Feeling stressed? Buy a snow shovel and call U-Haul. Then move to Minnesota.
According to a recent study by WalletHub.com, Minnesota is the least-stressed state in the nation.
This one is a head-scratcher. Until now, my top three impressions of Minnesota were cold, colder and frozen solid. Who knew it was so laid back? But before you swap your sandals and tank tops for snowshoes and parkas, chill out. Think it over.
Maybe while you’re strolling with the Minnesota snowbirds along the sugar-white sands of a Gulf of Mexico beach.
To be fair, Minnesota’s ranking as least-stressed state has nothing to do with weather. The study measured four areas of potential stress: Work-Related Stress, Money-Related Stress, Family-Related Stress and Health & Safety-Related Stress.
Seeing Minnesota at the top of the “least-stressed” list was surprising, but the state at the bottom was shocking.
According to this study, the most-stressed state in America is Alabama.
As they say in Alabama, and everywhere else below the Mason-Dixon Line, “That ain’t right.”
Between school and work, I spent 12 years in Alabama. I've never met nicer people or lived in a friendlier place.
The WalletHub.com survey may have reflected a recent surge in the state’s anxiety level. Over the past year, blood pressures soared statewide as Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley fought to keep his job after being caught with his ideals—and his pants—down during an affair with former top “advisor” Rebekah Mason.
Bentley resigned the week before Easter. Bama blood pressures dropped like a rock.
The only surprise about the Bentley affair was that it drew so much attention. Low-rent shenanigans in high political places are almost routine in Alabama.
For instance: Just two months before Bentley’s resignation, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman was released from prison after serving time for bribery—while in office.
Back in 1993, former Gov. Guy Hunt was forced to resign after being convicted of felony ethics violations.
Hunt’s term was completed by Jim Folsom Jr., whose papa was the legendary “Big Jim” Folsom. Big Jim was governor of Alabama from 1955 to 1959. His political career officially ended in 1962 after a failed gubernatorial race against George Wallace.
Political experts say Folsom’s campaign ran off the rails during a live TV appearance on election eve. Big Jim was so drunk he couldn’t name all his children—even though they were standing next to him on the stage.
Haters would call these Alabama politicians sleazy. I prefer “colorful.”
As for natural beauty, Alabama has mountains, beaches, lakes and only one nuclear waste dump.
Need culture? Alabama’s musical legacy includes country music supergroup Alabama, R&B legends the Commodores and country music’s first megastar, Hank Williams, who probably wrote “Cold, Cold Heart” after dating a Minnesota ice maiden.
The three founding members of Lynyrd Skynyrd hailed from Jacksonville, Fla. Their top-selling hit is “Sweet Home, Alabama.”
And… according to the real estate analysts at Estately, Alabama has the third highest number of barbecue joints per capita in the entire U.S.A.
Minnesota is where Spam is manufactured.
Maybe Minnesota’s stress level would be higher if the survey had included “Athletic-Related Stress.”
The best way to measure this one is to schedule a football game between the Minnesota Gophers and Alabama's Crimson Tide. If the final score leaves Minnesotans not just stressed, but bruised and battered from head to toe, they can make it all better by putting some ice on it.
Minnesota has plenty to spare.
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