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What is the Best Retail Therapy for a Mood Boost?

Retail Therapy: Why The Retail Industry Is Broken – And What Can Be Done To Fix It

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The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

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Welcome to our blog post on “What is the Best Retail Therapy for a Mood Boost?” We understand the desire to seek comfort and solace in shopping during challenging times. In this post, we will delve into the concept of retail therapy and share insights on how shopping can be a powerful tool for uplifting our spirits. Let’s explore together the positive impact that shopping can have on our mood and well-being.

What is Retail Therapy?

Retail therapy refers to the act of shopping with the intention of improving one’s mood or emotional state. Many people turn to shopping as a way to alleviate stress, boost their mood, or simply to treat themselves to something nice. While it may seem like a frivolous activity, there is actually a psychological basis behind why shopping can sometimes make us feel better.

Psychology Behind Retail Therapy

1. Dopamine Release: When we shop and find something we like, our brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This creates a sense of satisfaction and happiness.

2. Empowerment: Shopping can also provide a sense of control and empowerment. By selecting products that resonate with us or reflect our personality, we feel a sense of agency over our choices.

3. Social Connection: Shopping can be a social activity, whether done with friends, family, or even online through social media. The act of sharing shopping experiences can foster connections and strengthen relationships.

4. Self-Care: Treating ourselves to items we love can be a form of self-care, promoting feelings of self-worth and happiness.

Examples of Retail Therapy in Action

  • Buying a Tiffany & Co. heart pendant necklace to celebrate a personal milestone can evoke feelings of joy and pride.
  • Splurging on a Tesla Model S because you’ve worked hard and feel deserving of a luxury vehicle.
  • Booking a spa day at Four Seasons to indulge in some much-needed relaxation and pampering.

Benefits of Retail Therapy

  • Boosts Mood and Morale: Retail therapy can lift spirits and improve overall well-being.
  • Reduces Stress: Engaging in shopping activities can help alleviate stress and tension.
  • Enhances Self-Expression: Choosing products that resonate with our identity can enhance self-expression and confidence.
  • Creates Positive Experiences: Shopping for things we love can create lasting positive memories and experiences.

Remember, while retail therapy can be a positive experience, it’s essential to practice moderation and mindful spending to prevent any negative financial impacts. So, the next time you feel like indulging in some retail therapy, embrace it with a mindful attitude and enjoy the positive benefits it can bring.

Budget Considerations

When engaging in retail therapy for mood enhancement, it is crucial to set a budget that aligns with your financial situation. Overspending can lead to stress rather than relief. Consider the following budget factors:

  • Evaluate your disposable income
  • Set a spending limit per shopping trip
  • Look for discounts or promotions to maximize your budget

Types of Products to Buy

Choosing the right products can significantly impact the success of your retail therapy session. Select items that genuinely bring you joy and improve your mood. Here are some product considerations:

  • Skincare: Treating yourself to a luxurious skincare product like Sunday Riley’s Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment can boost your self-care routine.
  • Athleisure Wear: Investing in quality athleisure wear such as Lululemon’s Align Leggings can motivate you to stay active and healthy.

Importance of Mindful Shopping

Practicing mindful shopping can enhance the therapeutic effects of retail therapy. By being mindful, you can ensure that your purchases are intentional and aligned with your well-being. Consider these mindful shopping tips:

  • Quality Over Quantity: Opt for products that are durable and bring long-lasting joy, like the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer for quality haircare.
  • Sustainable Choices: Choose environmentally friendly products like the Hydro Flask Water Bottle to support sustainability efforts.

Retail therapy, when done thoughtfully, can be a powerful tool for self-care and mood enhancement. By considering your budget, choosing the right products, and practicing mindful shopping, you can make the most out of this therapeutic practice.

Alternative Mood-Boosting Activities

Feeling down and looking for ways to lift your spirits that don’t involve shopping? Here are some alternative activities that can provide a much-needed mood boost:

Spend Time in Nature


  • Connection with nature can reduce stress and anxiety
  • Exposure to sunlight boosts Vitamin D levels


  • Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket: A durable and eco-friendly jacket perfect for outdoor adventures.
  • Yeti Rambler Tumbler: Keep your beverages hot or cold while enjoying the serenity of nature.

