"Yes," says James Becnel, an addiction specialist in the LSU Health Sciences Center Department of Psychiatry, "Retail therapy, as a lot of other things, can help support and improve mood."
We've all heard the jokes about using shopping as a cure for a bad mood, but studies recently have mainly been done by business schools, not scientists looking at the real health effects of retail therapy, he says and "I wouldn't say it's necessarily therapy."
The danger he says is if shopping becomes a compulsion. "You have to use things that will leave you feeling better off when you completed them. So if you have the money to spend and you were going to spend it anyway, and shopping makes you feel better, then there's obviously no problem with that."
He says just like eating, it makes us feel better, but if it becomes a compulsion or brings negative consequences, then we're better off finding something else to make ourselves feel better.
According to Ebates, "More than half (66.6%) of Americans think online shopping provides better retail therapy, than physical shopping."
It's probably not a surprise that nearly twice as many women as men believe shopping improves their mood in the survey conducted by Ebates.
Click here for more on the Ebates survey.