It's The Fashion Thought That Counts

Craving a dose of retail therapy to ease the pain of a bad day? New research shows that a desire to spend may be all you need.

Shopping has been long proven to be a great pick-me-up or a way to de-stress. However, what may be surprising is recent evidence that it's not the purchase, but rather the shopping experience itself that's the mood elevator.

Contrary to the general understanding of how retail therapy works, CNN author Peggy Drexler references a June article in The Journal of Consumer Research that states that "wanting things makes people happier than actually having them." To be clear, we're not talking about buyer's remorse, but instead "hedonic decline," or when happiness fades. It's the craving and the imaginative fantasy of getting that little black dress or sexy stiletto that is proven to make us grin, swoon, and in fact feel happier than actually bringing the item home. However, this news does not discredit the transformative quality of fashion: how when we do slide into that dress or slip on that heel we're given an instant lift in confidence and self-esteem. But, it is meant to show that a consumer's emotional state is higher in anticipation of a purchase than in its acquisition. The take away being that sometimes we're better off wanting…