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The 20 Most Stressful Cities in the World (and Where to Go Instead)

SmarterTravel

Looking for a relaxing vacation? You’re going to want to avoid these twenty cities, ranked as the world’s most stressful. Want a calmer vibe? Consider a trip (or permanent relocation) to these relaxing destinations instead. 

CBD and wellness brand VAAY ranked 100 major global cities in 15 stress-indicating categories such as pollution levels, traffic congestion, unemployment rates, and access to healthcare to determine the most and least stressful destinations. 

The most stressful city in the world, according to the study, is Mumbai, India. At the other end of the stress scale, Reykjavik, Iceland topped the chart for the least stressful city. 

Chart of the most stressful cities in the world
Twenty Least Stressful Cities in the World (left) and Twenty Most Stressful Cities in the World (right)VAAY

“When we consider our reasons for feeling stressed, we usually focus our attention on things in our sphere of influence that we feel we can control,” says Finn Age Hänsel, Co-Founder of VAAY. “It is less common to truly analyze the effect of the environment in which we live on our state of mind, yet so many factors can have a significant impact.”

No cities in the U.S. made the top 20 for most or least stressed, but according to VAAY, Houston, Texas is the least stressful city in the U.S., coming in at number 25 on the list. New York City was found to be the most stressful in the U.S., ranking as the 25th worst for stress in the world. 

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