If long work days combined with a headache-inducing commute sounds like the ultimate stressful day, then Atlanta might not be the place for you.

The sprawling city has some of the worst traffic congestion in the country, with the average commuter on the road an hour every day.

"Atlantans wear it like a badge. Traffic is a systemic problem in the Atlanta region," said Brian Carr, director of communications at the Clean Air Campaign, a nonprofit that offers programs to encourage commuters to switch to carpooling, public transit and other options.

The Atlanta Regional Commission, a regional planning agency for the area, said that the heavy traffic is in part tied to the area's population growth. It said there are plans to add 54 miles of new lanes to the interstate system, expand alternative commuter programs and offer incentives to encourage the development of walkable communities.

Some other bright spots: Residents enjoy a cost of living that is more affordable than most of the other metro areas, fueled by below-average home prices. They are also less likely to be binge drinkers or smokers, according to the CDC.

10. Memphis, TN

Stress factor: High crime rates, unhealthy lifestyles

Zen factor: Shorter commutes

There can be a lot to sing the blues about in Memphis.

Crime is rampant here, with a murder rate that trails only Detroit and New Orleans.

"There are many areas of the city in which gunfire is just as prevalent as the birds singing," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

Around 20% of the metro area's residents live below the poverty line.

Wharton, who spent decades as a public defender, said the high crime and poverty can cause a variety of stressful situations, from a mother scrambling for bail money for an arrested son to someone stressing about paying medical bills.

"I think Forrest Gump could see that those are not ideal living conditions," he said. "They are real stressors."

Yet the city is trying to fight back, with efforts that include the filing of legal injunctions against gang members and an ambitious anti-poverty campaign.