Most doctors and wellness experts will tell you that stress isn’t good for you. It impacts your heath. It can wreak havoc on your skin. It can take a toll on your sleep habits. It’s bad, bad, bad! Okay?
There are myriad ways to combat stress, and one of them is apparently to move to the middle of America. It’s certainly a rash antidote, but a new study from SmartAsset crunched the numbers to figure out which cities in the United States had the least stressed out people, based on factors such as average hours worked per week, commute time, and divorce rates. Cities in the Midwest came out on top. They found that the top three least stressed cities were Madison, Wisconsin; Fargo, North Dakota; and Iowa City, Iowa. As an Iowa native, I think there's something to the results of this study, despite the fact that it's not peer-reviewed.
SmartAsset determined that Madison specifically was great for stress levels because people were much more active than in other areas. They found Fargo to be affordable and easy to navigate. They found only 0.01% of residents of Iowa City filed for bankruptcy, and that they worked an average of 33 hours per week. SmartAsset factored in things like employment and bankruptcy, for a reason. Not to contradict the Notorious B.I.G., but the theory is that with more money, there are usually fewer problems. And less stress. The SmartAsset analysis says people in areas with higher employment rates are more likely to to use financial advisors from companies such as theirs or Halyard Financial. When you have more money saved up, you can plan for retirement — and for sweet vacations and massages to help you relax.
To reiterate, stress is not a good thing. Forty-two percent of adults say they don't think they're doing enough to manage their stress, according to The American Psychological Association’s 2018 survey. It's important to note that stress also has to do with age and factors other than geography, so perhaps consider trying a meditation app before for you up and move across the country. Still, these cities, seem promising.
Here are SmartAssets' top ten least stressed cities:
1. Madison, WI
2. Fargo, ND
3. Iowa City, IA
4. Ann Arbor, MI
5. Boulder, CO
6. Duluth, MN
7. Bloomington, IL
8. Rochester, MN
9. College Station, TX
10. Santa Fe, NM