Exercise Regularly


  • Releases endorphins that can elevate mood
  • Improves overall physical health and fitness


  • Fitbit Versa Smartwatch: Track your workouts and stay motivated to reach your fitness goals.
  • Nike Air Zoom Pegasus Running Shoes: Comfortable and reliable shoes for your daily runs.

Practice Mindfulness


  • Enhances self-awareness and emotional regulation
  • Reduces negative thought patterns and promotes positivity


  • Headspace Meditation App: Guided meditation sessions to help you stay present and focused.
  • Muse 2 EEG Headband: Enhance your meditation practice with real-time feedback on your brain activity.

Engaging in these alternative mood-boosting activities can help improve your mental wellbeing and provide a sense of fulfillment. Experiment with different options to find what works best for you!

Retail Therapy Tips and Tricks

In a world where consumerism is ever-present, retail therapy can be a tempting escape. However, indulging in retail therapy without a strategic approach can lead to overspending and clutter. To help you make the most out of your retail therapy experience, here are some practical tips and tricks to keep in mind:

Setting Limits

One of the most crucial aspects of successful retail therapy is setting limits to control your spending. Here are some strategies to help you stay within your budget:

  • Create a Budget: Before embarking on a shopping spree, set a clear budget for your purchases. For example, if you’re looking for a new laptop, consider options like the Apple MacBook Pro or Dell XPS series, and decide on a budget range that aligns with your financial goals.
  • Use Cash Envelopes: Allocate a specific amount of cash for each shopping trip by using the cash envelope system. This method can prevent overspending and provide a tangible limit to your shopping spree.
  • Track Your Expenses: Keep a record of your purchases to monitor your spending habits. Utilize tools like budgeting apps such as Mint or PocketGuard to track where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut back.

Avoiding Impulse Buys

Impulse buys can quickly derail your retail therapy session. Here’s how to resist the urge and make mindful purchasing decisions:

  • Make a List: Before heading to the store or browsing online, create a list of items you truly need or have been eyeing for some time. For example, if you’re in the market for a new smartphone, consider popular models like the iPhone 13 or Samsung Galaxy S21.
  • Wait 24 Hours: If you come across an item you’re tempted to buy on impulse, give yourself 24 hours to reconsider the purchase. This waiting period can help you evaluate whether the item is a necessity or just a passing desire.
  • Focus on Quality: Instead of focusing solely on price or discounts, prioritize quality and utility. Consider investing in durable and reputable brands like Patagonia for outdoor wear or All-Clad for kitchen appliances, even if they come with a higher price tag.

Finding Balance in Consumption

Achieving balance in your consumption habits is key to enjoying retail therapy without falling into excessive consumption patterns. Here are some tips to achieve a harmonious relationship with shopping:

  • Practice Mindful Shopping: Be conscious of your shopping intentions and values. Choose ethically and sustainably produced products from brands like TOMS or Eileen Fisher to align your purchases with your principles.
  • Declutter Regularly: To prevent an accumulation of unused items, regularly declutter your space. Donate or sell items that no longer serve a purpose in your life, and consider minimalist brands like Muji or Everlane for versatile essentials.
  • Embrace Experiences: Instead of focusing solely on material possessions, prioritize experiences over things. Invest in activities like travel, culinary classes, or concert tickets to create lasting memories and enhance your well-being.

By implementing these tips and tricks, you can maximize the benefits of retail therapy while maintaining control over your spending habits and fostering a balanced approach to consumption. Start your next shopping excursion with a clear strategy in mind, and watch how your retail therapy experience transforms into a mindful and fulfilling journey. 🛍️

Boost Your Mood with Retail Therapy

In conclusion, we have explored the benefits of retail therapy as a mood booster but also emphasized the importance of mindful consumption and seeking alternative methods for long-lasting well-being. Remember, striking a balance between indulging in retail therapy and prioritizing your mental health is crucial for reaping the full benefits of this self-care practice. So treat yourself, but always remember to take care of your mind first.

Retail Therapy FAQs

How does the social aspect of retail therapy, such as shopping with friends or family, contribute to its mood-boosting effects?

