According to research published in the US journal Psychology and Marketing in 2011, an extract of which can be read here, shopping can improve a poor mood.
The research showed that when people were suffering from a bad mood it led them to treating themselves at a shop, splurging on anything such as a sweet treat, haircut, clothing or jewellery.
Such purchases that were made while people were in a bad mood have previously been linked to impulsivity and a lack of behavioural control, meaning that people who are upset tend to be more impulsive and spend more money at the shops.
But – and this is a big but – these people did not regret spending the money on these "self-treats".
Due to the fact they were buying things with the goal of improving their mood, there was no guilt or remorse over forking out the cash.
The authors of the study - Selin Atalay and Margaret Meloy - found that marketers are on the money when they appeal to consumers with slogans that encourage them to treat themselves: “There seem to be positive consequences to buying oneself a small treat: one does feel better," write the researchers.
Which all means that if you’re out of sorts, you’ve earned a free pass to indulge - get thee to a shopping centre!