5.  Houston

most stressed cities houston tx
  • Population: 6.2 million
  • Zen factor: Plenty of jobs
  • Stress factor: Long work hours

Workers in Houston give even New Yorkers a run for their money when it comes to working long hours.

Known for its many oil jobs -- which can require 80-plus hour weeks in the oilfields -- the metro area has the longest average workweek of all 55 places CNNMoney analyzed.

Getting to work can also be a major frustration due to traffic congestion. Houston's massive sprawl means that residents are often forced to brave the roads.

Blame it on the booming economy. Close to 400,000 jobs have been added to the area in the past four years, said Patrick Jankowski, vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership.

Related: Stress factors: Which city is for you?

"Yes there is traffic," said Jankowski, whose organization is looking into ways to improve traffic conditions. "But on the other hand the economy is doing really well here so no wonder there is the traffic and the stress."

Related: Why Houston is stressed out

So what keeps Houstonians going? Jobs and money.

Low unemployment and a moderate cost-of-living means most people can easily afford to live here.

Plus, all those work hours mean many workers are earning overtime or higher salaries, Jankowski said. "Some people want the opportunity to earn the extra money," he said. "Sometimes the stress is by choice."

First published July 15, 2014: 8:35 AM ET
Source: See sourcing and methodology here.
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX Metro Area

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