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Best European cities for boosting mental wellbeing

Best European cities for boosting mental wellbeing
More than ever, place is an important factor to consider in terms of our mental health. Here are the best European cities for your mental health
Awareness around mental health has been on the rise in recent years. With companies offering more flexible working options, people are increasingly taking a step back and checking in with themselves. However, there are a lot of factors that people don’t take into account when it comes to improving their mental health. The environment you live in can have a huge impact on your psychological wellbeing, but can sometimes go unnoticed.
"The environment you live in can have a huge impact on your psychological wellbeing"
A new study by the hybrid hospitality brand The Social Hub reveals the best cities in Europe for supporting mental health, analysing metrics such as happiness, the quality of green space, pollution levels, and sunshine hours.

Rejuvenate your mind in Europe’s top cities for mental wellbeing  

1. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in the UK. Credit: SeanPavonePhoto 
Home to some of the happiest people in Europe, Denmark’s capital Copenhagen ranks at the top of the list. Denmark, as a whole, scores better than any country in this list for happiness with a score of 7.6 out of a possible 10. Copenhagen is also one of the more LGBTQ+-friendly countries on this list, ranking second after Oslo for this metric with a social progress score of 90.5.
Average sunshine per year: 1912 hours
Walking trails: 85
Prevalence of depression: 3.85 per cent

2. Vienna, Austria

Vienna is, of course, the birthplace of many of the world's most famous composers, such as Mozart and Beethoven. Credit: Vladislav Zolotov
Vienna ranks as the second-best city in Europe for mental wellbeing. A monthly gym membership in Vienna costs an average of just €27.94, which is great for anyone whose favourite way to deal with stress is to exercise.
Average sunshine: 1884 hours
Walking trails: 163
Prevalence of depression: 3.42 per cent

3. Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm has incredibly high air quality. Credit: Bluejayphoto
Stockholm follows closely behind Vienna in third place, with an overall happiness score of 7.4. The city also offers the third-highest number of walking trails of all cities analysed (734), and the second-best air quality (84.3), making it a great location to enjoy the stress-free nature of the outdoors. 
Average sunshine: 1,803
Walking trails: 734
Prevalence of depression: 4.47 per cent

4. Oslo, Norway

Oslo has a very low prevalence of depression. Credit: Baiaz
Securing its place in fourth on the other side of the border, Oslo was found to have the highest LGBTQ+ acceptance score (90.7) in the study.
"Oslo was found to have the highest LGBTQ+ acceptance score (90.7) in the study"
With a low prevalence of depression (3.51%) and high happiness score (7.37), the Norwegian capital appears to be a great place for mental wellbeing and overall happiness. It also has one of the more peculiar sites to see in Europe, though you may have to visit and find out what that is for yourself.
Average sunshine: 1,668
Walking trails: 218
Prevalence of depression: 3.51 per cent

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam's liberal social attitudes can make it an ideal and accepting place to live. Credit: sevkovichnya
With a high air quality score (74.8), strolls and bike rides are made pleasurable in Amsterdam especially as the city is known for its many picturesque canals. The city’s position in fifth can be further attributed to affordable gym prices (€35.81/mo) and a high LGBTQ+ acceptance score (89). 
Average sunshine: 1,912
Walking trails: 62
Prevalence of depression: 3.9 per cent

Step outside in the best European cities for open-air bliss 

1. Barcelona

Spain has some of the most stunning architecture in Europe. Credit: Nacho Criado
For those looking to soak up some serotonin and de-stress in nature, Barcelona tops the list as the best European city to spend time outdoors. Barcelona boasts the highest number of walking trails (1,972) and 2,591 hours of sunlight per year.
"Barcelona boasts many walking trails and 2,591 hours of sunlight per year"
The famous beaches (amongst other in Europe) are a good place to unwind too. Despite this, the city’s overall air quality is among the worst, with a rating of just 36.2.
Average sunshine: 2,591 hours
Walking trails: 1,972
Prevalence of depression: 4.73 per cent

2. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the only European capital on the Atlantic coast. Credit: Armando Oliveira 
Following in second place for environmental factors is Lisbon, with 2,806 hours of sunshine per year, along with 715 walking trails. 
Average sunshine: 2,806
Walking trails: 715
Prevalence of depression: 4.4 per cent

3. Seville, Spain

Sevilla is the fourth largest city in Spain. Credit: Sean Pavone 
The Social Hub’s research led the brand to the rustic city of Seville. Hailing the highest average sunshine hours in a year, there’s more than enough time to take in every bit of the city’s charm. 
Average sunshine: 2921
Walking trails: 151
Prevalence of depression:  N/A per cent

4. Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is actually split across 14 different islands. Credit: scanrail
It came as no surprise to see Stockholm as one of the best cities for mental wellbeing, considering how enjoyable time outdoors is in the city. This European city has the second-best air quality score (84.3).
The city also has a large number of walking trails (734) and is situated on 14 different islands. 
Average sunshine: 1,803 hours
Walking trails: 734
Prevalence of depression: 4.47 per cent

5. Porto, Portugal

Porto is Portugal's second largest city. Credit: SeanPavanoPhoto
In fifth place, Porto really didn’t fall too far behind with residents of the coastal city benefiting from a high average of sunshine hours per year (2,468). There are also plenty of opportunities to go for walks along the city’s numerous trails (307).
Average sunshine: 2468 hours
Walking trails: 307
Prevalence of depression:  N/A per cent
Banner Credit: Amsterdam (JJHV)