Travel has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, but beyond the serene wellness retreats and peaceful beach lounging, did you know that riding a roller coaster is also good for your mental health?

In recognition of Stress Awareness Month, the experts at worked with brain experts at Brainworks Neurotherapy to shed light on the therapeutic benefits of thrill and adventure to our mental wellbeing. Alongside this, they revealed the best destinations for adrenaline-junkies by evaluating factors including the number of roller coasters, casinos, rock climbing opportunities, mountain bike routes, hiking trails, and off-road trails in 61 countries.

Key findings:

  • Brain health expert reveals four reasons why adventure travel is good for your mind, body and soul.
  • A surge of feel-good chemicals from adrenaline-pumping activities could be the therapy you need.
  • France reigns as the world’s adventure capital with an adrenaline score of 8.86/10.
  • For a detailed breakdown of the study, please read the full blog post here: spoke to James Roy, brain health expert at Brainworks Neurotherapy, to reveal how thrill-seeking can be good for your mental health:

  • Adrenaline rushes are biologically good for you: Engaging in adrenaline-pumping activities triggers the release of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and dopamine which serve as natural stress-relievers, inducing feelings of euphoria and relaxation. 
  • An interesting studyclaims that roller coaster rides might just be the therapy you need. Don't let the fear of stepping into the unknown overpower you! Start by taking small steps to introduce adventure into your life, which can be immensely rewarding and have a profound impact on your wellbeing.
  • You get to focus on the present: Whether you’re navigating through rough terrains or just about to jump off a plane, the intensity of the adventure pulls you out of your head, encouraging mindfulness and presence in the moment. Immersing yourself fully in the present helps diminish stress, letting go of worries about the past or future as you connect more deeply with your inner self.
  • You get a huge self-esteem boost: Taking on new challenges and accomplishing them not onlydrums up confidence but also provides a sense of self-belief. Whether embarking on grand adventures or small ventures, each new experience can act as a powerful catalyst for personal growth as you break through your own barriers and develop greater abilities to cope with stress and adversity. 
  • You get to achieve mental clarity: From scaling mountains to forest cycling, adventure sports often take place outdoors which can be an excellent stress-buster. Navigating challenging terrains or conquering physical obstacles demands intense focus and this heightened cognitive engagement not only enhances mental clarity, but also hones problem-solving skills. Exposure to natural settings can offer a rejuvenating effect on the mind and is especially effective in reducing mental fatigue and fostering a sense of vitality and mental wellbeing.

Top 15 thrill-seeking destinations for adventure lovers revealed:


United Kingdom among top 15 countries for adventure lovers

From braving the world’s fastest zipline, Velocity2, soaring at over 100 mph across the skies of Snowdonia to rock climbing up Malham Cove, the United Kingdom ranks 13th best country to get that adrenaline fix (6.69/10). With the second highest number of casinos in the study totalling 751 across the country and over 200 roller coasters - from the Big One in Blackpool to Stealth in Thorpe Park - the UK is a must-visit if you crave the rush of adrenaline.

Adrenaline checklist in the UK: Coasteering on the Causeway Coast, White water rafting in the Peak District, Cliff camping in Anglesey.

France reigns as the adventure capital of the world

According to the study, France is the world’s adventure capital, boasting an overall adrenaline score of 8.86/10. Prized for its stunning mountain ranges from the Pyrenees, Alps to Chamonix, the country offers over 720,000 hiking trails. Test your limits by conquering Europe’s highest peak, the Mont Blanc ranges, towering at 4,810 metres, or by jumping on one of France’s 227 thrilling roller coaster rides!

Adrenaline checklist in France: Cliff Jumping from the Calanques, Rock climbing overhanging limestone in Provence, Cycling on a glacier.

Trailing behind in second is Mexico, achieving a final score of 8.56/10. Your journey to this Latin American gem can be incredibly action-packed as you scale Mexico’s iconic snow-capped cone, Pico de Orizaba, with a peak of 5,636 metres above sea level; tackle one of the world’s biggest sport climbing areas at El Potrero Chico; or indulge in the thrill of games at any of the 364 casinos* Mexico boasts.

Adrenaline checklist in Mexico: Extreme urban downhill biking in Taxco; Bungee jumping at Los Cabos, Zip-lining in the Jungles of Yucatan.

The land of paella and sangria ranks as the third must-visit destination for adventurous souls, scoring 8.41/10. Spain offers an enticing array of outdoorsy pursuits, boasting the highest number of thrill-seeking trails - from rock climbing (10,600), mountain biking (6,430,000), to hiking (10,300,000) - among all cities studied. Spain’s pristine landscape appears tailor-made for adventure enthusiasts.

Adrenaline checklist in Spain: Rock climbing In Picos De Europa; Canyoning at Junta de los Rios; Andalucía, Walking the El Caminito del Rey.