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Using “Retail Therapy” to Cope With Anxiety and Depression

Posted on the 22 May 2019 by Ncrimaldi @MsCareerGirl

Using “Retail Therapy” to Cope With Anxiety and Depression

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it's important to note that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Both young and older women tend to deal with stress via "retail therapy," treating themselves to something that is unplanned because of a stressful, anxious or depressing situation in order to "take my mind off my problems."

Is this a healthy decision for women? According to a study from, 17% of women fear living paycheck to paycheck; 82% of women stress about planning for their future financial needs. From this same study, there is some good news: women are investing more than ever, but they're not using financial planners to help them earn a greater return.

In a study conducted by the University of North Florida, Dr. Tracy Alloway and several colleagues studied a group of millennials to learn about impulsive buying behaviors and how that behavior relates to impulsive personality traits and working memory. The results were stunning.

There are two main drivers for unplanned purchases:

  1. To satisfy desires or emotional needs for new and exciting experiences;
  2. To escape or avoid negative feelings or moods.

The underlying cause of this impulsive buying? Stress and anxiety! The study states, "By avoiding negative emotions, the buyer experiences gratifying benefits, thus strengthening the impulsive buying behavior."

The research states that impulsive buying can also be related to an impulsive personality trait, when a person does not tend to evaluate decisions and think of the long-term consequences of making an impulsive, unplanned purchase.

This guest post was provided by Tracy Alloway

Dr. Tracy Alloway works with TONE Networks, an online microlearning platform designed to help women grow professionally and personally. TONE covers topics women care about: money, career, relationships, health and wellness, and life. Many of Dr. Alloway's videos offer tips and guidance on how to manage impulse control, increase working memory, make stress work for you and play games to boost your memory. TONE Networks is a great resource for women. They offer more than 600 short videos available 24/7 on-demand and virtual executive coaching. TONE Networks is offering a free one-month membership - no credit card required - just sign up and start investing in yourself! To learn more about TONE Networks please visit

You can find more information on anxiety and depression on Ms Career Girl here.

Using “Retail Therapy” to Cope With Anxiety and Depression

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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