Bundles of Stress: Mississippi Has Most Stressed-Out Locals

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

We all face stress at various points in our lives. For some, it can be a daily occurrence. For others, it can come at certain times, like when a deadline for a major project approaches or when the due date for a large bill is near. They can be as mild as butterflies in the stomach or as severe as crippling headaches or tension in the body.

Stress can produce an adrenaline rush. That can be good in short spurts to help with projects or handle crises, but those hormones can also lead to physical damage if they stay in your system for long stretches. The American Psychological Association notes that chronic stress can lead to serious health issues – either physical or mental – and can also weaken the body’s immune system, causing any illness to linger longer.

April is National Stress Awareness Month, an awareness campaign started by the Health Resource Network 32 years ago to educate people on how to better handle stress and the impact stress can have on their well-being.

BetMississippi.com, where we update efforts to bring a true Mississippi sportsbooks market to the public, wanted to find out which states were the most stressed and which were the most relaxed. We relied on Google Trends to identify the top 10 states dealing with the most stress and the five least affected by it. Our research was culled from search results for the phrase “stress reducing” from Feb. 25 to March 25, 2024.

Most Stressed States

Rank State Search Interest Score
1 Mississippi 100
2 Virginia 38
3 New Jersey 26
T4 Delaware 16
T4 Texas 16
6 California 13
7 Florida 12
8 North Dakota 11
9 Alaska 10
10 Wisconsin 8

Mississippi Tops List Of Stressed States

The bad news for Mississippi is that it tops the most-stressed list. It had 100 points according to our research, well ahead of Virginia (38 points) and New Jersey (26).

We also found the five least stressed states. Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and South Dakota all came up with 0 for a search interest score. Apparently, mountain life helps reduce stress. Massachusetts rounded out the top five, with a score of only 3.

Yet stress is not tied to a particular region of the country. We found that people living in Florida, Alaska, California and New Jersey were among the most-stressed in the United States.

How To Deal With Stress

According to the American Institute of Stress, there are several steps people can take when it comes to managing or dealing with their stress. Self-care is atop the list. That includes eating healthy, working out regularly, getting at least seven hours of sleep each night and taking breaks as needed if you feel stress mounting.

The institute also encourages people to seek help, whether it’s from a family member, co-worker, friend, counselor or mental health professional.

One thing that should never cause stress is gambling. The Mississippi Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling offers free help lines to provide advice and referrals for people dealing with problem gambling behaviors and the families and loved ones, too. They can be reached at 1-888-777-9696, or you can text “msgambler” to 53342.

Some folks also find comfort in having an animal; see where Mississippi ranks among most pet-loving states for more insight.


Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.