There isn't a fashion fan in the world who believes retail therapy ineffective - at least, not a person in my world. While retail therapy is usually used to justify an "un-needed" shopping spree, or as an excuse to go shopping (like you need an excuse to shop), a new wave of scientific studies bolster what we already know: retail therapy is, in fact, therapeutic.
Dress to Impress
Almost everyone has heard it. "You must dress to impress because first impressions are lasting." Multiple studies show that first impressions have real and lasting power, and it goes without saying that clothing can help make a killer first impression. On the flip side, stress is an equally strong emotion, and negative stress leads many people – especially fashion people - to turn to retail therapy to release that stress. If someone is stressed about a job interview, starting a new job, or meeting someone new, turning to retail therapy can make that person both a) feel better immediately and b) subconsciously make them more confident about stepping into new territory with the perfect new outfit to make the best first impression.
Everyone has a different definition of what it means to be happy. For some, happiness is anything that comes in a shopping bag. Retail therapy, and physical act of buying something, can induce happiness. While your bank account will not be happy to hear that it is actually good and healthy for you to shop, your overall mood and mental health will be happier if you find true joy in the activities you pursue.
Out With the Old, In With the New
Change is scary for almost anyone. Whether the change is big or small, people tend to fear it at first. By turning to shopping to ignore the change, people are actually subconsciously still thinking about the upcoming change in their life and shopping for things that would fit in with this new change. Doing this helps people settle with the change that is coming, and eases transitions.
Online shopping, while highly addicting and seemingly engaging, is in reality pretty mindless. Scrolling through website after website does not require a lot of thought, and by doing this, it gives shoppers a few moments to decompress and take a mental break from the background exertion of their day-to-day lives. While this is not the type of vacation most of us hope for, it gives your mind a break from a fast paced and busy world, which is just as important as taking a physical vacation.
To all the shoppers out there who feel judged for using retail therapy as an excuse for their love of shopping, fear no more. Retail therapy has real benefits that can improve your mental wellness and offer a nice brain break. So, as always, happy shopping!