Why Does Shopping Feel Good?

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Money is a feminist issue — and yet, women are still reluctant to talk about it. According to a recent Bustle survey of more than 1,000 millennial women, more than 50 percent of people said they never discuss personal finances with friends, even though 28 percent reported feeling stressed out about money every single day. That’s why Bustle launched Grown-A$$ Finances, a series that gets real about what millennial women are doing with their money, and why — because managing your money should feel empowering, not intimidating.

The idea of "retail therapy" is pretty embedded into the fabric of our society — even if we don't engage in it ourselves, most of us are quite familiar with the idea of hitting the stores or online shops to blow off steam after a hard day. But why do we find the act of purchasing something — particularly something unnecessary — to be so pleasurable?After all, we're sacrificing some of our limited financial resources for a thing we don't actually need — shouldn't that feel bad?

As any seasoned shopper can tell you, it's not just the act of accumulating things that is pleasurable. Much of the appeal is in the process — the picking up and putting down of products, the wandering through places you couldn't possibly afford, the actual exchanges at the check-out, the social element, and other aspects of the shopping experience.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to why we shop the way we do. It turns out that there are many factors — from the inner workings of contemporary culture to how our own brains function — that make shopping feel fun. Will this info help you curb your needless spending? Perhaps. But if nothing else, it will definitely make you experience your next trip to the grocery store on a whole other level.