Friday, August 11, 2023

Soul Sustenance - 2023's Most Relaxed Cities


Not every city is built for peace of mind, so where can Americans catch a break?

To mark National Relaxation Day on Aug. 15, LawnStarter ranked 2023’s Most Relaxed Cities.

We compared the 200 biggest U.S. cities based on 42 stress factors and stress relievers. More specifically, we factored in metrics like depression rates, the average length of a workday, and access to spas and massage therapists.

See the 10 most tranquil (and 10 most stressed) cities below, followed by key stats from our report.
 Most Relaxed Cities
1Sunnyvale, CA
2San Francisco, CA
3Alexandria, VA
4Naperville, IL
5Fremont, CA
6San Jose, CA
7Seattle, WA
8Overland Park, KS
9Bellevue, WA
10Irvine, CA
Most Stressed Cities
1Detroit, MI
2Shreveport, LA
3Cleveland, OH
4Jackson, MS
5New Orleans, LA
6Memphis, TN
7Killeen, TX
8Dayton, OH
9Augusta, GA
10Birmingham, AL

Key Insights:

  • R&R — &R? Rest and relaxation appear easier when paired with richesSeven of our top 20 cities overall also ranked among the 20 cities with the highest purchasing power and adequate sleep rates. They include middle- to upper-middle-income cities like Sunnyvale, California (No. 1), Naperville, Illinois (No. 4 overall), and Overland Park, Kansas (No. 8).

  • Mental Breakdown: Mental health providers appear to be most needed in cities like West Valley City, Utah (No. 114 overall), Laredo, Texas (No. 150), North Las Vegas, Nevada (No. 168), and Moreno Valley, California (No. 143). More residents in each of these cities suffer from high rates of mental distressdepression, and — except in Laredo — suicide.

  • City of Darkness: Despite some of the lowest rates of mental stressdepression, and inadequate sleepAnchorage, Alaska (No. 50 overall), has a dark side. The city ironically nicknamed The City of Lights and Flowers has the 9th-highest suicide rate among the 200 biggest cities. This tracks with a wider trend: Alaska has the highest suicide rate per capita in the nation

  • Old Motor: Detroit’s motor needs a reset. The city finished last overall and last or near the very bottom in multiple categories. Relatively fewer Work Stressors (No. 76) and more Recreation Options (No. 95) keep the city from a total meltdown. Detroit has the highest rates of both inadequate sleep and stroke among the 200 biggest cities.

  • Weeded Out: Besides wealth, cannabis appears to help Californians loosen up. Golden State cities make up 13 of our 20 most stoner-friendly cities, with San Francisco (No. 3 overall) leading all 200 of the biggest cities in this metric. Half of those 13 California cities also ranked among our top 50 overall.

  • Regional Pampering: Coastal cities appear to invest more in beauty and spa businesses compared with flyover country. Except for Naperville, Illinois (No. 4 overall), our 30 best cities for this metric are on the East and West coasts, with Paterson, New Jersey (No. 126 overall) offering the most options per square mile. Midwestern and Texas cities, meanwhile, dominate the opposite end of our ranking for this metric, with Columbus, Ohio (No. 145), coming in last.

Helpful Links:

No matter which city you live in, your backyard often is a calming space. Is your lawn-dry list keeping you from relaxing? Hire a local LawnStarter pro to tackle your yard chores so you can rest easy.

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