For many people, there is a certain kind of excitement and pleasure that comes with shopping for new things. It might be clothing, books, homeware, technology, a custom iPhone case, or any number of other things – the point is not what is being bought (everyone’s tastes are different), but the fact that the act of shopping does something to us to make us feel happy. The phrase ‘retail therapy’ is often used and it makes sense because shopping can be a kind of therapy for some people. As long as you don’t overspend which can lead to more problems than it solves, shopping really can help you in lots of different ways. Here are some of the reasons why buying things makes us so happy.


Day to day life can be extremely stressful. There always seems to be something that needs to be done or someone who needs to be answered. This might be at work or at home, and the problem can become so great that it makes us ill. Stress is a recognized medical issue and it can mean time off from work. Stress causes other mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, but it also has an affect on our physical health – too much stress over a prolonged period can lead to further health ailments, too.

When we go shopping, we can take the opportunity to forget all the things that are causing us stress and worrying us and instead focus on the task at hand. Shopping is not a mindless task; you need to concentrate if you want to find excellent bargains or an outfit that is going to work perfectly with your shoes, for example. You need to compare some items to others and work out which will be best for you. You need to calculate costs and remember to include your coupons from Stylinity or another favorite store.

The stressors in your life reduce significantly when you aren’t thinking about them, and this gives your mind a chance to heal. You will feel so much better if you can take a break from worrying, and you may even be able to more easily come up with answers to your problems.

Confidence Boost

Finding the perfect piece of clothing or item of jewelry or makeup can make you feel utterly amazing. It’s not just the wearing of it that will help you, although this will give you a big confidence boost when you are feeling great about how you look. It is also the fact that you were able to find exactly what you wanted, that you bought it, that you took it home and you knew you looked wonderful in it. Hunting down these fantastic items – particularly if you can get them at a reduced price and they are a bargain as well as being beautiful – links into our ancient ‘hunter gatherer’ ancestors. We still like to feel that we have tracked down our prey and shopping is exactly the way we can go about this safely and humanely today.

On top of this, being able to go out and buy things offers us a feeling of freedom that we might not always feel when we are ‘hemmed in’ by work and other responsibilities.

More Control

When you walk into a store, no matter what sector it is in or what it sells, you are the one in control of the situation. Salespeople may come around you and try to tell you that this thing or that one is what you need, but at the root of it all it is your choice, and you know what you want. This kind of complete control doesn’t always happen in other aspects of life, so when the opportunity presents itself to be able to take control, it is important to do so. Once again, this will boost your confidence levels, but it will also prove to you that you can do what you want and what you need to do. Often in life, we can feel as though everything is spiraling out of control, and a day of retail therapy can easily remind us that this is not the case and that we can make things right again.

Time With Friends

Spending time with loved ones and friends can be difficult when everyone is busy, or you live many miles apart. A shopping trip is a perfect excuse to get everyone together again and have some fun. Read the below ideas to make it even more memorable:

  • Make a whole day out of it and include lunch (or even start with breakfast)
  • Enjoy a movie or some cocktails when your feet are tired, and you have looked in all the stores you want to
  • Organize to go to a friend’s house after to discuss and try on the items you’ve bought

Spending time with people who are important to you is great therapy. They will remind you of all the good in your life and what is important and will help you to keep moving forward.


Gratification comes in two forms when shopping – there is instant gratification and delayed gratification. Instant gratification means seeing something that you want and buying it there and then to take home with you. Delayed gratification means seeing something that you want but not buying it right away and instead of saving up for it, or going away to think about it and returning another time to purchase it. Whichever option you choose, this gratification can make us feel happy and satisfied.

Project An Image

Everyone has their own style and an image that they want to project to the world. By going to the store or shopping online to find items that help perpetuate that image (and ideally that we like as well) we can help others see us as we want them to see us. Every time you buy something you are adding to your image and this can make us feel truly like ourselves and, by extension, happy.

It Brings About Change

It might be that we want to go shopping because it’s time to change something about ourselves. Maybe we have experienced a big life event that means we look at the world in a different way, or perhaps we just want other people to see us differently. Head to the store or browse online to find the items that will help us to do this, and make the changes necessary to be happy. This can be both fulfilling and exciting.