In Brauncschweig, Germany, elementary students are planting a "garden of emotions" -- with paper flowers scrawled with vignettes of what made them joyful this morning: "I got to snuggle with my dog." "I found a coin on the street." "My dad cuddled with me this morning." Since November 16, 2022, elementary schools in this small town have been holding a happiness course once a week, taught by teacher trainees from the Technical University Braunschweig. It's one of a growing trend of socio-emotional curriculum burgeoning around the world. And for good reason. An international study found a drastic increase in depression, anxiety and persistent frustration among youth, compared to pre-pandemic 2019. In 2021, 44% of US students described themselves as persistently sad or hopeless. Today, millions of students in Delhi, India attend happiness classes, children engage wellbeing topics for two hours a week in Australia's Geelong Grammar School; Bavarian middle schools have experimented with happiness classes since 2013; and even Yale University's Happiness course became the university's most popular class in over 300 years. "If I may ask, what do children really need? Do they need algebra?" asked Tobias Rahm, who leads the elementary school happiness project at TU Braunschweig. "We want the best for our children, and for me, this means giving them the best resources to go through life happily."

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