The social aspect of retail therapy, such as shopping with friends or family, contributes to its mood-boosting effects by enhancing the overall experience. Engaging in shopping activities with loved ones can foster feelings of connection, camaraderie, and shared enjoyment. This social interaction not only provides emotional support but also promotes a sense of belonging and happiness. Studies have shown that socializing while shopping can lead to increased levels of endorphins, which are the body’s natural mood elevators. Therefore, the presence of companions during retail therapy can amplify its positive impact on mood and well-being.

Are there alternative strategies or activities that can provide similar mood-enhancing benefits as retail therapy, but without the need for spending money?

Yes, there are alternative strategies and activities that can provide similar mood-enhancing benefits as retail therapy without the need to spend money. Engaging in physical exercise, practicing mindfulness and meditation, spending time in nature, volunteering, connecting with loved ones, listening to music, and engaging in hobbies are all examples of activities that can boost mood and well-being without having to open our wallets. Research has shown that these activities can release endorphins, reduce stress, and improve overall mental health, demonstrating that there are indeed effective alternatives to retail therapy that don’t involve spending money.

What are some potential risks or negative consequences associated with relying on retail therapy for mood enhancement?

Relying on retail therapy for mood enhancement can lead to several potential risks and negative consequences. Overspending on unnecessary items can strain our financial resources and lead to debt. It may create a cycle of temporary mood improvement followed by guilt or regret, contributing to emotional distress in the long term. Additionally, using shopping as a coping mechanism may prevent us from addressing underlying issues that are causing emotional distress, masking the root of the problem rather than resolving it. This form of coping can become addictive, leading to a reliance on material possessions for happiness and potentially impacting our overall well-being.

Can retail therapy be a sustainable and healthy coping mechanism for managing stress and negative emotions in the long term?

Retail therapy, which involves shopping to improve one’s mood or alleviate stress, may provide temporary relief, but it is not a sustainable or healthy long-term coping mechanism. Research suggests that relying on shopping to cope with negative emotions can lead to financial strain, increased stress, and a cycle of unhealthy behaviors. Sustainable coping strategies such as mindfulness, exercise, spending time with loved ones, or seeking professional help are more effective in managing stress and negative emotions in the long term.

How does retail therapy affect an individual’s mood and mental well-being?

Retail therapy can positively impact an individual’s mood and mental well-being by providing a temporary sense of joy, excitement, and gratification. Engaging in shopping activities releases endorphins in the brain, which can lead to a brief mood boost. However, it is essential to note that the effects of retail therapy are usually short-lived and may not address underlying issues causing stress or unhappiness. It can create a cycle of dependency on material possessions for emotional relief, which may not be sustainable for long-term mental well-being. It is important to seek healthy coping mechanisms and professional support when dealing with mental health challenges.

Are there specific types of products or items that are generally considered more effective for retail therapy in boosting one’s mood?

Certainly! Research suggests that items such as clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty products, and items related to hobbies or interests can be particularly effective in boosting one’s mood during retail therapy. These products may provide a sense of pleasure, control, or self-expression, leading to a temporary improvement in mood. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of retail therapy can vary among individuals, and long-term emotional well-being should not solely rely on material possessions.


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Overcoming Mood Swings: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques (Overcoming Books)

