NYC Makes America’s Biggest Mental Health Rebound Post-Pandemic, See How Other Cities Stack Up—2024 Study

Melissa Lavigne-Delville

Reviewed by Jessica Yu, Ph.D.

Written by Melissa Lavigne-Delville

Published 05/21/2024

New York City residents are feeling happy and healthy post-pandemic, according to a study conducted by Hims & Hers. New Yorkers reported the biggest positive gains in mental health since having to shelter in place during COVID-19. Half of surveyed New Yorkers (50%) say their mental health has “changed for the better” since the pandemic. This compares with just 38% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 overall who reported the same. 

Backing up a better New York state of mind: 70% of surveyed New Yorkers graded their current mental health as an A+ (39%) or an A (31%) as compared to 59% of Americans, only one-quarter (25%) of whom gave their mental health top marks (A+).

Following up New York City, Hims & Hers found that residents in other surveyed cities reported significant improvements in mental health since the pandemic: Omaha, NE (49%); Albuquerque, NM (45%); Minneapolis, MN (44%); Atlanta, GA (44%); and Des Moines, IA (43%).

Not all cities fared as well. Only 21% of residents surveyed in San Antonio reported that their mental health changed for the better since lockdown, and Tampa, FL; Nashville, TN; Columbus, OH; and Detroit, MI rounded out the bottom of the list (see below for full city rankings).

New York City by the Numbers: A Closer Look at the Top City With Post-Pandemic Mental Health Improvements 

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For New Yorkers who were surveyed, improved mental wellness was accompanied by several significant upticks in their health and life overall, suggesting a positive correlation between mental wellness and life satisfaction. Specifically:

  • 54% say their priorities are more in-check vs. 39% of Americans overall

  • 46% say their physical health is better vs. 35% of Americans overall

  • 44% say their love life has seen a boost vs. 35% of Americans overall

"Mental health isn't just about how we feel emotionally," says Jessica Yu, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and Senior Director of Patient Experience at Hims and Hers. "It's also connected to our physical appearance and self-confidence, our relationships and sexual satisfaction, and how we show up at work and school."

Surveyed New Yorkers are also reporting more improvements in their physical appearance. 45% say their body image has improved since the start of the pandemic and 40% say they look better. This compares with 36% and 35% of Americans, respectively.

New Yorkers’ sex lives have seen less of an improvement than other cities, however, with only 32% of surveyed New Yorkers saying sex is better than before the pandemic, compared to 34% of the country. The New Yorkers surveyed by Hims & Hers also reported that their job satisfaction pre-and-post-pandemic was about the same as the rest of the country. 

Mental Health by Demographic: The Generations, Genders, and Other Groups With the Biggest Post-Pandemic Mental Health Improvements

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Beyond mental health improvements by metropolitan areas, there were notable differences in post-pandemic mental health by demographic. Let’s take a look at surveyed respondents by other demographics who indicated their mental health “changed for the better” since the pandemic.

Specifically:

  • Generation Z saw the biggest improvement in mental health post-pandemic. 44% of Gen Zs said their mental health changed for the better since the start of the pandemic. (This contrasts previous research that found Gen Z self-reported more mental health negative outcomes compared to other generations.) 42% of Millennials said their mental health had improved post-pandemic, and only 28% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

  • Men saw more mental health improvements post-pandemic than women, and dads saw more improvement than moms. 42% of men reported that their mental health had changed for the better since the pandemic vs. 34% of women, and 46% of dads said the same vs. just 36% of moms.

  • LGBTQ+ respondents and People of Color (POC) both report their mental health is better as compared to their non-LGBTQ+ and non-POC counterparts. 44% of LGBTQ+ respondents say their mental health has improved vs. 37% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents; and 41% of POC respondents say they’ve seen improvements vs. 33% of non-POC respondents. 

