You would think that with a sluggish economy, saving money would make Americans happy, but it’s actually spending that can put a smile on their faces.

A new survey of 1,000 people from Ebates has found that 52% of people in the US shop to feel better. It’s a phenomenon known as “retail therapy.” Broken down by gender, 64% of women shop to boost their spirits, while 40% of men do so.

What exactly causes us to open our wallets in the hopes of improving our mood? About 19% say retail therapy helps after a tough day at work, while just shy of 15% claim they do it after receiving bad news and 12% like to flex their purchasing power following a fight with a significant other.

Most Popular Items Women Buy for Retail Therapy

Clothes – 58%
Food - 35%
Shoes – 32%
Accessories – 29%
Books/magazines – 29%

Most Popular Items Men Buy for Retail Therapy

Food – 28%
Electronics – 27%
Music/movies – 27%
Clothes – 22%
Games/toys – 18%

Of course, just because consumers are willing to spend doesn’t mean they aren’t out to find a good deal in the process. About 81% say getting a good deal during retail therapy also makes them feel better.

 

[Business Wire]