Healthy Expressions Rage Room; Does it work?
On Jan. 2, 2018, Karrie Meloney together with her husband Scott Meloney and their friend Nick Truman, opened Healthy Expressions Rage Room next door to the Burrito Union on the 13th block of fourth street. The Rage Room offers several unique activity rooms, including a nerf arena, virtual reality and rage rooms.
Rage rooms are designed for individuals or groups who want “an opportunity to be bad in an environment where being bad is good.” The activity is meant for individuals to destress or have fun, and customers get to break anything from glass to printers. They can choose between different tools to break stuff with, including baseball bats, crowbars, mallets, hammers and golf clubs. They can even bring their own breakables.
“It’s goofy,” Meloney said. “It’s about figuring out how things work out, what breaks easily and what doesn’t, and it almost becomes a challenge.”
The three owners are all veterans. Meloney met her husband Scott in Italy while serving, and the couple hired Truman when starting their first company, Trinity Cleaning Service. The three have now owned Healthy Expressions Rage Room together for three months. According to Meloney, the business is thriving.
“It’s so different from our cleaning company and it’s just really fun,” Meloney said. “It’s hyper all the time. People couldn’t be in a bad mood here. It just couldn’t work.”
Their demographic is wide and Meloney said that it ranges from age seven to 75. College students are individuals that come in often to have fun. However, Associate Professor in Psychology, Kathy Dowell, is concerned that if what is stressing someone out is due to an interpersonal conflict, it only serves as a temporarily relief.
“You may experience temporary relief from your physical system calming down in the moment, but it doesn’t solve the problem,” Dowell said. “You may then re-experience that chronic stress state when you return to face that stressor.”
Dowell also said that she is concerned that students who cannot afford it may stack it on top of their debt.
“I don’t want to criticize an entrepreneur, I want to praise them for trying to find a healthy option for releasing stressors as opposed to more bars or more access to drugs,” Dowell said. “I’m just concerned about students who can’t afford it.”
Besides the expense, Dowell thinks the experience can be positive for people.
“This can be a fun, novel way to express stressors,” Dowell said. “It might be thrilling and exciting, and you may get other benefits from doing something new. And it’s safe.”
Dowell said that she thinks physical exercise, like swimming, running or a vigorous walk, can give a person the same experience in terms of the physical release, as well as a burst of endorphins.
Meloney expressed that the business would not let someone who enters the building with extreme anger to enter the rooms.
“This is not ever in means of replacement of therapy,” Meloney said. “We would never tell someone to come here instead of therapy. If somebody came in here really raging, we wouldn’t let them play. That wouldn’t be smart. It’s all about feeling it in a fun way.”
In the future, Meloney and her fellow owners plan to expand and maybe change things around.
“We always grow,” Meloney said. “All the rooms are floating rooms, so we can move the walls as we want to. We’d like to expand, maybe using the basement eventually. We have also talked about making rooms in the nerf arena.”
The Rage Room offers student discounts. More information can be found on their website.