Science Says That Shopping Sprees Really DO Make You Feel Better

by Maddie Shepherd · July 27, 2016

We look to Science for many things - solutions, breakthroughs, concrete details to support an argument we're making. However, rarely does Science, that unquestionable entity, deliver us such a tidy justification for our most ill-advised (or so we thought) habits as what we've just found published in a scientific journal. As they've reported in their study "The Impact of Sad-Spending on Emotional Recovery Process," researchers have found that spending money on superfluous things while sad actually does make you feel better. What we've been trying to tell every fiscally-responsible person for years, proven empirically! 

Participants in the study were asked to read a scenario that basically reminded them that we're all gonna die eventually. After watching, they filled out a test called the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) that would measure how they were coping with being confronted with their mortality. As expected, it was mostly frowny faces, because death is scary. 

After this morbid little litmus test, they gave the participants a hypothetical - you have 100 yuan (Chinese currency) and you can choose what to buy out of 12 products. Six of these products were of a utilitarian nature (like notebooks, pens, flashlights, etc.) while the other six were more treat-yourself items (like milk tea, cookies, and toys). Afterwards, they filled out the PANAS one last time to see how they were actually feeling. 

No sinking feeling here. After, of course, a majority of the participants opted for the fun shit in the shopping hypothetical, they felt better! Lesson learned - don't listen to the haters and losers that try to make you feel guilty for going out and buying yourself stuff you don't need with money you told yourself you wouldn't spend. Go out and distract yourself from your imminent demise with a shopping spree! Retail Therapy is a real thing! Science supports you!

[Photo via @fashioninmysoul]