4 Reasons Why Retail Therapy Really Works


I solemnly believe in a wise quote that goes like this – “When the going gets tough, go shopping!” After all, they don’t call it retail “therapy” for nothing. Research says shopping has a lasting positive impact on our moods and leaves few if any negative emotions in our system. Many people think shopping therapy is a joke and an excuse for women to splurge, but the reality is that these are simply confused between impulsive shopping and retail therapy. Impulsive is when you desperately seek a reason to shop and pretty soon you have no absolute reason to stop. This is when you’re termed as ‘shopaholic’. But retail therapy is miles away from such a situation; it’s when you are affected by negative emotions and you find them lessening as you think about a purchase. It’s the ultimate cure for sadness; and also less expensive than a visit to your therapist. We list 4 reasons why retail therapy really works…

Retail therapy was given a new meaning in the US sitcom 'Sex and the City'

Retail therapy was given a whole new meaning in the US sitcom ‘Sex And The City’

Helps in transition: Shopping can be a great help, if not the main reason, in the transition from negative to positive emotions. Each transaction is a rich source of mental preparation to get over the sadness or negativity that’s looming on our mind. It’s no wonder that two of the most shop-intensive times of our lives are also two of life’s greatest transitions: getting married and having a baby.

Also read: 5 tips for mall (s)hopping etiquette

Dress for success: Some types of shopping serves a greater purpose. For an instance, if you move base after a good job opportunity comes your way and start living in a new country there are many things about this new beginning that can backfire at you. A new place and new people, means you’ll face new challenges; and this can have a negative effect on you. In such a scenario smart shopping would seem sensible. Although you may find yourself repeating ‘I must only be judged by my work,’ it would help if you indulged in some retail therapy and bought new clothes that would help you ‘fit in’ better. Apart from having lessened much of your worries and instilled more confidence; research has shown that dressing up not only makes us feel more confident but also improves our performance. Shopping one, sulking nil!

Also read: Power dressing tips for women

Provides a pleasure boost: Shopping is an art not everyone is good at. When done in moderation and in a healthy state of mind, shopping can also be a sort of creative inspiration. Retail therapy is known to provide a good boost of creativity and aesthetics. Try it out, go to a good shop without the intention of shopping, and just observe every detail of each item you like. You’ll have noticed much more than just the colour, size and price tag of the item. Doesn’t it feel nice to know that a little bit of shopping therapy can help you find a deep appreciation of craftsmanship?


Shopping with friends makes us feel much better about ourselves (Img source - getty images)

Shopping with friends makes us feel much better about ourselves (Img source – getty images)

Relaxation and social connection: Many a times, retail therapy is considered an adjective of escape. While it may hold true for some, its side effects are usually positive – relaxation, rejuvenation, entertainment, the likes. It isn’t necessary to always make a ‘purchase’ if you’re looking for therapy. In our busy lives, retail therapy helps us relax our mind that is often over-worked. Online shopping, window shopping, scrolling and pawning don’t always end in a purchase, yet are equally therapeutic. It’s a vacation of sorts for our mind without any packing and planning. Also, since ages we have seen people take a trip to the market place to connect with other people. The malls of today’s day and age are also a social hub. You always seem to bump into some friend, or neighbour, or colleague. Social connection is proven to be an antidote to emotional distress. After all we’re a species meant to interact with each other. So it wouldn’t be wrong for me to say retail therapy works because it’s real…it’s vital for human evolution. ;)

Also read: What to keep in mind before baring your midriff

But before you let yourself be consumed in the mood-booster that a new pair of shoes is, remember that anything in excess is bad for you. Small, manageable doses of retail therapy can soothe the soul. But if you cross the line of moderation, you might want to join shopaholics anonymous. So long!

You may also like...

Leave a Reply