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Retail Therapy: Shop ‘Til You Drop Or Not?

Why is it that shopping can feel so fulfilling? Among the COVID-19 pandemic, I find myself shopping more online than ever before to avoid people and going out. In terms of room decor or journaling, I usually shop on Amazon since my orders come in within three days or less. For clothes, since I haven’t been to my usual stores like Kohls or Ross on a shopping spree in a while, I recently started to order off of Shein. I started to wonder why I browse on Amazon or Shein so much and add things to my cart in between my classes. I began to research why I love the feeling of adding things to my cart, why I want to shop so much, and if there’s any benefits to it besides some instant gratification.

[bf_image id="3b7bm684kt5wmrp8whk5wxw4"] When I was diving into the research, it turns out that a study from the Psychology and Marketing Journal showed people in a negative mood may be more impulsive while they are upset. Ordering items online is a way to try to fix their mood. Something else interesting to note is that when I’m in a bad mood, it feels as if the world is against me. While I was doing my research, the journal also noted how people in a down mood may feel like they have no control over their lives. As someone who uses Google Calendar and a physical calendar devoutly, I definitely am susceptible to feeling like I need to be in control of my life at all times.

Another reason why shopping feels so good is because of visualization. In the Psychology Today article, they explained how when we shop, we think of the places our new furniture could go, ways to dress up our outfit, where our plants will go, and so on. 

[bf_image id="bx56pz5k9j75tmgvwjgv2cx3"] However, things aren’t always pleasant when it comes to shopping. All these orders add up and my bank account definitely doesn’t benefit the way I do. There’s the occasional points earned or coupons that save me a lot of money, but I definitely need to try to pace myself more. One of the good things about me though is I love deals and I ask myself, “Am I really going to pay this much for….?”

[bf_image id="jn75nfc8xj76ncn7k3326s4"] This research helped me gain some insight on my shopping habits and also allowed me to reflect more on why I want to shop. I noticed that when I want to, it’s usually at night after a long day or in the afternoon when I feel like I haven’t done anything.

Now I’m going to empty my cart!

Mya Benavides

UC Riverside '21

Lover of kindness, music, and creating. Undergrad at UCR pursuing a B.A. in Sociology along with a Minor in English.
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