as of July 4, 2024 10:33 pm

  • Buy this book. Psychiatrist, professor, world-class researcher, and traumatologist Bessel van der Kolk MD requires no introduction to trauma psychotherapists. My enduring impressions of him over many years is one of relevance, cogency, frankness, and accessibility – served up with a subtle dash of impishness. He tends to be a bit disruptive – something of a provocateur – and everything of his I have ever read has taught me something, confirmed something important, or pushed my thinking in a new direction. When he has something to say, I want to hear it.However, I almost didn’t buy this book: I was put off by the title. Familiar with major reviews of PTSD psychotherapy outcomes research, I know that research support for body-oriented approaches to treating psychological trauma psychopathology is thin at best, and such treatment models simply do not have the research validation of either EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and PE (Prolonged Exposure), neither of which are especially body-focused.J. Interlandi’s excellent article anticipating publication of this book – “A Revolutionary Approach to Treating PTSD” (New York Times Magazine, 2014.05.22 – available online) – initially supported my fears that for some inexplicable reason van der Kolk was now promoting some treatment model for which we have little confirming research. “Psychomotor therapy is neither widely practiced nor supported by clinical studies,” Interlandi informs us. Provocateur he may be, but I’m strongly biased in favor of paying attention to therapies for which we do have solid empirical validation. Our clients do not deserve to be experimental subjects – maybe not even if they agree to this, as I’m not sure they can ever know enough to make a truly informed consent. Knowledge that PTSD and related disorders are usually highly curable, when using the right treatment protocols, sadly remains the possession of a minority of people, even in the professional psychotherapy world.Yet the account of van der Kolk’s therapy work in Interlandi’s article is gripping. Becoming completely absorbed in the account, I was convinced. (I’ve been here before, reading van der Kolk’s own accounts of his work.) And so the disruption begins! Deeper into the article, he has me. Van der Kolk’s critique of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy – a general class of therapies) and PE (E. Foa’s exposure therapy model) is withering and correct: neither really work. “Trauma has nothing whatsoever to do with cognition…It has to do with your body being reset to interpret the world as a dangerous place….It’s not something you can talk yourself out of.” Interlandi reports that “That view places him on the fringes of the psychiatric mainstream.”But he’s right, and I can’t stress this enough. Why? Because as a trauma treatment professional I’m well aware of what the trauma treatment outcomes research actually says. The best current summary of this research well may be chapter 2 of Ecker, et al.’s (2012) “Unlocking the emotional brain”. (Buy this book, too!) Ecker et al. brilliantly presents a synthetic summary that encompasses 11 existing therapy models which actually DO cure trauma psychopathology, if done right. In this context, what van der Kolk is doing makes perfect sense. Finally, it appears, the trauma psychotherapy field is moving toward a consensus which has strong credibility.Van der Kolk’s new book has many virtues. Parts One and Two (102 pp) provide a substantial review of the neuropsychology of trauma’s impact on a person. It’s fun, interesting, informative reading, for professional and layperson alike. Part Three (64 pp) surveys childhood development, attachment experience, and “the hidden epidemic of developmental trauma”. Van der Kolk has for years been a leading champion of the idea that there is a type of PTSD which substantially differs from all the rest. It develops in response to chronic child abuse and/or neglect. I completely share his belief that the diagnosis of Developmental Trauma Disorder (sometimes called C-PTSD, with “C” meaning “Complex”) is overdue for formal recognition. I find his review of the struggle to legitimize DTD as gripping and distressing as anything else in the book. It is anguishing to know that a major problem exists, AND that the psychiatric establishment simply refuses to acknowledge it. DTD/C-PTSD is no fantasy. We see and treat these people, as children and adults. They exist, and they are nothing like “ordinary” PTSD treatment clients.Part Four (29 pp) focuses on memory. I’ve long thought that much writing on treating psychological trauma seems to miss the point: trauma memory is what causes the problem. Deal with that and the symptoms vanish. Why is this so hard to understand? Yet, it is not a common understanding at all. Explaining how trauma memory works is invariably enlightening to my clients. And experiencing what happens when we change the nature of trauma memory is revelatory to someone who’s lived with it for years, if not decades. As he does throughout the book, van der Kolk offers fine stories about clients who have experienced exactly what I’ve seen happen in my clients, making excellent use of what cognitive research tells us: people understand things best through narratives. Offer a good narrative and you convince.Psychological trauma therapy is complex, but we are now well prepared to launch into the book’s core content – Part Five (154 pp), “Paths to Recovery”. He gets right to it: we cannot undo the trauma, but we CAN undo its effect on us, and so get our “self” back. Ch. 13 reviews existing therapies. His approach is to repair “Descartes’ Error” (see Damásio’s 1994 book of that title) by viewing mind and body as a single coherent functional unit. His topical coverage is complete and his critique of current therapies acute – not to be missed.He then writes of the importance of language (Ch. 14). We construct our narrative mainly in words, and the words we choose are critical. But language is not enough (this anticipates his next two chapters). Our senses encompass a larger world, and it’s center is our body, where all our sensory receptors are located. Then he introduces the treatment model he’s long advocated: EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). I’m trained in EMDR, and in fact van der Kolk and I had the same instructor for our advanced training: Gerald Puk PhD. Van der Kolk tells an amusing and self-deprecating story about his advanced training experience, in which Puk was able to provide a strong corrective to his approach to clients. This is typical van der Kolk – he’s a truth-teller, even when it may put him in a poor light! And,after all, at this point he has nothing to prove to anyone.Finding an EMDR therapist is not hard (see his “Resources” section). Nor is it hard to find a yoga instructor, and yoga is what he advises for helping a trauma victim get back into their body. Yoga is a wise choice, because it is available, already widely known, and adaptable to a wide range of individuals and capabilities.There is much more in Part Five, and the focus is on self-empowerment. “Victim no more!” as they say. Most trauma therapists have a keen interest in seeing their clients leave therapy charged up and ready to fully embrace their life – that certainly is my own emphasis. Van der Kolk’s thoughts on self-empowerment for those in recovery from psychological trauma will be invaluable to any trauma psychotherapy client.For psychotherapy professionals, this book will be both delightful and confirming. For everyone else, it will be a readable, gripping, highly educational tour of topics all of which are critical to a successful transition back from the impact of psychological trauma. That he gives prominent though not dominating emphasis to developmental trauma disorders is entirely appropriate. Our society has yet to grasp that child abuse and neglect is a more often chronic than not, and that its impact is largely ignored and poorly treated, if at all. This does not have to be. Get educated (this book will do that), then commit to being an advocate for children as well as for adults impacted by trauma. They all deserve the chance to be healed, and we can now do that. Van der Kolk shows us how.The physical book: Jacket design is pleasant and interesting. Binding is less so: color of spine wrapping is semi-florescent, and of paper, not cloth. The book feels substantial and pleasant to hold and look at.Organization -* 6 pp: prefatory praise by peers and related luminaries (interesting comments from some important people in the field);* 2 pp: Table of Contents;* 356 pp: actual text;* 4 pp: Appendix: Consensus proposed criteria for developmental trauma disorder* 3 pp: Resources* 4 pp: Further reading* 51 pp: Notes* 21 pp: Index

