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Rage Room 101 – Should You Try One?

There are many reasons to try a rage room. They provide a way to let out your anger and frustration in a controlled and safe environment. The experience can be cathartic and emotionally healing. Before we get into the reasons you should try a rage room, let’s find out more.

Photo Credit: Smash Rage Room, Imperial MO

What is a Rage Room?

Rage rooms are businesses where you go to break things to “take out your rage.” The experience in a typical rage room involves making an appointment, checking in, and selecting the items you want to break. Some rage rooms have shelves full of things like beer bottles, vases, clay pots, and picture frames. Many locations also offer bigger items, like TVs, office equipment, furniture, and even beat-up cars. Once it’s your turn, you suit up in protective gear including coveralls, helmets and gloves.

Other names for a Rage Room include Anger Room, Smash Room, and Scream Room. Be sure to search all terms when looking for Rage Room near you.

Photo Credit: Billy Penn

How Much Do Rage Rooms Cost?

There are a wide variety of prices depending on both what and how long you get to smash things. The average cost is about $30-99 per person for half an hour. Adding more people can make the overall cost per person less expensive. For example, a 5-person smash room for $150.

Do Rage Rooms have themes?

Yes, many smash room providers have themed rooms. One of my favorites is “Bad Day at the Office.” Can you imagine getting to take out your frustration in a mock-up of your boss’s office? Another fun one I found is called the “Lain of Pain,” where folks take class objects and smash them against a wall. I’ve also seen “BYOS (bring your own stuff)” at a lot of locations. Old electronics often work well since they are not easy to throw away or recycle.

What is a Rage Room experience like?

1) Plan in advance

Reservations are required and can be made up to two weeks prior to your desired smash date. Find out if the location allows children for a family affair or if they can accommodate the size of your group.

2) Dress appropriately

The typical smash room business provides disposable overalls, helmets, mesh face masks, goggles, protective vests, goggles and work gloves. It’s also helpful to wear long sleeves and pants underneath. Also wear shoes that don’t slip easily — the floor can get slippery.

3) BYOM – Bring Your Own Music

Many locations allow you to bring your own playlist so you can rock and smash to your own tunes. Don’t worry, if you don’t have your own, most locations have good soundtracks as well.

4) Expect to sweat

You are going to sweat a lot during this activity. Bring a towel. After hitting stuff with all of your might, you’ll feel as if you’ve just stepped out of a desert. After a full 30 minutes, I was pretty drenched. It felt amazing, but I could not wait to get home to shower.

5) Consider ear protection

If your ears are sensitive to loud noises, you may want to bring earplugs or noise-canceling earbuds.

6) Be aware of your surroundings

Once you’re covered up in your protective gear, it can be challenging to keep track of what, or who is around you. Make sure to communicate with the other person/people around you so no one gets injured.

Are Rage Rooms Healthy?

There have been studies supporting both sides of this issue. Smashing stuff can definitely be fun, especially because it’s something we don’t do in our everyday lives. It’s fun to feel like we are breaking the rules.

Pros

According to Dr. Steven Gans, there are many beneficial elements of going to a rage room.

To Try Something New: If you’re curious about these places you may want to try them out to satisfy your curiosity! It can be an interesting form of exercise or give you a funny story to share with your friends. It can also be a fun activity to bring them along to, which leads to the next point.

For Bonding: If you’re going with a group of friends, it may be a bonding experience to break things together. If you go with your partner or a friend who is experiencing the same stress you are, this can also be a fun way to blow off steam and connect.

For Pure Fun: Studies also show that it’s important to have fun in your life as a way to improve your mood, manage stress, and maintain balance in your life. If it’s fun for you to go out and break things, this may still be a much healthier activity for you than sitting at home and ruminating over what’s making you angry.

Cons

Dr. Scott Bea of the Cleveland Clinic says that anger rooms can be a fun way to let out a bit of frustration but by no means a replacement for anger management issues.

“There probably is a discharge of pent-up emotion in those moments, but I think it’s probably short-lived,” he says. Smashing stuff might give you some short-term relief, but it won’t do much to help you solve chronic anger problems.

Dr. Scott Bea, PhD

Anger rooms may temporarily expel the bad feelings. But they don’t address the underlying cause of anger. People need to learn healthier ways to manage their emotions. Dr. Bea says “Working with a therapist on relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring (a way of changing your thinking) and communication skills can help you feel more in control of your emotions in the long-term.”

I go for the pure fun of it. I’ve come up with a list of why a Rage Room might be right for you.

5 reasons you should try a rage room…

  1. You’ve had a particularly stressful week: destress by breaking a bunch of stuff?
  2. You recently ended a relationship: bring the picture frames of the two of you together and souvenirs you may have from vacations together.
  3. You quit a job you hated or got fired: find a smash room with office supplies
  4. You’ve never purposely broken anything: if you’ve never experienced the feeling of breaking something out of anger or just for the sake of breaking it, you need to try it.
  5. You’re looking for a new night out idea: why not break stuff with your favorite person/people? Rage together.

I vote for giving a rage room a try, but keep in mind that while cathartic in the moment, any long-term anger issues should be handled by a mental health specialist.

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