Today’s Solutions: January 19, 2022

Thanks to modern technology, the world, though still so vast, has for many become smaller. Thanks to these advances, you can wake up in Greece and have lunch in France. You can be backpacking in Thailand but have a videoconference with your parents in Boston.

However, for these past 20 or so months, most of us have had to stay confined to one country, one city, one space.

Now that we’re starting to travel again, you may be interested in which cities were arguably the best ones to spend the quarantine season, and itching for a vacation to these zen destinations. VAAY, a German CBD and wellbeing brand, conducted research to reveal which cities around the world are the best for mental wellbeing. These kinds of things are difficult to determine, so the data crunchers at VAAY used various metrics to inform their findings. These include crime levels, gender and minority equality, population density, air pollution, noise pollution, traffic congestion, unemployment rates, local purchasing power, social security structures, and the government’s response to the pandemic.

Over 500 cities were studied. Those without reliable data were disqualified, leaving VAAY with a list of 100 cities. Despite its reputation for being expensive and cloudy, it’s still no surprise that the Icelandic city of Reykjavik earned the number one spot as the least stressful city to live in.

The Optimist Daily has written before about Iceland’s strong environmental efforts, its stress-relieving initiatives, its progress in banning discrimination, and most recently about its successful four-day-work-week trial.

Other cities worth mentioning are Bern in Switzerland in second place, and Helsinki in Finland, which came third.

Finn Age Hänsel, the cofounder of VAAY, says that the purpose behind the research was to “show what cities can achieve for their citizens through effective governance, robust environmental policies, and well-resourced social welfare systems.”

Here are the world’s 20 best cities for mental wellbeing, according to VAAY:

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland
  2. Bern, Switzerland
  3. Helsinki, Finland
  4. Wellington, New Zealand
  5. Melbourne, Australia
  6. Oslo, Norway
  7. Copenhagen, Denmark
  8. Innsbruck, Austria
  9. Hanover, Germany
  10. Graz, Austria
  11. Liverpool, UK
  12. Montreal, Canada
  13. Vienna, Austria
  14. Auckland, New Zealand
  15. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  16. Montevideo, Uruguay
  17. Zurich, Switzerland
  18. Cologne, Germany
  19. Sydney, Australia
  20. Stockholm, Sweden
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