As Rebecca Bloomwood found out in Confessions of a Shopaholic, some people simply indulge in things – usually material things – that they don’t particularly need and find happiness in it.

But, new study shows that using shopping as a way of dealing with problems can prove to be more effective than once thought – finally an excuse to spend more.

Researchers in Michigan found that ‘retail therapy’ can help people feel more in control of their own lives while lifting up their spirits at the same time.

They carried out three experiments and found that those who bought something were three times happier than those who only did window shopping.

Other studies also back these results, they have also shown that shoppers generally go through positive feelings when they reflect on their recent purchases.

God help the person in charge of our credit card bill this month. Oh wait…eeek!