This Is Your Brain on Shopping

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While financial stress isn't exactly a novel concept, our generation definitely feels the pinch more than ever: Research shows that one in three millennials experience anxiety about money. That's why this week, we're tackling financial wellness from every angle. Get expert advice on everything from the psychology of saving to investing when you have no clue where to begin. Financial empowerment is the ultimate goal, but you just might raise your bottom line, too.

Do you ever find yourself inserting your credit card into that unholy little machine or clicking "confirm purchase" online even though you logically know it is completely unwise for you to be spending $350 on more workout apparel or makeup or throw pillows for your couch? Um yeah, we do too. It feels almost bigger than us—that rush of spending money you may or may not have on something you may or may not need or even want. We were curious to understand what exactly is going on in the body and brain to make shopping feel so naughty and exciting—and sometimes addictive. So we hit up Melina Palmer, a behavioral economist and host of the podcast The Brainy Business: Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy, to break it down. Read on to see what she had to say about your brain on shopping.