How to journal your way out of a Black Friday Frenzy

Here’s something I know about myself: I like things. Shiny new things specifically. I also love bargains — the rush of endorphins from securing a great deal. So, when Black Friday morphed into a month-long discounting extravaganza I knew I’d be in trouble.

Frenzy is defined by Oxford Languages as a state or period of uncontrolled excitement or wild behaviour.

No, I’m not in a supermarket fighting over a television. But I still feel this excitement, the sense of wildness — of abandoning my finances for the said shiny thing. My mind goes haywire with you’ll miss out, kick yourself, never have this opportunity again. It’s the last part Black Friday does well. That I know it’s designed for it doesn’t make a difference.

I know this might seem frivolous or insignificant but I feel it in my body like anxiety: heightened heart rate; shakiness; feeling like I can’t quite relax. It activates my scarcity mindset too, the belief that there isn’t enough to go around.

This, I know, is not how I choose to live. In the last year I’ve needed to let things go I would have bought in the past. You know what? Nothing terrible happens. The messages we get on emails are so compelling it’s easy to overlook the possibility you might forget about them entirely. Explore this for yourself with the prompts below.

It’s not that Black Friday is all bad. If you’re a small business it can be an effective way to grow your audience; if you already need something it’s a good time to invest. I’ll still be buying some things. The essential difference is that I’m making those decisions from a calm, confident place.

If you still find yourself stuck ask: does this serve a need I already have, or has it created something new to want?

Thanks for being here and being you. And go gently. We’re all just human beings, doing our best.

Joanne Bell is a writer, facilitator and poet who runs Write to Thrive, soulful space for self-exploration. You can sign up to recieve her weekly letters here.




Writer, teacher and poet based in Edinburgh, Scotland. For more about me visit

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Joanne Bell

Joanne Bell

Writer, teacher and poet based in Edinburgh, Scotland. For more about me visit

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