1.  New York

stressed cities
  • Stress factor: Long commutes and work hours, high cost of living
  • Zen factor: Lower crime

Living in New York can be a lot of work.

Despite enjoying some of the best public transportation in the country, New Yorkers spend more time getting to work each day -- at an average of nearly 40 minutes one way -- than commuters anywhere else in the country. They also log in more hours at work once they get there than workers in most other areas.

And that's not all: Sky-high housing costs, which are more than double the national average, eat up a big chunk of most residents' budgets. Combine that with a high cost of living, as well as above-average poverty and unemployment rates, and that means more people are struggling to get by.

See the full Stressed Out Cities list

On the plus side, crime has fallen significantly in recent years as a result of aggressive policing policies. Now, New York's property crime rate is among the lowest per capita, and the murder rate is also below average for the places analyzed, which has helped make residents feel a lot more secure.

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New York also offers a variety of free stress-relieving activities, such as free yoga and pilates classes in the parks. "If you think and you plan, you'll reduce your stress," said Helana Natt, executive director of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce.

First published June 25, 2014: 11:07 AM ET
Source: See sources and methodology. See the full list.

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