflection activities = 40% (10% each)
  • 1 Final report = 40%

Upon successful completion of the course you will be issued a digital badge to recognise your learning achievements. This can take up to 2 months to be delivered after the marking and feedback period.  


If you're under 20 years old, you’ll need University Entrance or an equivalent to enrol. If you’re aged 20 or older, you can usually gain entry through 20+ admission so long as: 

  • You are a citizen or hold a NZ Residence Class Visa of New Zealand or Australia, or are a citizen of the Cook Islands, Tokelau, or Niue; and 
  • Are 20 years of age or older by the official course start date.

You'll also need to be confident listening, reading and writing in English.

Technology requirements

We recommend a laptop or desktop computer and a reliable internet connection. For most courses you'll need to download and populate assignments. These are usually available as Microsoft Word documents.

Course fees

Course fees must be paid before learning can begin, either via online credit-card payment, or by contacting to request an invoice. Please note: fixed invoice payment dates apply, so we recommend getting in touch with us as soon as possible to request an invoice, as this option is subject to availability.

Group discounts

Get your colleagues together to take advantage of our group discounts: 

  • 10% for 3 - 6 learners
  • 15% for 7+ learners

Contact our Partnerships Manager to learn more and enquire now.

Minimum enrolment threshold

Please note: Tuihono UC | UC Online has a minimum enrolment threshold that must be met to enable opportunities for interaction, discussion, and feedback. If the minimum number of enrolments required for a course is not met, enrolled students will be given the option to defer their enrolment to the next course date, or receive a refund. 

Crediting this course towards a degree

In certain cases the points from this course can be credited towards further study with UC. Learn more about cross-crediting and recognition of prior learning.

Our people

Dr Julia Rucklidge - Wellbeing series

Professor Julia Rucklidge

Professor | Clinical Psychology

Julia Rucklidge is in the School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing at the University of Canterbury. She's the Director of Te Puna Toiora, the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab.

Over the last twenty years, Julia has become well known for her research investigating the interaction between nutrition and mental health and has published over a hundred empirical papers.

Julia has received numerous local and international awards and is frequently featured in the media discussing her work. Her TEDx talk, The surprisingly dramatic role of nutrition in mental health has been viewed over five million times.

She also co-authored the 2021 book, The Better Brain: Overcome Anxiety, Combat Depression, and Reduce ADHD and Stress with Nutrition.

Having seen conventional treatments fail so many, Julia is passionate about helping people find alternative treatments for psychiatric symptoms. By translating her research into practice, she hopes to help make nutritional interventions mainstream.

Please note: our academic team develop and present video content within their courses, but are not always the course facilitator. The course facilitator will engage with learners in the course forums, answer queries and mark assignments.