  • Married couples saw a bigger lift in mental health than singles or non-married couples in monogamous relationships. 41% of married respondents said their mental health had changed for the better as compared to 36% of both singles and couples in monogamous relationships.

  • Millennial men fared the best. 47% of Millennial men said their mental health has changed for the better as compared to 35% of Millennial women and 38% of Americans overall. 

  • Gen X and Boomer women reported the least improvement in their mental health. Only 26% of women 45+ said their mental health had improved post-pandemic as compared to 38% of the total American population.

  • Hims & Hers customers saw bigger improvements in mental health than did the general population. 44% of Hims & Hers customers say their mental health has changed for the better post-pandemic vs. 38% of Americans overall. 

Based on the percentage of respondents by city who indicated their mental health “Changed for the better” since the pandemic.

  1. New York, NY – 50%

  2. Omaha, NE – 49%

  3. Albuquerque, NM – 45%

  4. Minneapolis, MN – 44%

  5. Atlanta, GA – 44%

  6. Des Moines, IA – 43%

  7. Sacramento, CA – 43%

  8. St. Louis, MO – 42%

  9. San Diego, CA – 42%

  10. New Orleans, LA – 42%

  11. Birmingham, AL – 42%

  12. San Francisco, CA – 42%

  13. Pittsburg, PA – 42%

  14. Houston, TX – 42%

  15. Louisville, KY – 42%

  16. Seattle, WA – 41%

  17. Memphis, TN – 40%

  18. Little Rock, AS – 40%

  19. Kansas City, KS – 40%

  20. Miami, FL – 39%

  21. Greenville, SC – 39% 

  22. Boston, MA – 39% 

  23. Philadelphia, PA – 39% 

  24. Providence, RI – 39% 

  25. Baltimore, MD – 39% 

  26. Dallas, TX – 39%

  27. Salt Lake City, UT – 39% 

  28. Charlotte, NC – 39% 

  29. Los Angeles, CA – 39% 

  30. Austin, TX – 38% 

  31. New Haven, CT – 38% 

  32. Chicago, IL – 38% 

  33. Denver, CO – 38% 

  34. Milwaukee, WI – 37% 

  35. Norfolk, VA – 37% 

  36. Orlando, FL – 37% 

  37. Washington, DC – 37% 

  38. Raleigh, NC – 36%

  39. Portland, OR – 36% 

  40. Oklahoma City, OK – 35% 

  41. Phoenix, AZ – 35%

  42. Las Vegas, NV – 34%

  43. Indianapolis, IN – 34%

  44. Cleveland, OH – 32%

  45. Honolulu, HI – 29%

  46. Detroit, MI – 29%

  47. Columbus, OH – 28%

  48. Nashville, TN – 26%

  49. Tampa, FL – 25%

  50. San Antonio, TX – 21%

Based on the percentage of respondents by city who indicated their life in general “Changed for the better” since the pandemic.

