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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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.
The Foundations 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 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 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 program, please tell your therapist.
For example, in FWB 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.


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.


MBSR is a wonderful, 8 week program in mindfulness.
FWB 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 FWB (Rick's 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.


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 foundations@rickhanson.net, giving their permission for you to take FWB.
People who register for the Foundations of Well-Being agree to these Terms and Conditions:
  • I am 18 or older, or a teenager whose parent or guardian has registered for me and communicated his or her permission to foundations@rickhanson.net for me to take this program.
  • I understand that this is an educational program, not treatment for any physical or mental health condition. I take responsibility for my own experience in the program, and I am able to manage my reactions to program material on my own. I understand that Rick Hanson, his staff, and the guest experts do not have a professional relationship with me.
  • I understand that any information conveyed to Rick Hanson in the context of the program may be read by members of his staff. Dr. Hanson may refer to comments or questions we receive in his presentations or other public communications; if he does this, he will do his best to leave out any identifying information, but please understand that any information you send to us is not confidential.
  • I will not share my username and password with others, and I recognize that my account may be suspended if more than one person uses my username to log in to the Foundations program.
  • I recognize that all editorial content and graphics in the Foundations of Well-Being program are copyrighted by Rick Hanson, who reserves all rights.
  • I understand that I may be de-registered from the Foundations program if I violate these General Terms of Use.
  • I understand that by posting in the FWB Forum or participating in the Chat feature on the FWB website, I am agreeing to the forum and chat Terms of Use, which establish common sense guidelines to appropriate behavior on the forum.
You can view the full Terms and Conditions for this program at any point by visiting this page.
The Foundations 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.

If you are an individual or organization with a substantial list and you would like to tell others about FWB – and are interested in receiving benefits for those who enroll through you – please go here for more information.

Like almost all other self-help books or programs, the Foundations 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 nearly 10,000 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, member forums to seek out support from others.


  • Four inspiring video presentations by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. offering interesting information and useful tools and methods
  • 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 with a distinguished guest expert
  • Audio-only formats of these videos for easy listening on the go
  • The slidesets used for Dr. Hanson's presentations, plus related slidesets
  • Articles and handouts
  • Related talks, videos, and other resources
  • Access to participant-only forums, with sections applying the program to particular interests, such as mindfulness, children, stress management, depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction recovery, or spiritual practice.
  • Weekly updates with inspiring quotations, suggested reflections, and bonus materials
We believe there is value in not looking too far ahead, so we've set up a guided path for you in 2020, receiving the steps one week at a time. I released the first theme - Befriending Yourself - on January 7th, 2020.
If you'd like to jump ahead, or see the entire path, you can! You simply need to pay for the program in full, and then you will be given the option to have full access to the program content, or see it week-by-week.
The Foundations program is built so that you can take it at your own pace. You can follow it in the order of the 12 pillars, or pick and choose the parts that are most meaningful to you. With the Your Path dashboard, you can always see what you've done, what your next step is, and where you are on the path.


The Foundations program is based on the evolution of the human brain. Its 12 Pillars apply the four R’s of well-being – Recognizing, Resourcing, Regulating, and Relating – to our three basic needs: Safety, Satisfaction, and Connection. Go Here for a more detailed explanation.
Each pillar is organized into 4 themes, and each theme includes a presentation, practice, and quiz. Pillars also include two creative activities and at least one guest expert interview.
By repeatedly experiencing feelings of safety, satisfaction, and connection through the Foundations program, you will develop an unconditional internal sense of peace, contentment, and love.

Definitely. You can also stream Dr. Hanson’s presentations, practices, the experiential activities, and the guest expert interviews, in either a video or audio-only format.

Once you have paid for the program in full, it is yours to keep and turn to whenever you need it. You have lifetime access to all of the materials on the website, and they are all available for you to download. 

Not really.
And now the details:
• Since this is an online program, you’ll want access to the internet.
• The written materials (including slidesets) can be downloaded as pdfs, and if you don’t already have it, you can get the free Adobe Reader here.

Rick Hanson’s New York Times bestselling book – Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence – is highly recommended, since it shows you how to turn your passing experiences – including in the Foundations program – into lasting inner resources woven into the fabric of your brain and your life.

You might like Dr. Hanson’s other books as well:
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time
Mother Nurture: A Mother’s Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships

And if you want to go even deeper, we’ll suggest a book for each Pillar of Well-Being:
Self-Caring Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself up and Leave Insecurity Behind, by Kristin Neff, Ph.D.
Mindfulness Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
Learning Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
Vitality Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, by John Ratey, M.D.
Gratitude The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, by Gretchen Rubin
Confidence The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brene Brown, Ph.D.
Calm The Relaxation Response, by Herbert Benson M.D.
Motivation The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg
Intimacy You Just Don’t Understand, by Deborah Tannen, Ph.D.
Courage Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life, by Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D.

The Foundations of Well-Being uses the Hardwiring Happiness book as its basic text. But there is not a direct relationship between the chapters of Hardwiring Happiness and the pillars of the Foundations of Well-Being. 

The Learning pillar focuses on the methods of positive neuroplasticity in the Hardwiring Happiness book, and the frame of evolutionary neuropsychology (e.g., lizard, mouse, and monkey; green zone, red zone). 

The Safety (Self-Caring, Vitality, Calm, Courage), Satisfaction (Mindfulness, Gratitude, Motivation, Aspiration), and Connection (Learning, Confidence, Intimacy, Service) pillars draw on the practices in the 21 Jewels chapter in the Hardwiring Happiness book related to each one of these core needs.

I would also suggest checking out the reading guide for Hardwiring Happiness here: http://www.rickhanson.net/writings/books/reading-guides/


You can currently pay for the entire program with a discounted payment of $450.

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, and we'll give you a full refund.

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: https://www.thefoundationsofwellbeing.com/groups


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.

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