The Exploring What Matters course has been subjected to a full Randomised Controlled Trial from by leading academic experts. The results show that, compared to a control group, the course delivers large and statistically significant benefits in terms of:
Improved general wellbeing
Less depression and anxiety
More compassion and social trust
About the Study
The Randomised Control Trial evaluation was carried out by Prof Jan-Emmanuel de Neve (Oxford University), Dr Christian Krekel (London School of Economics) and Dr Daisy Fancourt (University College London) as part of the evidence programme of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. The Action for Happiness project team was led by Keith Cowley and Dr Mark Williamson.
The study found the course increases average Life Satisfaction by a whole point (+1.0) on the 0-10 scale. This is greater than the increases in Life Satisfaction seen from becoming partnered (+0.59) or finding employment (+0.7), when compared with findings from other cross-sectional studies. This increase also appears to last (and even increase) when measured again two months after the course.
The full academic paper can be found here:
Krekel, C., Neve, J-E., Fancourt, D., Layard, R. (2021), A local community course that raises wellbeing and pro-sociality: Evidence from a randomised controlled trial, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 188, 2021, Pages 322-336, ISSN 0167-2681
The course was life-changing for me. We made new friendships, took positive actions and continued to meet up and support each other. One lady has actually become my best friend! It's so great to feel part of something meaningful and to be connected to others near where I live. I am so much happier and none of this would have happened without that course.
What I loved most about running the course was being part of a group of people connecting on a deep level to effect positive change in the world outside us. I was profoundly moved by the experience and would recommend it to everyone