  • How We Shop. I read this book since I am in the retail business. The first part of the book is how the retail business is failing. The second half offers some solutions. Most of the information here is not new but I did find some of the solutions to be creative. Even though the author concentrates on businesses in the US and UK many of the solutions are world wide. Anyone in business will learn something from reading this book. If you are a shopper this book will also show you how choices will make a difference. Enjoy this insightful book

  • This book deserves a lot of attention. It doesn’t happen too often that I start a book and I finish it the same day. Retail Therapy was one of them. I am surprised it has only one review after 4 months it was published. This book is an excellent resource about understanding the millennials. It explains very well the factors that have influenced this generation that all the GenX complain about. Internet, the crisis of 2008 and the digital revolution made the millennials more resource efficient and focused on the things that matter. This is the reason that traditional retail is failing, not Amazon. If retail and other components of the world want to survive they have to become more substantial and resource efficient. I think the author goes very deep to the roots of the problem and suggests some radical solutions. Whether you agree or not with his ideas, it is worth reading it. It is my opinion that the author should have chosen a broader title. This book is not about retail only.

  • Solid Information, Well Presented. If you are a business student, manage a retail business or just have been following the disturbing trend of the ‘retail apocalypse’, you will fine plenty to enjoy in this book. A solid review of how retail got to this point, what is currently happening and ways for retail to survive. The history was very interesting and really paints a clear picture of how important retail is to the economy and individual communities. The suggestions for future growth are worth considering. Though, as someone who still enjoys going to a store and ‘browsing’ as well as online shopping, I’m not as thrilled about the way retail may transform. Still and all, the book was a good take on this current situation and had many thoughtful points to ponder.

