Retail Therapy: Understanding the Therapeutic Benefits of Shopping

Retail Therapy

Retail Therapy

How retail therapy works and benefits in shopping?

Retail therapy essentially makes shopping enjoyable and gives a shopper a feeling of control. Researches show that shopping cheers people’s mood up as they often shop when feeling sad. Retail therapy refers to the process by which people go shopping with the sole purpose of making themselves feel better. Experts define this shopping behavior as a psychological disorder oniomania or compulsive buying disorder. Retail therapy not only makes people happier, but also eases sadness or stress. In the current scenario impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, people’s stress levels may continue to high.

As this pandemic has caused every aspect of individuals’ lives and work, people may get frustrated. Considering a dose of retail therapy can provide a safe and effective outlet to relieve anxiety.


Why Retail Therapy?

Undoubtedly, when a person looks good, he/she feels good. And this feeling can help boost their confidence. By moving onto something new psychologically makes a person feel good. Retail therapy is apt when people forget about the old and move onto the new. It also feels good when it makes them forget about how annoying their layover is. A study from the Journal of Consumer Psychology revealed that shopping is a logical coping mechanism for people who are sad or have no control over their environments. With shopping, they can control where they go and what they purchase.

Though retail therapy is an effective way to improve people’s mood and give access to control over their environment, it is not always the best coping mechanism. 


How to Make Healthy Retail Therapy?

With every shopping, there is guilt on spending on something that a person didn’t actually need, leading to even more distress. This overspending can even affect retail therapy. Thus, to avoid this, people need to self-monitor to maintain their shopping activities and make it manageable for their mental health and budget.

For most people, overspending and debt would be the primary negative consequences of retail therapy. To dodge this risk, sticking to a budget for their spending can be effective. People must have monetary plans to use for shopping. This can be beneficial when they have already reached their spending limit but want to shop. Saving for the desired item can make an individual feel rewarding.

People must use their shopping journeys to make purchases they need that help make healthy retail therapy. They need to pay attention to things that they need more. And for this, sticking to a budget approach is apt. Besides this, take a moment and recall, what are some of the best purchases that you have ever made and need to make? Browsing items to shops or adding items to a shopping cart without hitting order may appear to offer similar benefits. This means that before buying anything, a shopper must try window-shopping first. The Journal of Consumer Psychology study indicated that hypothetical shopping was also effective at improving mood.

Therefore, shopping is considered a therapeutic approach in many ways, improving people’s mood and helping in effective decision making.