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Study: Shopping for these 10 products can actually make you happier

Retail therapy is a real thing

Shopping Credit: Pattanaphong Khuankaew/Getty Images

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Getting over a breakup? Better go drop a ton of money at Zara. Feeling stressed at work? You totally deserve a new pair of AirPods. Fighting with your friend? That pair of very cute (and very unpractical) heels is looking pretty good right about now...

It's no secret that many of us turn to shopping when we want to cheer ourselves up. In fact, according to a new study conducted by SlickDeals and OnePoll, 66 percent of Americans admit to spending money solely in search of that rush. And we want it so bad that we'll shell out an average of $150.84 every single month just to get it.

To figure out if more shopping = more happiness, we looked at some of the most interesting results from the poll and asked our shopping editors to weigh in with their own thoughts.

What the study found about our shopping habits

Not only do we get a rush—which lasts, on average, for 28 minutes—when we buy certain items but a lot of us (66 percent to be exact) also get excited simply knowing something is being shipped to us.

And shopping can impact more than just our own happiness. The survey reported that 65 percent of people confessed that they're nicer to other people after buying things for themselves.

What products make us happiest?

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As if you needed another excuse to buy more clothes.

The number one thing that people say gives them that shopper's high is clothing, which our Senior E-commerce Writer Courtney Campbell says makes total sense. "I can see how clothes bring the most happiness as they're not a product you completely invest in and have to research typically—unlike an appliance or power tool—so that quick and instant reward is so satisfying," she explains.

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Clothes were followed by shoes and then electronics like computers and laptops. Below is the full list of the top 10 items:

  1. Clothes
  2. Shoes
  3. Computer/laptop
  4. Electronic accessories
  5. TV
  6. Accessories/jewelry
  7. Groceries
  8. Vacation
  9. Video games
  10. Kitchen supplies

Why we get a rush from spending money

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Goodbye, buyer's guilt.

A lot of it has to do with the thrill of the hunt, according to the poll, which found that 3 out of 4 people consider themselves experts at finding the best bargain. Our E-commerce Managing Editor Samantha Gordon agrees, saying, "When you find an exceptional deal, there's something so satisfying about it. It's like you stumbled upon a secret and now you're in on it."

Campbell can also relate. "Even when I'm not personally buying something and am just looking for deals for our readers, I totally get excitement," she says. "That feeling is even bigger when it's a product that we've tested and loved or when we find something at a new low price outside of Black Friday or Prime Day."

The best purchases to boost your mood, according to our shopping editors

As much as shopping can make you feel better temporarily, it can also lead to some guilt (you probably it as buyer's remorse). Our expert solution? Stick to a budget for your retail therapy. Gordon recommends, "You can set a limit on how much you're willing to spend on an impulse buy. I have a guideline on if it's something I think sounds cool but not something I actually need, I'll buy it if it's under $25. If it costs more than that, I'll wait and only buy it if I'm still thinking about it days or weeks later.

That's something that Campbell does as well, saying, "Personally, I've been trying to find happiness in purchases that don't cause me to spend too much, like a new flavor of loose leaf tea or artwork I've managed to find thrifted at a low price." She also advises thoroughly researching products before you click buy to be sure it's something that you actually want and that will make you happier for longer than just the average 28 minutes.

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