Retail therapy feels good, but what are the benefits of retail therapy? There’s no doubt that there are perks. But why? Why does retail therapy feel so good? You could spend $5 or $500 and still get the retail rush. But is retail therapy actually a thing? TNS Global published a study stating that more than half of Americans admit to “retail therapy” – buying something to improve your mood and to feel better.
Considered as a short-lived habit done alone, the buyers refer to the items they purchased as ‘comfort buys.’ Most trips are unplanned, spur of the moment’s trips. The term was first used in 1986 in an article published in Chicago Tribune.
Another study published in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing found that 62% of shoppers purchased something to cheer themselves up and another 28% bought as a form of celebration.
Research shows that when you’re shopping and you purchase something that you really want, your brain is filled with dopamine. "If you look at MRI scans of shoppers,” said Dr. Travis Stork, from The Doctors, "[the] areas flooded with dopamine are the same pleasure centers [that are flooded when] you're having sex."
Research studies highlight these reasons for retail therapy. These are:
- Boosting self-esteem
- Sense of control
Studies also reveal that seven of the most commonly purchased items are:
Simple things can make a huge difference. Here are the benefits of retail therapy.
Shopping can be a form of escape and relaxation. It can temporarily take your mind off your troubles and relieve stress. It’s like a mini mental health break and is one of the benefits of retail therapy that most people can identify with.
In many ways shopping can be inspiring. You look around and get ideas. Maybe a display gets you thinking about how to decorate your home or change your wardrobe. It can jumpstart your creativity and help you take initiative.
3. Social Aspect
Finally, retail therapy is good for you because of the social aspect. It’s a social connection.
Whether you like shopping alone or not, you’ll get a social connection with the other shoppers and the sales associates when you’re shopping. Social connections are a basic human need. Way back in the day, people went to the marketplace to make human connections. Now we head to a glossy mall. It’s all the same. It’ll make you feel better even if you just talk to someone in a store.
A word of advice. Don’t include others in your therapy session. Don’t call up your favorite shopping buddy when you need a retail therapy session, especially if your shopping buddy is a big spender. There’s nothing wrong with taking a friend along on your shopping adventures. But, when you’re emotional and in a fragile state of mind, you’re likely to buy up any and everything you see. You don’t need someone egging you on and encouraging overspending.
Have a shopping fund. Retail therapy gets a bad rap. But in moderation, it’s a healthy way to cope with a bad day. But it’s only healthy if you’re buying within your means. Set aside a stress shopping fund, so you have something to look forward to while not breaking the bank during a trying time.