Study: 2021’s Most Relaxed Cities

Staff Report

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

We all need to relax after a year of COVID restrictions, but how easy it is to drive to the beach, hike in a park, or get a massage depends on where you live. 

That’s why LawnStarter compiled 2021’s Most Relaxed Cities, ranking over 190 of the biggest U.S. cities based on 57 key indicators of a zen atmosphere.

Among the factors we considered: access to spas and wellness centers, depression rate, the share of adults with high blood pressure, and the average length of a workday. For a well-rounded study, we also looked at the median household income, air quality, crime rates, and more.

Check out the 10 cities that put one’s mind at ease and the 10 that stress people out the most, followed by some highlights and lowlights from our report.

Where the Most Relaxed Americans Live




Sunnyvale, CA


Arlington, VA


San Francisco, CA


Bellevue, WA


Seattle, WA


Naperville, IL


Garden Grove, CA


Fort Collins, CO


Fullerton, CA


Honolulu, HI

Where the Most Stressed Americans Live




Augusta, GA


St. Louis, MO


Little Rock, AR


Cleveland, OH


Chattanooga, TN


Clarksville, TN


Shreveport, LA


Detroit, MI


Memphis, TN


Kansas City, KS

Highlights and Lowlights:

  • California: the State of Calm: California dominates the top of our Most Relaxed Cities ranking. Our No. 1 overall is Sunnyvale, claiming the top spot in the physical health category and No. 3 in mental health. But beyond Sunnyvale, California has four cities in the top 10 and a whopping 12 cities in the top 25.

    Why is life so calm in the Golden State? It may have to do with their plentiful pot. Fullerton is No. 1 for marijuana dispensaries per 100,000 residents, with many other California cities not far behind.

  • R&R Cities: Rest & … Riches?: Tranquility follows the money: Half of the cities in our top 10 are also among the 10 cities with the highest median household income in the U.S. They include Sunnyvale, California; Naperville, Illinois; Bellevue, Washington; and Arlington, Virginia — some of the wealthiest suburbs in America — plus San Francisco. 

    It’s safe to say that the rich rest easiest among us.

  • Less Traffic, More Relaxed in Texas: Traffic fuels anxiety, so for a more relaxed lifestyle, move to where the traffic is lighter. The best city for a smooth daily drive might not be where you expect: Lubbock, Texas, is the No. 1 city when it comes to average commute time. 

    Lubbock isn’t all wonderful, though. Overall, the city struggled on a number of other metrics, especially in the mental health and social environment categories. But if easy, breezy roadways are your idea of paradise, then Lubbock is the place for you.

  • Health and Money Stress in Detroit: Detroit performed especially poorly on physical health metrics, coming in last place with the highest share of adults with high blood pressure, adult smokers, and stroke victims.

    The financial health category also demonstrates some of Detroit’s struggles, with the city showing the lowest median household income and the highest poverty rate of any other major city. 

    Stress from health and financial issues likely are what drove the Motor City to near the bottom of our Most Relaxed Cities ranking.

Find the full study here.