Can Retail Therapy Ever be a Good Thing?

Retail therapy is the term used to describe shopping as a distraction from things that make us anxious. A diversion from whatever is causing problems in life. Sounds sort of fun and sort of dangerous, doesn’t it?

It is.

Doing any activity to distract or numb negative feelings totally unrelated to the activity causes double for your trouble. The term eating your feelings comes to mind. Eating the wrong foods to stop anxiety causes weight gain… and more anxiety. Shopping to distract oneself from problems causes debt... and more problems.

Can retail therapy ever be a good thing?

Actually, yes.

If you are one of the millions of people who love the hunt for a bargain, or designing or decorating a home or your body, shopping can be an exhilarating experience. If holding a shopping bag is your thing, then there isn’t anything wrong with finding pleasure in shopping. They key is to be intentional and responsible with your habit, umm… your shopping.

Here’s how:

  • Never shop out of impulse
  • Pre-plan your shopping, including making lists, and stick to them
  • Never shop when you are emotionally unstable
  • Set your budget and stick to it
  • Make yourself accountable to someone so you don’t overspend


Retail therapy doesn’t have to be a negative thing if it is intentional and responsible. Finding a great bargain, or being excited about a new decorating project, or upgrades to your home, are all great things. Stay within your budget and make sure you create a monthly budget that includes money for incidentals and projects, so you aren’t taking from your operating budget. Enjoy your time shopping and avoid the anxiety and stress of shopping under the wrong pretenses.


Ask yourself these questions before you shop:

Q? Am I in the right state of mind to be spending money?

Q? Do I have the available income to make this purchase?

Q? Will I regret this spending decision once the euphoria wears off?

Q? Will I have to hide this purchase from a spouse?

Q? Is making this purchase a mature decision given my circumstances?


If your spending passes the test, feel confident about your purchase. If it doesn’t, consider waiting until you have a better command of your senses or your finances before you shop.

 Be aware of your habits and keep yourself in check before you spend. You’ll be glad you did when the credit card statements come in the next month. 


When you are ready to improve your relationship with money and start making more money in your business, here are some ways I can help:

1:1 coaching that will help you take your business to the next level (up-leveling your money mindset and your strategy) go to:

Take my Money Mindset Bootcamp here:

Grab a copy of my journal from Amazon here:

Take a look at my planners, they are a very simple way to keep you consistently growing your business. You can see them here:

For building a strong and memorable brand, take my Branding With Archetypes self-study here:


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