When people think of Florida, many think of sunshine, the beach and good times. According to a Men’s Health study, the state is actually home to three of the saddest cities in the United States.
St. Petersburg topped the list, earning the title of saddest city in America. St. Petersburg was joined by its state-mates Tampa and Miami in the top 10.
For the list, Men’s Health studied a number of factors associated with sadness. Suicide and unemployment rates, percentage of households using antidepressants and percentage of people who report feeling the blues were all measures used by the magazine.
Thanks to the 13th worst unemployment rate, 8th worst suicide rate and 19th worst anti-depressant use rate, St. Petersburg beat out Detroit (No. 2) and Memphis (No. 3) for the dubious crown. St. Pete is home to about 245,000 residents and, according to its tourism website, invites visitors to enjoy its warm beaches and cool breezes.
Another interesting inclusion on the list was Las Vegas, which finished as the 10th saddest city. While the city is often a destination for visitors looking to let loose, gamble and party, Las Vegas also features the 3rd highest suicide rate and 6th highest unemployment rate.
Other cities in the top 10 include Louisville, KY (No. 5), St. Louis, MO (No. 6), Birmingham, AL (No. 7) and Reno, NV (No. 9), which features the highest suicide rate in the country.
As part of the study, Men’s Health also delivered a list of cities on the other end of the spectrum. These happy cities were deemed “blues-proof.” Honolulu topped the list and was followed by Manchester, NH, and Fargo, ND. Big cities Boston, Minneapolis, San Jose, Portland, Austin and San Francisco also earned places in the top-20 happiest locations.
Residents of sad cities are encouraged to take action to turn that frown upside down. The author of the study, Jolanda Mass, Ph. D., suggests taking time to enjoy the great outdoors. Activities in nature can help reduce stress and mental fatigue. Other suggestions include improving one’s diet and showing patience with depression-related medication.
Top 10 Saddest Cities in America
1. St. Petersburg, FL
2. Detroit, MI
3. Memphis, TN
4. Tampa, FL
5. Louisville, KY
6. St. Louis, MO
7. Birmingham, AL
8. Miami, FL
9. Reno, NV
10. Las Vegas, NV
Top 10 "Blues-Proof" Cities in America
1. Honolulu, HI
2. Manchester, NH
3. Fargo, ND
4. Omaha, NE
5. Boston, MA
6. Madison, WI
7. Sioux Falls, SD
8. St. Paul, MN
9. Burlington, VT
10. Plano, TX
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Portret_van_een_man002.jpg
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