Shopaholics Anonymous

Step one is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, my name is Lauren Niesz and I am a shopaholic. I get high off not only the idea of saving money, but spending it too! I don’t think I have purchased something that wasn’t on sale. 

I might be wearing a Kate Spade bag and donning Coach shoes, but, honey, I can assure you that I did not pay full price for them. This feeling of euphoria that I get when I purchase things for myself is indescribable. 

Many students are probably experiencing the same exact thing when they head over to the mall or shopping center.

Being a college student, I am constantly engulfed in mass amounts of classwork and homework. My stress levels are through the roof! So, to manage this, I often engage in retail therapy. My love for shopping comes through when I need to relieve this stress.

I always thought that retail therapy worked for me because shopping/bargain hunting simply made me happy. 

Well, according to a study done by the University of Michigan, the happiness factor isn’t the only positive psychological impact shopping has on one’s mind. 

The main reason that many of us experience anxiety is because we have a loss of control in certain situations and their outcomes. 

According to this study, it is because of this “residual sadness” created by a loss of situational control that we turn to retail therapy. 

Shopping creates a situation in which we have full control over. We get the chance to choose what we like, and weed out what we do not like. This process of choosing restores a sense of control within our lives, therefore, decreasing our anxieties/stress.

Amanda Drennan, a sophomore journalism student, said, “Retail therapy definitely works, because it takes your mind off of your problems.” 

Many other students agree with what Amanda is saying. Shannon Otten, a sophomore health studies student, also said, “Shopping helps to take my mind off of the intense pressures of school; it is something I can rely on to help me relax.”  

Retail therapy is psychologically proven to help you gain control of your life, even if it is just for an hour or so. 

Due to these postive effects, it is okay to spend a little money here and there on shopping if it makes you happy.

So, in honor of its last episode, pull a Donna and Tom from Parks and Recreation, and have a “treat yo self” day here and there to escape the unavoidable stresses of daily college life!