We joke about things like “retail therapy,” but there are very serious issues underlying the practice of buying things to make ourselves feel better. The first issue is that we end up with a bunch of stuff we didn’t really want and can’t really use – but that we cannot bring ourselves to part with because to do so would be to admit we shouldn’t have purchased it in the first place! More serious is the underlying emptiness we are trying to fill with our purchases. Since the emptiness is emotional and not physical, things aren’t going to fill it. When we feel tempted to make a “therapeutic” purchase, it is helpful to stop for a moment and ask ourselves what we are feeling at that moment. Then we can ask ourselves what we really need, and take steps to heal.