Dr. Johnson recently made a guest appearance on the local Channel 4 Morning News show, and spoke about why retail therapy really is good for you. Here are a few notes from that segment for you to enjoy:
Why is shopping so enjoyable?
- Remember that saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping?” Turns out there’s some truth to that adage.
- More than half of Americans admit to engaging in “retail therapy.”
- People use retail therapy as a mood enhancer.
- There seem to be positive consequences to buying yourself a small treat; you often feel better.
What are reasons why people use retail therapy?
Can window shopping do the trick?
Should we save retail therapy as a reward— instead of buying on impulse and why?
- Yes! Research suggests that retail therapy generally works, when people use it strategically, rather than impulsively, and that there are few if any negative emotional side-effects.
- However, most people do it more as a mood booster than a way to celebrate.
- 62% of shoppers had purchased something to cheer themselves up and another 28% had purchased as a form of celebration.
Should retail therapy be pursued with caution (because, like a lot of other things, it could become a compulsion.)
- If shopping is the only way you can make yourself feel better, you regret what you buy, or you have credit card debit then retail therapy isn’t for you.
- Retail therapy should not be used as your only way of coping, and certainly not your primary way of coping with a bad mood.
- Find other healthy (and less expensive options) to cope with not feeling good.
If you are struggling to cope with problems in your life and are resorting to using any coping mechanism to it’s extreme (i.e., shopping well beyond your means, excessive drinking, spending exorbitant amounts of money, or sleeping to avoid problems), we encourage you to consider therapy.