2022’s Best Cities for Mental Wellness

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Your surroundings can have a big influence on how you’re feeling. A bit of sunshine, green space, and accessible mental health resources can go a long way.

So, which cities have the optimal environment for mental well-being?

To mark World Mental Health Day today, LawnStarter compared over 190 of the biggest U.S. cities to rank 2022’s Best Cities for Mental Wellness.

We considered 33 metrics based on mental, physical, social, financial, and environmental factors. These include factors like access to therapists, cost of living, average sleep levels, meditation classes, and urban gardening-friendliness. 

Find out which 20 cities are best for mental wellness below, followed by some highlights and lowlights from our report. (See where your city ranks.)
Highlights and Lowlights:
Suburban Satisfaction: Naperville, Illinois, takes first place overall and in Financial Wellness. A small share of adults with poor mental health and low divorce rates brought this city to the top. Similar rankings lifted Pasadena, California (No. 2), Bellevue, Washington (No. 6), and Alexandria, Virginia (No. 7). These cities are full of therapists, as well as healthy, financially stable, and well-rested adults. 

Pasadena has the best access to mental health services, with more than 556 therapists per 100,000 residents. The City of Roses also boasts the most meditation classes. Naperville has the least crime (No. 1), while Alexandria is great for getting that extra boost of dopamine from biking and other exercise opportunities

West Coast Wellness: The laidback West Coast dominates our ranking, with Pacific cities taking up more than half of our top 20. Meditation, running, biking, yoga, and hiking are popular in this region. In addition to their high scores in Physical Wellness and Mindfulness factors, Seattle (No. 3) and San Francisco (No. 5) impress with high access to therapy, green space, and sufficient sleep. 

However, not all that glitters is gold: Under the serene surface, long work hours, binge drinking, and drug overdose deaths put a strain on San Fran and Seattle.Fit Minds: Getting some exercise can help a lot when you can’t afford (or simply don’t have access to) mental health services. While Fort Collins, Colorado (No. 9), and Salt Lake City (No. 14) each have ample therapy access, they also have high rates of Physical Wellness (No. 3 and No. 2, respectively). 

Working long hours and getting limited sleep can be detrimental to physical and mental health. Fort Collins is also the most well-rested city, followed by Bellevue, Washington; Minneapolis; and Overland Park, Kansas. Meanwhile, New York cities Syracuse and Buffalo, along with Dayton, Ohio, have the lowest average weekly work hours. 

Our full ranking and analysis are available here: https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/studies/best-cities-for-mental-wellness/ 

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