The aroma of new shoes wafts through the air. The soft fabric of a cashmere sweater runs through my fingers. The glimmer of jewelry tantalizes my eyes. Then I see it, the perfect outfit… and it’s on sale! Nothing could be better than this!
What is it?
I have heard much debate about whether or not “shopping therapy” works. How could something so seemingly trivial be a form of therapy? I don’t know the exact science of it, but I can guarantee that it works.
I was in an ethics class last year, and this topic arose. Half of the class said it was a ridiculous excuse to buy material goods. These material goods are only temporary and do not solve the problem at hand. The other half of the class said that shopping therapy is a legitimate way to make yourself feel better when you are down. Although the goods are material, it feels great to spend your hard-earned money on something that makes you look and feel good. Even if you cannot afford to buy anything, just being in the mall is therapy. The half that believe in shopping therapy consisted of mostly females.
One should not go making wild claims without evidence. Do not fear. I have some personal case studies.
Subject A was having a rough week at work. She realized that after five years of working for one company, she needed to get out before she cracked even more. It had been a stressful and toxic environment- full of gossip and negativity. She finally made a decision to resign the next week. One problem with resigning is that she didn’t have another job lined up.
Subject A walked into the mall with a friend. Immediately, she felt more relaxed. She entered the mall with intentions of merely browsing. Then, she walked into one of her favourite stores. Right in front of her was the perfect pant suit. It would be perfect to wear to her potential upcoming interviews. Since it was an investment piece, she receoved two forms of satisfaction- the satisfaction of buying something pretty, and the satisfaction of investing in her future. This suit also happens to be on sale. She walked out of the mall feeling better than she has all week.
Subject B was on the receiving end of a break up. She had been with her boyfriend for over a year. They lived together for the majority of that time. After the harsh and sudden end of the relationship, she also found out some bad news about her sister. She was beyond upset.
Subject B did not want to do anything but watch TV and sleep. Finally her friends got her out of the house by practically carrying her to the car. They dragged her into the mall. Immediately, she felt the nearly medicinal effects of the mall as the stores called out to her. This feeling increased on a relative scale according to the amount of time spent in the mall.
Some people may not understand it, but the evidence is quite clear. Shopping Therapy works for those who believe in it. You have to allow it to work in order to have that wonderful experience. Next time you are feeling down, head to the mall. Breathe in the air, and allow the whole experience to draw you in. You will feel much better!