JMU professor’s course on Audible is making listeners happy

JMU News

by Eric Gorton


In the two months since its publication, a James Madison University professor’s “happiness” course has a 4.7 rating out of 5 on the online audiobook and podcast service Audible. 

"I loved it! the Lady's voice alone made me happier and kept my interest. Thanks," one reviewer wrote about the course authored and narrated by psychology professor Jaime Kurtz. As of March 30, the course had received 53 reviews. It was published Jan. 19. 

“I’m proud of it. I think it came out well,” said Kurtz, who teaches and researches the science of happiness and positive psychology. She is also an expert on travel and happiness and is author of The Happy Traveler: Unpacking the Secrets of Better Vacations (Oxford University Press, 2017). 

The course contains 10 lessons that run a total of four hours and 48 minutes. 

An introduction to the course, “The Science of Happiness Explained,” states, "Throughout 10 lectures, Professor Jaime Kurtz will outline the physical and emotional benefits that a boost in happiness can bring you. Professor Kurtz will invite you to access those benefits with a range of science-based strategies that you can choose from—strategies that will help you create more happiness in your everyday life.” 

Kurtz wrote the script for the course, part of a partnership between Audible and The Great Courses, last summer and recorded it in late September at The Great Courses headquarters in Chantilly, Virginia. 

“They wanted it to be for educated listeners but not necessarily experts in the field,” Kurtz said. “They didn’t want to get too into the nitty gritty of the research, but practical tips. I enjoyed trying to hit that balance of both.” 

With her normal summer study-abroad course canceled by the pandemic, Kurtz said the timing of the project was perfect. “I had more free time than usual,” she said. 

A subscription to, or free trial of, Audible is required to access the course.


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Media contact: Eric Gorton,, 540-908-1760

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Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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