In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss the pros and cons on “retail therapy,” the practice of shopping solely for the purpose of making ourselves feel better. They discuss the many benefits of such purchases, while also warning of the dangers of “comfort purchases.” Gabe warns especially of such purchases when in the manic phase of disorder, leading to hyperspending. Each of them share personal stories of their own purchases, both large and (comparatively) small. Other items discussed are oniomania, why we feel a “need” for retail therapy, window shopping, and some unexpected fringe benefits of retail therapy.


 “We should be allowed to spend money to make ourselves feel better. Isn’t that the purpose of money?” ~ Gabe Howard

[1:43]   What triggers the need for retail therapy?

[5:00]   What’s the difference between “good” retail therapy and “bad”?

[7:40]   Retail Therapy + Bipolar Disorders = Hyperspending

[10:26] What is oniomania?

[12:09] My therapist made me buy a Rolex

[15:21] Buying nostalgia on eBay

[19:02] The fringe benefits of retail therapy.


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About The Psych Central Show Podcast Hosts


Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar and anxiety disorders. In addition to hosting The Psych Central Show, Gabe is an associate editor for He also runs an online Facebook community, The Positive Depression/Bipolar Happy Place, and invites you to join.  To work with Gabe, please visit his website,



Vincent M. Wales
 is a former suicide prevention counselor who lives with persistent depressive disorder. In addition to co-hosting The Psych Central Show, Vincent is the author of several award-winning novels and the creator of costumed hero Dynamistress. Visit his websites at and