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Study finds retail really can be therapeutic

29 January 2014 - 16:03 by Graham Miller

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There are some people who claim that going shopping makes them feel better and benefits their life, but now there is academic evidence to back up this theory, according to the Daily Mail.

A study published by the University of Michigan, has found that carrying out safe shopping online or heading to the high street can not only improve a person's mood, but also give them the sense that they are in greater control of their affairs.

This is clearly good news for retailers, both online and off, since they can finally argue that the services they offer really do help people in more than just a material way.

While browsing in a retail environment provides a small boost, people who actually committed to a purchase were 40 times more likely to feel like they were masters of their own destinies.

In the past, similar studies have identified that people tend to feel better after carrying out safe shopping online or buying at a bricks and mortar outlets if they think about the purchase they made and know that they bought an item specifically to make themselves feel happier.

Buyer's remorse is another common issue associated with consumerism, but the recent study found that there is actually a positive impact associated with shopping, that lasts for longer than was previously thought.

The report's authors said that shopping can combat feelings of sadness, improving a person's demeanour and generally making them feel more powerful. They claim that this goes against the idea that retail therapy is actually a myth, with others arguing that it can have damaging effects on consumers? psychologies.

Whether or not this rings true for everyone will depend on a number of factors, but with online shopping, it has never been easier to indulge in retail for therapeutic reasons.