One could argue that almost any city could be "depressed".

Think about it... Portland was recently listed as one of the happiest cities in America. That doesn't seem far-fetched with all there is to do and see. But think about how Portland was 20 years ago... Back then it was a thriving music/arts community that seemed to care most about keeping that vibe going.

historic city scenery seen in Portland, Maine (USA)

Fast forward to today, and it's wildly expensive to live in, pretty much forcing out all the struggling artists and musicians, who've had to find other places to live, or work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. There's nothing particularly happy or inspiring about that. It makes it feel like the old Portland is just a foggy memory of the good old days.

The same study that said Portland was so happy, offered a stark revelation.

According to the same study done by, while Portlandians may be dancing in the streets with happiness, they declared Lewiston to be the most depressed city in the entire United States. This was based on things like emotional well-being, income, and overall sense of community.

Lewiston, Maine, 2022
Ray Tan

Honestly, I think it's kind of a tone deaf kick-in-the-pants. It's not like Lewiston suffered a major tragedy this year, right? It's not like they haven't been trying to rebuild and rebrand as a city for years. The "Dirty Lew" we knew years ago, practically doesn't even apply anymore.

Counting Lewiston out is a bad idea.

I dare say, that the idea that Lewiston is the most depressed is just not fair. It's an evolving city with a bright and vibrant community that always seems to be trying to elevate itself. Sure, there was a major tragedy that shook the city to its very core. But I think you'll see Lewiston come back stronger than ever.

A group of young people hold strong hands. Sign of trust and teamwork.

No, I don't buy it. As a musician, I've played in Lewiston more times than I can count. And you know what I never had there? A bad show. I had tons of complacent, boring shows in Portland over the years, but never in Lewiston Rock City. This isn't a city that's the most depressed in the US. They're just the most hardcore, down-to-Earth Mainers there are. Lewiston isn't depressed... They're awesome.

Keep scrolling and learn why Lewiston is actually awesome, no matter what you've been told...

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