Don’t get us wrong, we trust science, but when it comes to shopping, we’ll never be keen on researchers telling us it’s a bad idea. Ever.
Thankfully, the Journal of Consumer Psychology is totally on the same page as us with their findings. If one, let’s say us for argument’s sake, were to page through “The Benefits Of Retail Therapy: Making Purchase Decisions Reduces Residual Sadness,” they’d be relieved to find that every shopping binge they ever went on was part of the bigger scheme of things — a rite of passage on the path to happiness, if you will. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but basically it comes down to the self-empowerment that comes from taking life into your own hands, and upgrading your closet in the process.
Essentially, the study came to these conclusions after three experiments where they split shoppers into two groups: choosers and browsers. Each group was shown 12 products, and 79 percent of the chooser felt more in control while choosing, compared with 2 percent of the browsers. According to the abstract, “Sadness is strongly associated with a sense that situational forces control the outcomes in one’s life.” So, by making the choice to go shopping, you’re reinstating control and reducing sadness.
As we’ve said time and time again, retail therapy is a real thing — and it’s power must not be underestimated. According to The Huffington Post, the research supports a 2011 paper that argues shopping has lasting positive impacts on mood and “the consumption of self-treats can be strategically motivated.” We admit, the latter is an area we could improve in, as impulse buys do not a healthy shopping life make, but we’re working on it. In the mean time, you’ll can find us next store at Zara.