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The 5 Most Stressful Cities in the US

Body language, close-up of a woman’s hand. Stress, nervousness, tension, anxiety, anxiety people concept

City life is incredible stressful – take it from someone who grew up in the Capital!  In 2023, high population density, traffic congestion, long working hours, and high expense of living add to the usual city stress. These variables can affect our physical and mental health, making stress management and healthy living more challenging than ever.

As an introvert, the most challenging aspect for me was the high population density of big cities. Many people live and work in cities, making them crowded to the point you can barely take a walk in the park. This can cause claustrophobia, anxiety, and trouble finding seclusion. Of course, city noise and pollution also increase stress (and there are many studies confirming that!).

Big city traffic is another stressor. Long commutes, crowded buses and trains, and traffic can make city commuting a nightmare. Being late for work or appointments adds to traffic stress – and there’s nothing you can do about it! I won’t even get into how much damage pollution causes to our health.

Want to know what I got after years of living in a big city? Burnout. This state can result from working long hours, an expensive lifestyle, and the pressure to succeed. Let’s be honest: most big city people struggle to make ends meet due to increasing housing, food, and other costs.

Right now, I think it’s vital to remember that stress levels vary from individual to person. I can admit that some people enjoy the fast-paced, stimulating lifestyle of a big city – but many others find it exhausting too.

With that in mind, let’s take a moment to talk about the 5 most stressful US cities in 2023!

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Passionate about cognitive psychology and data research, Tudor aims to highlight the importance of prioritizing self-care regardless of age, gender, or nationality. For over two years, he has been prioritizing extensive research in mindfulness and meditation techniques delivered to everyday people in a simple, meaningful manner.

19 Responses

  1. I’ve lived in three of the cities on this list, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C., and I fully concur that they are all the pits to have to reside in!! Don’t know why anyone would want to live in any of them!!!

  2. Ileft NYC in 78 and never looked back, Went from Wall Street to a wonderful life in the desert southwest with no regrets. Filthy, rats and roaches, traffic, crime etc. If your persuasion matches a slower life style, come out west and see a more outer and not inner way of being. You can put down the cell phone and breathe clean air and enjoy wide open spaceskra

  3. Diverse cultures, live theater and music, fascinating museums, great restaurants, interesting people, many recreational activities —— do you dislike that too? Why did cities evolve around the world, and why do people keep coming to them? Who said: “If you are tired of London, you are tired of life!” ? I agree. Do we need to make our cities safer, more pedestrian friendly, cleaner? Yes, but don’t trash them; they offer many benefits too!

  4. I moved to Houston two years ago. I couldn’t agree more, this place is a concrete jungle with little too NO trees. This has resulted in BAD air quality! Everyday is a 9 or 10 for air quality index. My health has been affected by moving here, I don’t feel as healthy here and definitely more stress than before in my life now because of moving here. In addition my allergies have gone crazy since moving here! Mold and pollen are high.
    The economy is definitely tied to gas and oil and is terrible right now. I also hate that there is no zoning here which has created a restaurant on every corner and businesses butting directly up to housing, which is ugly! Crime is also terrible in Houston! Yes traffic is terrible! The mosquitoes are terrible here too!! You Can’t go outside but in the winter which is only a couple months out of the year. Beaches are the same, not worth a vaca unless you like getting eaten alive. Another huge stressful thing in Houston is the property taxes! Some of the highest in the nation here and huge scam for local government too steel your money. Almost all residents have to dispute their tax assessment every year, which is another huge stress! Impossible to plan for these taxes due variability and based on home value assessment which goes up every year. The funny thing about Houstonians; is if asked they will tell you this is the best place to live on the planet. Lol. After a two year employment obligation is meant, we are out of Houston, can’t wait.

    1. Never will I understand people who move to a different city, state or country who don’t have the coursity or sense to not shoot their mouths off about how awful a place is. Most likely you are from CA or NYC. Those people usually do hate it here. They probably hate anywhere but where they came from.
      From your remarks, you haven’t gotten out much since you can here. You probably had your mind made up to not like it here before you came.
      I have lived in the Houston area all my life and I am 79. There are lots of trees and more than just oil and gas here. There are a lot of financial institutions, the worlds best known Medical Center. There is the museum of fine arts, museum of natural history and entertainment facilities.
      Houston, has changed some since I grew up here in the 50s. Most of the bad changes came from people like you moving here! It is no longer a city of Houstonians and Texans. It is a city of many, many cultures, because people tend to bring even what they don’t like with them.
      As far as your being anxious to leave, don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out! As a native Houstion and Texan, I can’t Thank you enough for LEAVING!

  5. I’ve lived in NYC, Philadelphia and Chicago area and Philly just has to be the dirtiest big city in the country yet it didn’t make the list. I assume because the cost of living in Philly is so much less than the other cities but the stress level is just as high since crime and filth abounds.

  6. Been living in New York City since July 1999 but love it. The hustle and bustle being in the city is normal, high standard of living, traffic etc, dirty city indeed but what do u expect, it’s been 100 years old already compared to the new modernized world. But being able to live in NYC, I feel so blessed. Enjoying every minute of my day, don’t spend beyond your means, just have fun. It’s all how you manage your life.

  7. Born in NYC. Raised in Westchester. Lives in city for 15 years after college. BURNT OUT. Noise. Filfth. Coooold. But… NYC of course is so great for many reasons. The over stimulation was too much. Moved to Denver. Wow that was slow!!! Now in MIami. Perfect medium for me that is. Warmth. Enough culture. A lot of community. People are nicer. Women are incredible. 🤣

  8. It depends as much on what you value and with whom you associate. I’ve lived in laid-back, Bohemian neighborhoods in several of these towns where I did volunteer work. And I loved it!

    On the other hand, working downtown where greed and dominance were valued truly made those parts of the day unpleasant.

    1. Amen to that. It can only get worse with the multi-mad dashes across the Rio grande. ..excuse me., It’s now a casual walk or stroll.

  9. In time, democrats will destroy any city they take control of because like Biden all they want to do is spend spend spend and tax tax tax.

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