Retail Therapy

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"Retail therapy" is a term coined in the last decade or two to describe relaxation through shopping. But why is shopping so therapeutic? When going through turmoil in our personal lives why does retail therapy make it dissipate?

Effects of Retail Therapy

The first therapeutic effect of shopping is the notion of regaining control. When faced with difficult situations about which you can do little, retail therapy lets you make the choices--on virtually every item you decide to purchase or not. Whether you're giving to another, adorning yourself, or accenting your home, retail therapy puts you back in the driver's seat.

Secondly, retail therapy is more than simply a purchase. For instance, paying your phone bill could hardly be construed as retail therapy. It's the entire, collective experience of shopping, from attention and assistance from store personnel, to the music playing, to the atmosphere itself. You could leave with three bags full of purchases and still have a less than stellar experience, or you could purchase one item and have had the time of your life.

Smaller shops or upscale boutiques tend to heavily emphasize the retail therapy experience. Of course, some larger department stores do, too--but the crux of any retail therapy experience is how you feel afterwards. Check to make sure that you can afford what you're buying, so that the stress of debt doesn't offset the relaxation of shopping. Supposing you've got some spending money, retail therapy can help you relax, rejuvenate, and revamp your lifestyle.

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