Free Online Resources for Psychology Beginners


Updated March 4, 2024 · 3 Min Read

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Want to deepen your curiosity about psychology? This guide details free online resources for beginner psychology students, including courses, textbooks, and podcasts. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Are you interested in the multifaceted science of psychology and its wide-ranging benefits to our daily lives? Free beginner psychology courses and websites can equip you with the knowledge to better understand this diverse field and what it takes to get started in a psychology career.

This guide outlines free podcasts, websites, courses, and textbooks that can deepen your knowledge of psychology.

Popular Online Psychology Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Informational Websites for Psychology Beginners

Professionals in psychology know the go-to resources for industry news, research, journals, and continuing education credits. These psychology websites can help beginner psychology students learn more about the vast applications of psychological science.

American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association (APA) began in 1892 during the emergence of psychology as a new field. The APA prides itself on having a membership of around 157,000 professionals and students. On the APA website, you can browse through an extensive directory of topics to understand how psychologists utilize this science in relation to bullying, stress, trauma, and pain. Additionally, discover free career and education tools to help you become job ready.

Psychology Today

The 1967-founded publication Psychology Today dedicates its content to human behavior. Mental health professionals who subscribe get the latest articles from the field and publish their profiles in the magazine for referrals. Psychology beginners can benefit from Psychology Today's Essential Reads, which features articles written by practicing clinicians and psychology academics.

Psychology Tools

The site Psychology Tools offers practicing health clinical practitioners and the public various evidence-based resources. You can choose from more than 400 "for the public" free handouts, digital books and chapters, exercises, and other resources. As a free trial subscriber, psychology beginners can download up to five resources, like cognitive-behavioral therapy worksheets.


Theravive, which launched in 2007, hosts a network of therapists and psychologists. This website offers various mental health educational resources for the public. To strengthen your knowledge of the field, psychology beginners can access the Therapedia practical encyclopedia and the DSM-5 encyclopedia created by licensed therapists and psychologists. Theravive's mental health news can also keep you up-to-date on the latest psychology research and trends.

Online Courses and Textbooks for Psychology Beginners

You can broaden your grasp of beginner psychology by studying coursework commonly taught in introductory classes at colleges and universities. Familiarizing yourself with the fundamentals of psychology can prepare you for a degree or simply expand your knowledge of social psychology, psychological disorders, and trauma-informed education, among other topics.

MIT OpenCourseWare

Launched in 2001, MIT OpenCourseWare allows you to access over 2,500 undergraduate and graduate level courses from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With subjects that include gender, psychology and economics, and the nature of creativity, psychology beginners can access lecture notes, audio and videos of lectures, written assignments, and exams that include answers.


Coursera launched in 2012, partnering with reputable universities and organizations to offer more than 7,000 free and paid courses, programs, and degrees. Colleges, such as the University of Toronto, Wesleyan University, and Yale University, offer free online introductory psychology courses. You can enroll in beginner, intermediate, or mixed-level courses that run for 1-6 months.

Open Textbook Library

Open Textbook Library, in operation through the Center for Open Education at the University of Minnesota since 2012, features open licensed textbooks that psychology beginners can access for free. You can download a PDF or view textbooks that include Psychology of Human Relations, ReCentering Psych Stats, and Psychologia. Users can adapt and distribute textbooks at no cost.


Noba provides free introductory psychology resources for educators and students. College instructors across the country can adapt Noba's textbooks and PowerPoint presentations for their intro psychology courses. Customizable modules familiarize beginner psychology students with topics, such as the biological basis of behavior, historical development of psychology, and cognition and language. Modules include vocabulary words and discussion questions.

YouTube Channels for Psychology Beginners

What is the best psychology content on YouTube? The video sharing site offers videos from armchair psychologists as well as licensed clinicians and scientists. If you're unsure where to begin, check out these channels.

Crash Course Psychology

Brothers Hank and John Green use their YouTube channel to upload educational content on subjects, such as psychology, film, chemistry, literature, and physics. The Greens, also accomplished authors, offer 40 Crash Course episodes dedicated to psychology.

Based on the 2013 AP Psychology curriculum, these videos help psychology beginners understand topics like personality disorders, trauma and addiction, and psychological research.

SciShow Psych

SciShow Psych gained popularity as an evidence-based entertainment channel that explores the human mind. Hosted by Crash Course's Hank Green, who holds a master's in environmental studies from the University of Montana, and Brit Garner, a doctoral candidate in wildlife biology, these free episodes explore introductory psychology concepts.


TED, started more than 40 years ago, created the TED-Ed YouTube channel to support learning for youth. This channel gives a platform to teachers across the globe who present digestible lectures on psychology topics with the help of animators who bring their lessons to life. Popular videos include, "how playing an instrument benefits your brain," "debunking the myths of OCD," and "how sugar affects the brain."

Top Podcasts for Psychology Beginners

Whether you want to pursue a career in psychology or just want to quench your curiosity about the subject, you can turn to free podcasts for entertainment and information. Check out these podcasts geared for beginner psychology enthusiasts.

Speaking of Psychology

Every Wednesday, you can find new episodes of Speaking of Psychology, the award-winning podcast produced by the American Psychological Association. Episodes feature different mental health experts at the doctoral level who tackle a range of topics and current research from diverse perspectives in 30-45-minute segments. The podcast is hosted by Kim I. Mills, APA senior director of strategic external communications and public affairs.

The Psychology Podcast

Produced by iHeartRadio, The Psychology Podcast invites scientists, authors, and other notable guests to explore the human mind. The Psychology Podcast is hosted by researcher, author, and speaker, Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, who has taught at Columbia University, Yale, and New York University. Each episode seeks to inform and inspire listeners by exploring the depths of human potential.

Hidden Brain

Shankar Vedantam, an author and former social science research reporter with over 25 years of experience, hosts the popular NPR radio show and podcast, Hidden Brain. A term coined by Vedantam, the "hidden brain" refers to unconscious influences that can manipulate and affect us without our awareness. Weekly podcast episodes cover topics in psychology, neuroscience, and human behavior. Past episodes include, "How We Live with Contradictions," "A Better Way to Worry," and "The Halo Effect."

All in the Mind

All in the Mind is produced by Australia's ABC Radio National and hosted by award-winning podcaster and journalist, Sana Qadar. Each week, the podcast explores a topic relating to the mind, brain, and behavior in an easily digestible 30-minute episode. Past episodes have explored how YouTube fame impacted an influencer's mental health, how heat waves can aggravate certain mental health conditions, and the psychology of fashion.

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