And finally…The rise of ‘he-tail therapy’ - Glasgow men now spending £796 on pick-me-up shopping trips

Buch St

Modern men in Glasgow are adopting “he-tail therapy” to beat the stresses and strains of every-day life – according to a new study.

Research found that more than eight out of ten British men are now as enthusiastic as women about hitting the shops to make themselves feel better.

According to the figures, the average Glasgow man embarks on retail therapy missions, in store and online, on average four times a month to cheer themselves up.

It also emerged that over 41 per cent feel a ‘lasting buzz’ from shopping for themselves.

And it isn’t just about spending on fashion items – digital accessories, holidays, music and movies all featured in the list of things that make men in Glasgow feel good to buy.

The study shows overall 93 per cent of men in Glasgow indulge in retail therapy on a regular basis.

Almost four in ten (38 percent) claimed they resort to shopping because they ‘feel down’, while 25 percent claimed they do so out of ‘boredom’.

But the effects of shopping seem to be mainly positive for the men of Glasgow – and long lasting.

Asked to describe the emotions involved in purchasing something new, one in five (20 percent) said they felt ‘considerably happier’.

Over a third (36 percent) said it left them feeling ‘excited’ and over one in ten (12 percent) felt a sense of ‘achievement’.

When it comes to the thrill of owning a new piece of clothing or gadget, it emerged over one in five men in Glasgow (23 percent) only enjoy it up until they wear or use it.

Over one in ten (13 percent) said they felt ‘relief’ once they had parted with their cash and eight percent said they experienced a feeling of a ‘weight being lifted’.

“These findings are in line with research conducted by my own laboratory”, comments psychologist Dr David Lewis, Chairman of the Sussex based consultancy Mindlab International.

“In our studies we record brain activity, heart rate and skin conductance, a very sensitive measure of arousal. Our data shows a spike in excitement levels when purchasing a product that particularly attracts them. Heart rate increases as does skin conductance while their brain waves show high levels of attention.”

“These changes are produced by increases in both adrenalin, a hormone that prepares the body for action, and a brain chemical called dopamine. This neurotransmitter has been dubbed the ‘pleasure pedal’ because it produces feelings of intense delight, euphoria even. It is these powerful and positive sensations that lie behind the male desire to shop until they drop.

“A decade ago most men’s aim was to get in and out of the store as swiftly as possible, but this survey clearly demonstrates these attitudes have now changed as increasing numbers discover the joys of ‘he-tail’ therapy.”

But almost one in three (31 percent) said they felt guilty after their bout of “he-tail” therapy.

The study also uncovered a culture of sneak purchases – items that are bought and then hidden from their partners.

24 percent of Glasgow’s males said they hadn’t told their other half after making a purchase.

The good news for the partners of men in Glasgow who took part in the survey is that 54 percent are completely honest about what they buy and how much it costs.

Cost-wise the average Glasgow man spends £796 a year on shopping sprees.

Vix Leyton, spokeswoman for cashback and rewards site Quidco, which carried out the research among almost 2,000 British men, said: “Retail therapy, whilst still seen by some as a woman’s domain, is actually natural for both sexes. Treating yourself to impulse buys every now and again is often seen as a quick win for a happiness boost, particularly if your day hasn’t gone to plan. But shoppers shouldn’t make themselves prisoners to ‘pick me up’ bargains and risk ending up with things they don’t need. With the right amount of research and more ‘thoughtful’ purchasing, you can buy something that cheers you up beyond the labels coming off.

“What’s more, the buzz of getting a really good deal on something you actually want and, by using cashback, getting money back for what you buy somewhere in future, you get a halo effect for future happiness.”