Retail therapy is shopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer's mood or disposition. Often seen in people during periods of depression or transition, it is normally a short-lived habit. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as "comfort buys" (compare comfort food).
The name retail therapy is ironic and semifacetious, acknowledging that shopping hardly qualifies as true therapy in the medical or psychotherapeutic sense. It was first used in the 1980s, with the first reference being this sentence in the Chicago Tribune of Christmas Eve 1986: "We've become a nation measuring out our lives in shopping bags and nursing our psychic ills through retail therapy." 
The fact that shopping may provide a short time of comfort (relief from dysphoria) but also imposes costs and is subject to comedown and withdrawal make it, like opioid use, either a therapy or an addiction, depending on whether each person uses it adaptively or maladaptively. Retail therapy thus exists on a spectrum with shopping addiction (compulsive buying disorder). In 2001, the European Union conducted a study finding that 33% of shoppers surveyed had "high level of addiction to rash or unnecessary consumption". This was causing debt problems for many. The same study also found that young Scottish people had the highest susceptibility to binge purchasing.
Researchers at Melbourne University have advocated its classification as a psychological disorder called oniomania or compulsive shopping disorder.
Window shopping can offer some of the comfort of shopping. The advantage is that many items and many stores can be enjoyed without cost—far more than spending would allow. The disadvantage is that one cannot acquire or keep the items.
JILLISA LYNN feat BEACHBOYNINO - RETAIL THERAPY Official Music Video
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Dr. David Sulzer, author of a new study, suggests that when you shop, the brain emits a chemical that makes the body feel good. He speaks to Julie Chen.
My Favorite Breakfast, Fresh Brows, & Retail Therapy | 2.20.15
MAKE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE AND LIKE THIS VIDEO XO YAY FOR FINALLY GETTING MY BROWS DONE HEHE! Let me know if y'all like shorter vlogs or longer! Beauty Channel: ...
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Hi Dolls!!! Here is a Retail Therapy Haul featuring some things I ordered online as well as picked up at the mall. Any questions let me know... XOxo, Kooch *...
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Retail Therapy - Partynextdoor (*Unedited High Quality*) Jahron B Collection Published by Kompound disclaimer: *I do not own any copyrights to this video* Enjoy.
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Send us mail to: Bratayley 5635 Main St. Suite A PMB 256 Zachary, LA 70791 Our Official Links: Follow us on Twitter @Bratayley http://www.twitter.com/bratayl...
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I am really hoping that I will receive any sorta of negativity on this video. I am just being real with you guys, I do not feel that I have the strength to d...
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Wall Street Journal
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:22:30 -0800
“With low inflation, you can buy more stuff,” European Central Bank President Mario Draghi famously said in June 2013. Germany appears to have taken him at his word. German retail sales jumped 2.9% on the month in January and 5.3% on the year, data ...
Huntington Beach Independent
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:30:00 -0800
In good fashion: Young future divas are invited to the grand opening of the Bold Girlz party place at the Bella Terra shopping center, 7821 Edinger Ave., Suite 118, Huntington Beach, at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Fashionista Fun Place for girls and tweens ...
Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:41:15 -0800
In this Nov. 28, 2014 file photo, a shopper buys Chanel perfume at a Bloomingdale's store at the Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, F. KGO. Tuesday, February 10, 2015. Ever turn to a little retail therapy ...
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:11:15 -0800
Retail Therapy is a Ladies Night Out Shopping event that takes place each Fall and Spring and is a thank you to the loyal customers who shop Central Street, Evanston. The retailers and businesses on Central Street have instituted a SHOP SMALL STORES ...
Valley News Live
Valley News Live
Wed, 11 Feb 2015 03:19:12 -0800
If you are in the middle of a rough patch you may be inclined to head to the mall for a little retail therapy. A trip to your favorite designer store.. or a big purchase on Amazon might make you feel better for a little bit. But a new study reveals ...
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ConnectAmarillo.com powered by KVII
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:22:30 -0800
In the past 12 years the Downtown Women's Center has opened 4 thrift stores throughout Amarillo. / ABC 7 file photo. Photo. AMARILLO, TEXAS -- Buying clothes can be therapeutic, but what about for those putting them on the racks? In the past 12 years ...
Green Bay Press Gazette
Fri, 20 Feb 2015 21:03:45 -0800
It's that time of the winter. I am so sick of the cold that I have resorted to retail therapy, not a bad thing with all the sales right now. It has been fun to be out and seeing friends in the stores and libraries and grocery store. Last Friday, it was ...
Thu, 12 Feb 2015 23:30:00 -0800
WOODLAND HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Have you ever noticed yourself purchasing something to make yourself feel better? In fact, this occurs more than you would think — and researchers are now referring to it as “retail therapy.” Derek Rucker is the co-author ...
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