A woman’s favourite therapy has more benefits than you think.
If you’ve watched Confessions of a Shopaholic – or even if you haven’t, there’s a high chance you would relate to mega shopaholic, Rebecca Bloomwood. Remember the time you completely maxed out your credit card because you totally needed those Manolo Blahnik heels that were 20% off? You swore to yourself that you’d never shop again, that you would cut up all your cards and dedicate your life to helping the world become a better place. Well you can stop feeling guilty because apparently, shopping is actually good for you.
According to a survey conducted by TNS Global, 64% of women and 40% of men go shopping when they’re feeling blue. But does retail therapy exist? Or is it just your mind telling you that spending $200 on a pair of jeans will make you feel better after your boyfriend dumped you?
“If you are saying that shopping can fulfil you spiritually, then there can be a problem whereby people will be constantly looking for the next best product, or newest technology, and never be satisfied,” says consumer behaviour expert David Waller from The University of Technology Sydney. “However, if it is whether shopping can make you happy, then shopping can be good for you.”
We’ve all done it. Gone on a shopping spree to forget our woes, and while we lose our worries for a moment, it usually comes back to stab us in the back once we get our bill or find out how much we actually spent. Yes, you might not have known it at the time, but that leather jacket you bought because you’ll “totally need it in the future even though it’s 40 degrees outside” was actually a lot more expensive than you think.
So how can shopping be good for you? Most people would say that while it’s a fun activity to indulge in, it isn’t the best feeling afterwards. “Whenever I shop a lot, it may feel great at the time, but afterwards I feel guilty for spending so much money,” says Hareem Ammar, a university student.
Of course shopping can be good for the soul when done in moderation, just like everything else. “There is more to shopping than just buying a product; there can be the social aspect of getting out of the house to meet people, talk to shop assistants, and search for a bargain with other people,” says David. So basically, forget online shopping, you’re not getting any benefits out of that, besides cutting long lines, and the risk of having someone run a trolley over your foot.
“There can also be a feeling of satisfaction and achievement if you have bought something that you want on sale, especially if it makes you feel better when you are unhappy. Therefore, shopping can be good for you, as well as the economy” says David. He has a point, there are very few things in life that are better than finding out the dress you were eying is now 50 per cent off.
So if you ever needed an excuse to shop (in moderation) then this is it! Go grab your girlfriends, put on your most comfortable shoes and get ready for a long day of shopping. Because everyone needs to indulge in some retail therapy now and then, and if the shop assistants are being a little annoying, just remember, it’s all part of the therapeutic process. – Basmah Qazi
Photo taken from Ducquanit’s Flickr photostream.