Retail Therapy: SABON

There have been countless studies done that show the effectiveness of retail therapy to improve your mood and help you cope with stressful, difficult or dissapointing events in your life.  Many people assume that this method of coping is mindless and reactive and only leads to guilt and buyers remorse but much of the evidence suggests that most people do not experience these negative consequences.  One reason for his may be that you can always undo an ill advised purchase by returning it.  In addition, a July 2012 study at Northwestern Univerity titled “Bracing for the Psychological Storm:  Proactive versus Reactive Compensatory Consumption” shows us that retail therapy can also be an effective way of managing a potentially negative situation.  Plainly stated, retail therapy can be an impulsive or a proactive behavior used to stategically improve your mood.  

Now, let’s be clear.  I am not endorsing retail therapy or shopping as a regular coping mechanism.  External stimuli can help transform your mood but this is usually a short-term solution and for those with hoarding problems and other compulsive behaviors, it can be harmful.  However, for most of us, indulging in a little retail therapy once in a while can be rewarding and fun.  This information excites me because it combines two of my favorite things:  helping people to improve their quality of life and shopping!  So welcome to my new column, Retail Therapy.  It will serve as a shopping guide for self-care.   I hope to share with you some of my favortite products, indulgences and experiences with the purpose of helping you to engage in mindful and proactive self-care that will positively impact your overall wellbeing.

Sabon is a luxury bath and body company that also includes products for the home or office.  It all began with a bar of lavendar soap made in a Tel Aviv home in 1997 and has grown to be an internationally renowned business.  Their mission is to “consistently create and offer an unparalleled range of exceptional bath and body products using time-honored remedies based on the finest natural ingredients.”  And I have to say, mission accomplished!

When you step foot inside of Sabon NYC in Soho you are immediatly transported to an environment that awakens the senses.  This quaint two-story boutique has an inviting apothecary chic vibe that lures you in.  The friendly staff is accomodating and knowledgable and lends to the feeling of being cared for.  In the middle of the store is a beautiful and enchanting Israeli sink where you are encouraged to try the products (and I dare you to resist a purchase once you do!).  Scrubs, lotions, oils, aromatics, face and bath products in countless mouth watering scents surround you.  The millieu is the perfect setting to focus on the here and the now and investigate how you are caring for yourself.

Is a daily bathing ritual missing from your life?  If so, 5-10 minutes of mindfulness in the shower or bathtub just might be what you need to start or end your day on the right note. Aromas such as lavendar, ylang ylang or patouli are proven to have a relaxing effect on your mood.  Activating the sense of smell, touch and sight will help you to feel more present and, if even just for a few minutes, will give your mind a much needed rest. Taking time to prioritize caring for yourself with a bathing ritual is sure to have a positive impact on you.  Sabon’s bath and body collection is the perfect way to introduce yourself to this type of stress reducing self-care practice!

To learn more about Sabon and their wonderful products you can visit them at 123 Prince St. New York, NY 10012 or call (212) 982 – 0968. You can also visit their website at  

For more information about Chamin Ajjan Psychotherapy go to or contact Chamin Ajjan, MS, LCSW at or 917.476.9381.

Be Well!

Chamin Ajjan Psychotherapy


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