Does Shopping Therapy Work?

In honor of Black Friday, let’s talk about retail therapy.  You feel blue, maybe a bit depressed, and head for a retail store (or go home, put on your bunny slippers, and get online) to do some shopping to cheer yourself up.  Does it work? In a word, “yes.”  In a smaller word, “no.”

Retail therapy doesn’t work when the problem is serious or your need is great.  It can’t feel an empty space inside you.  You have to do some interior work before a new CD or pair of shoes makes life feel better longer than the time it takes to get shoes out of the box.

However, don’t dismiss shopping therapy. We all need rewards when we have worked hard and those shoes can really hit the spot.  Each time you wear them, you will be reminded that you are capable of success.  We also need treats when life deals us a lousy turn.  The treats are soothing; they don’t make up for a bad review at work or a break up but, a hot fudge sundae, an afternoon movie with a bucket of popcorn, or a new sweater can raise our spirits sufficiently to go back and face the world again tomorrow.

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