Sometimes, and especially lately, I have days when the only thing I believe would make me feel better is to just scream primal rage into the void and break some shit. Do you ever have those days? Just me? I didn’t think so. Enter a popular and relatively new business called a “rage room,” where they might have just the solution we’re looking for.
A new one opened not far from me in Memphis, TN, called Craze, and upon seeing it on my timeline, I thought to myself, What’s that now? A rage room? I like it already. Sign me up immediately.
Memphis native, Sierra Miller, opened Craze in August 2018 to offer an affordable and fun way to relieve pent-up frustration and aggression. Her website invites you to come and rage with them in relative safety with the tagline “Have you ever felt like you wanted to just break or smash something but you didn’t want to face the consequences of lashing out?”
Why, yes, Sierra, I have. It’s like you know me.
Okay, first of all, what exactly is a rage room?
According to their website, “Craze is a place where you can come and safely let loose without being judged. Come in feeling stressed and leave feeling relieved. Craze is a choice for many team building exercises and date nights. We provide a different way for people to be able to relieve their frustrations and to have fun while doing it. Let us help you redirect that negative energy in a controlled environment.”
The Rage Room in Springfield, Missouri also describes it as “a controlled environment” where you can “relieve stress and break shit” and adds the words that appear in every mother’s wet dream “where you don’t have to pick up the mess!”
The Rage Ground in Los Angeles says, “You can take it out on us!”
These few aren’t the first or only of their kind, though. They are popping up all over the country, and if the level of anger and frustration I see daily is any indication, they’re not going to be hurting for customers any time soon.
Dr. Joanna Jablonski says they’re popular because “It’s a forbidden fruit, you know. These are things you can’t usually do, and this allows you to go and release your anger and your stress and your rage, and be aggressive without getting in trouble.”
But she also adds that this shouldn’t be your only outlet for rage and frustration, and stresses that you should also be speaking to a professional about the source of your rage if you truly want to conquer it.
If you are interested or planning to find one near you, you should know that there are some minor safety rules that are pretty consistent throughout most of the rage rooms across the country. Most have an age minimum for participation, for instance, although it varies from location to location, as well as rules about safety gear, closed-toe shoes, and long pants.
But let’s get to the meat of the matter: What can we break?
Items provided for breakage include random household items. Think kitchenware like dishes and glasses. Videos also show lamps, fish tanks, coffee tables, computers, televisions, mannequins, and even kid toys. The communities where these businesses are located donate these items for you to smash, which relieves the nagging mom guilt in the back of our minds when we consider smashing things at home for even a split second. “I gave good money for that china. If I break it, I’m wasting money.” “I’d love to beat the shit out of this XBox with a hammer, but it cost me several hundred dollars!” Honey, no. You don’t worry about that in a rage room. Let it go. Smash away.
Or if you’re feeling extra aggressive, you can also bring your own items from home. Have an old trash set of dishware? Maybe the wedding pictures from your third marriage? That ugly ass lamp your ex-mother-in-law insisted you be grateful for? Take it, break it, and let someone else clean up the mess for a change.
Your choices of weapon are also varied: Hammers, pipes, sledge hammers, golf clubs, baseball bats, tennis racquets, crowbars, and I think I saw a croquet mallet in the lineup.
I asked Ms. Miller from Craze whether her visitors are one-offs or if she sees a lot of repeat customers and what their general reactions are to the experience. She says that some people come on a lark for just one visit, but she has had many repeat customers as well. She says the responses from her guests have ranged from “I can’t believe I’m doing this!” to “I feel so much better now!” and “I really needed that.”
I think we could all use a place like this in our lives. Immediately, if not sooner.