  1. San Diego, CA - 58%

  2. Baltimore, MD - 55% 

  3. Seattle, WA - 53%

  4. New Orleans, LA - 51%

  5. Salt Lake City, UT - 51%

  6. Austin, TX - 50%

  7. Boston, MA - 50%

  8. Chicago, IL - 49%

  9. Memphis, TN - 47%

  10. New York, NY - 47%

  11. Atlanta, GA - 47%

  12. San Francisco, CA - 46%

  13. Des Moines, IA - 46%

  14. Louisville, KY - 46%

  15. Birmingham, AL - 45%

  16. Little Rock, AR - 44% 

  17. Orlando, FL - 44% 

  18. Houston, TX - 44%

  19. Omaha, NE - 43% 

  20. Milwaukee, WI - 43% 

  21. Sacramento, CA - 43%

  22. St. Louis, MO - 43%

  23. Charlotte, NC - 43%

  24. Norfolk, VA - 42% 

  25. Raleigh, NC - 42% 

  26. Providence, RI - 42% 

  27. Los Angeles, CA - 42% 

  28. Philadelphia, PA - 42% 

  29. Washington, DC - 42% 

  30. Albuquerque, NM - 41% 

  31. Miami, FL - 41% 

  32. Detroit, MI - 41% 

  33. Phoenix, AZ - 41% 

  34. New Haven, CT - 41%

  35. Minneapolis, MN - 40%

  36. Denver, CO - 40%

  37. Dallas, TX - 39%

  38. Oklahoma City, OK - 38%

  39. Columbus, OH - 37%

  40. Pittsburg, PA - 36%

  41. Greenville, SC - 35% 

  42. San Antonio, TX - 35% 

  43. Honolulu, HI - 34%

  44. Portland, OR - 33%

  45. Kansas City, KS - 32%

  46. Indianapolis, IN - 32%

  47. Las Vegas, NV - 31%

  48. Cleveland, OH - 30%

  49. Tampa, FL - 30%

  50. Nashville, TN - 27%

This study is based on a 5,504-person online survey, which included 5,000 18-to-65-year-old respondents in the top 50 metropolitan areas (100 respondents per city) and a nationally representative sample of 504 18-to-65-year-old respondents to contextualize results. The study was fielded in May 2024.

Findings were analyzed by more than 100 demographic and psychographic cuts, including city, region, gender (when we refer to “women” and “men,” we include all people who self-identify as such), age, race and ethnicity, relationship status, parenting status, sexual orientation (heterosexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian, pansexual, asexual, queer, etc.), and political affiliation, among other areas of interest. 

Metropolitan populations were determined by 2022 US Census data. In order to represent as many states as possible within the study, 5 cities that did not fall in the top 50 metropolitan locations were selected in place of cities in states already represented. Cities added to the study included New Orleans, LA (51), Providence, RI (53), Little Rock, AR (59), Honolulu, HI (68), and Omaha, NE (71). Cities replaced in the study included West Palm Beach, FL (39), Jacksonville, FL (41), Grand Rapids, MI (42), Harrisburg, PA (44), and Greensboro, NC (45).

In cases of ties, city ranking was determined by the city that had the highest percentage of respondents who said their mental health or life in general had “stayed the same” and the lowest  percentage of respondents who said their mental health or life in general “changed for the worse.” 

All data in this study are from this source, unless otherwise noted. Independent research firm, Culture Co-op, conducted and analyzed research and findings.

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5 Sources

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  4. Firth, J., Solmi, M., Wootton, R. E., Vancampfort, D., Schuch, F. B., Hoare, E., Gilbody, S., Torous, J., Teasdale, S. B., Jackson, S. E., Smith, L., Eaton, M., Jacka, F. N., Veronese, N., Marx, W., Ashdown-Franks, G., Siskind, D., Sarris, J., Rosenbaum, S., Carvalho, A. F., … Stubbs, B. (2020). A meta-review of "lifestyle psychiatry": the role of exercise, smoking, diet and sleep in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 19(3), 360–380. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20773
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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Jessica Yu, Ph.D.

Dr. Jessica Yu is the Senior Director of Patient Experience at Hims & Hers. She is a clinical psychologist whose professional mandate has been to bring evidence-based mental healthcare to those in need in new and interesting ways. 

At Hims & Hers, she works to uphold psychological principles at every step of the mental health journey, develop new ways of helping people achieve their emotional and mental health goals and contributes to thought leadership.

Prior to Hims & Hers, Dr. Yu served in various clinical, research and leadership roles at digital and virtual care companies including Teladoc Health, Livongo, Mindstrong Health and Lantern, and helped develop and evaluate mobile applications at the Veterans Affairs healthcare system. 

She has provided clinical product and strategy consultation to various healthcare startups and co-authored numerous scientific, peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Yu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Biology from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She completed her psychology internship and fellowship at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Healthcare System. She is a practicing psychologist in the state of California. You can find out more about Dr. Yu on LinkedIn.

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