Shopping is Good for Your Emotional and Mental Health!

Turns out, shopping is not just a convenient excuse to rack up your credit card bill! There is research that suggests it can really lift your spirits! And it isn’t only the women who are out invading the stores!

Here’s bits of the article:

retail therapy

Not a myth: Retail therapy may improve your mood  by Katie Little, CNBC

“Retail therapy” may be more than a quaint catch phrase — new research suggests that easing sadness may be just a purchase away. Shopping to improve one’s mood, long derided as a temporary fix for the blues, has been the subject of a string of new reports and surveys that suggest that shopping while sad may indeed help ease this feeling and minimize the impact of a looming stressful event.

More than half of Americans say they have shopped and spent money to improve their mood, according to a survey released on Tuesday from Although more women admitted to this behavior, with nearly 64 percent of women saying they’ve engaged in so-called retail therapy, some 40 percent of men attempted to shop their blues away.

Among the 1,000 adults polled by TNS Global on behalf of Ebates in March, more than half said they think online shopping provides better therapy than visiting physical store locations. Of those surveyed, nearly four out of 10 women said retailtherapy improves a person’s mood compared to about 21 percent of men.

A report released last month by the University of Michigan Ross School of Business supports this theory. In the first study, people watched a sad video clip and then were given money to buy a snack. Those who did were less sad afterward. In the second study, participants watched a sad clip and then were either instructed to go to a shopping site where they were told they could either browse for useful items or choose things to buy. Those who were allowed to choose items to buy had lower sadness scores afterward. When participants decided to purchase an item, their levels of residual sadness fell as the purchasers benefited from the increased feeling of control. However, choosing not to buy did not reduce sadness.

“The sadness-reducing benefits of choosing to buy cannot be explained by the distraction afforded by buying, the pleasure associated with obtaining a new good, or the possibility that people who choose to buy are fundamentally different than people who choose not to buy,” the Michigan study found. “Instead, the benefits of choosing to buy were driven by increased feelings of control.”

Still, it’s unclear whether potential financial impacts down the road outweigh the lift that shoppers feel at the time they make a purchase, acknowledged the Michigan report. “Whether the increased control afforded by buying results in a loss of control later (due to increased debt and reduced savings), and thus counteracts the temporary benefits of retail therapy, remains an important open question,” it concluded.

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