Retail Therapy: Can Money Really Buy Happiness?


I don’t know if there is an explanation for our innate impulse to buy something at our low points but let’s face it, we have all been in that position. For some reason, there is something comforting about retail therapy- hence “therapy”- but does it actually have any beneficial effect on our happiness?

Don’t worry, you are not alone and neither is it shallow to think that shopping makes you happy because there may be soe science into why we feel the way we do. Here are 3 reasons why I think retail therapy can actually buy you happiness:

1. Increased adrenaline rush

You know how when you walk into a store and you see that particular pair of shoe you want and you cross your fingers and your toes praying it comes in your size? Yup, that is the adrenaline rush that is so addictive! The feeling of accomplishment that comes with it knowing that you can go home and strut around your room in them is quite exhilarating. It could be a momentary happiness but it did distract you, didn’t it?

2. Increased self-confidence

The thing with retail therapy is that it does not buy you your happiness directly. It allows you the freedom to feel your emotions and to fill the void with things you have always wanted but never got around to get it. It gives you that spontaneity that you forgot and after that entire shopping spree, you come out confident knowing that you have made decisions with no regrets and a new look waiting for you to try on.

3. Increased mood

Ultimately, retail therapy is all about mood rehabilitation. We seek retail therapy simply because it helps distract us from the reality we are trying to escape. After all that walking and all that shopping, it is always a relief to know that you didn’t hold back like how you always do. It is a reminder to always enjoy life a little once in a while.

Retail therapy may appear to be a shallow emotional outlet of mindless spending but if you do it in a controlled fashion, it isn’t so bad. Retail therapy can open up a lot of epiphanies and not only will you know yourself a little better but it serves as a reminder that sometimes life is meant to be lived doing and in this context, buying what makes you happy. Even if the happiness is temporal, at least for that moment you are living it to the fullest.

So, don’t be afraid to spend yourself a good treat once in a while because it can certainly be good for the soul.

Image: by

Comments are closed.