‘Retail Therapy’ Is America’s Mood Booster [Survey]

“Retail therapy” is what more than 50% of Americans use to get out of a bad mood, according to a new survey.

The online survey of 1,000 adults commissioned by ebates.com indicates that both men and women go shopping when they are bummed out and want to feel better about themselves or cheer themselves up.

Women (64 percent) are more likely than men (40%) to spend money as a mood uplifter, however, especially following a bad day at work, receiving bad news, or having a fight with a significant other. When indulging in retail therapy, women are more likely to buy clothes while men gravitate towards food. For women, food was their second choice while electronics was the number two item for men. Women (about 40 percent) are more likely to “buy in” to retail therapy as a mood improver compared to about 20 percent of men.

Online shopping seems to be more popular than heading over to the mall for retail therapy, however. About two-thirds of those surveyed said that e-commerce is more convenient and desirable than in-person shopping at a bricks-and-mortar location.

Ebates.com CEO Kevin Johnson had this to say about the survey results: “Our survey confirms that shopping truly is ‘therapy’ for many people, and can help raise one’s spirits after a bad day. Online shopping makes this pick-me-up only a couple of clicks away.”

Added VP Mark Moran: “I think it’d be fascinating in a future study to look at time of day and see if retail therapy-type shopping happens most often in the afternoon or early evening… “

Consumers seeking retail therapy also get a “charge” out of buying something on sale, applying a gift card, getting free shipping, or using a coupon, according to the survey results.

Have you ever found yourself engaging in retail therapy along the lines of what is suggested in this survey? If so, what kind of items do you tend to purchase under these circumstances? Do you think that retail therapy has therapeutic benefits?

[Image credit: Shutterstock]