  • My Life-Saving Trauma Bible. “I think this man is suffering from memories.”So, this book changed my life. No, really. In fact, it’s *saved* it.I have severe PTSD. And despite years of therapy, it seemed to be getting worse instead of better. My flashbacks were occurring more and more often. I was becoming more and more lethargic and frozen in time. And suicide was constantly just *there* in my mind. Constant. I’d even set a date.And then my insurance quit paying for my therapy.As a last, desperate grasp for help, I started to read this book.I have never read anything more validating and more hopeful. To see the brain scans and hear the science that explained *exactly* what has happened to my brain, what is going on during my flashbacks and why I’m always physically sick—all the times I’ve gone to a doctor in pain or feeling like I’m having a heart attack or a stroke only to be told they can’t find anything wrong—brought me to tears. It gave me all the answers I’ve been searching for. It gave everything a scientific, medical explanation—and a path to *healing*.He explained why all of my EMDR therapy wasn’t working—it was because my therapists (bless them!) were doing it wrong. And I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned from my therapists and this book and do EMDR on my own, and today… today I feel more like my old, genuine self, than I have in *years*. The shadow of suicidal thoughts no longer follows me. I feel *light*. And I have *hope*—genuine *hope*—that I actually *can* get better! I’m always telling people *they* can get better and there’s hope for *them*… but I haven’t felt that way about myself. Now, I do. I haven’t had that hope in a long, *long* time. And I even think, after years of struggling and finally making such great progress in such a short time, maybe—just maybe—I can be cured. I never thought I’d say that! The future is so exciting to me now!If you have trauma, do be warned—Dr. van der Kolk talks a lot about his clients and their traumatic experiences and it can be very triggering. Some of the details I felt he definitely could’ve left out, honestly. However, the scientific information, the validation and the information on how to heal trauma, has made this book absolutely *priceless* to me. It’s my trauma bible. I’ll be re-reading it in the future and constantly referring to it.Edit: I keep seeing reviews on here from people who were super upset by the story of the Vietnam vet who murdered a family, raped the mother and left her to die. Honestly, I flipped out at that part, too (aka, had a flashback), in large part because I misunderstood what Dr. van der Kolk was trying to say. I thought for a moment that he was trying to justify what the man did, and had to email my old therapist about it. She read the scene and encouraged me to reread his conclusion, and pointed out to me that he’s actually saying how difficult it was to try to treat him objectively because what the man had done was an absolute atrocity. He never actually justifies it. He calls it an atrocity. It’s just worded weird, and if you’re already triggered by what you’ve just read, it is *easily* misunderstood. I hope he clarifies this in future editions. You have to keep in mind that, van der Kolk’s target audience is actually other therapists. For this reason, it *was* difficult for me to read. I was violently attacked and molested at 5-years-old and repeatedly raped and abused as a teenager. His going over other people’s abuse is overly detailed at times and I had to skip many of those scenes.However, I don’t hold any of this against him at all. The information in this book has changed my life, I feel seen and validated, and I stand by that almost a year after reading it. I keep it right on my writing desk where it’s easily found for reference. Am I cured yet? No. Did my flashbacks stop? Nope. This year has been an unexpected nightmare full of triggers. But I’ve made *so* much progress. And I have hope. And that’s what I need to make it through each day. I sincerely believe that, through a lot of work (which I’m willing to do!), I can be cured in time. And all of that started with this book.

  • Making my way through any books is difficult for me. Apart from having CPTSD, I’m also aphantasic, Although I was a researcher and student at the Centre For Applied Science at University of Toronto and did exceptionally well, I left the CACS to become a career musician. I’m writing to say that I’ve just finished The Body Keeps the Score and am astounded by Dr. Van der Kolk’s eloquence. I often stopped to reflect on how beautifully he expressed certain concepts, how he chose the perfect word. For me, it was an easy and fascinating read. There is something tremendously powerful in the construction of language to express ideas. Thank you, Dr. Van der Kolk for the inspiration and for your tireless and passionate work.

  • Great book. This is a great book to read to help you to let go of past hurts. You need to buy the study guide as well as it gives you thought provoking questions and helps you work through the hurts.

  • wow. This book was completely amazing, moving, and so eye opening. It really heals your heart from pain and suffering and opens you to forgiveness within yourself. So encouraging.

  • Does anyone have tips on how to prevent overspending during retail therapy? I always end up buying more than I planned!

  • I find that shopping for new skincare products always boosts my mood! Any recommendations for a good hydrating mask?

  • Reading this article made me realize that I tend to shop when I’m stressed. Thanks for the insights on retail therapy!

  • Yes, hydrating masks can be such a treat! I personally love the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask for an extra hydration boost.

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