America’s 10 Most (and Least) Stressed States

When your stress levels are high your body, you can pretty much kiss any substantial gains goodbye.

Stress is a killer. Not only can it lead to an early death, but it also is a killer of performance in the gym and physique-oriented results (building muscle and losing body fat). The culprit here is cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone. When stress — be it physical or emotional — remains elevated, so too do cortisol levels. When cortisol stays high in the body, you can pretty much kiss any substantial gains goodbye.

What causes chronic stress? Usually a combination of things: a troubled work life, toxic relationships, a family tragedy, pushing yourself too hard in the gym and, according to, maybe even where you live. The personal finance website recently ranked all 50 states in the country on overall stress levels, factoring in such indicators as number of hours worked per week, household debt (or lack thereof) and sleep habits.

The following list begs the following questions: How are your stress levels? Where do you live? Might it be time to relocate to the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area?

America’s 10 MOST Stressed States*

1. Louisiana

2. New Mexico

3. West Virginia

4. Mississippi

5. Nevada

6. Arkansas

7. Oklahoma

8. Alabama

9. Kentucky

10. Tennessee

America’s 10 LEAST Stressed States*

1. Minnesota

2. North Dakota

3. Utah

4. Iowa

5. South Dakota

6. Wisconsin

7. Colorado

8. Massachusetts

9. Hawaii

10. Nebraska

*According to