If anyone needs a quick pick-me-up, it's the American worker. If you're lucky enough to still have a job during a recession, then you're probably watching your 401(k) dissolve and bracing for the next round of layoffs. While heavy drinking at the office is frowned upon, nearly everyone can get behind a big bowl of jellybeans.
Candy consumption in the United States has gone through the roof. The New York Times reports that Cadbury's profits were up 30 percent in 2008 and Nestle saw a 10.9 percent growth [source: Haughney]. These inexpensive, sweet treats provide a necessary break from all of the bad news as well as some hope for struggling dentists.
Cosmetics and nail-care businesses also do well during recessions as women look for inexpensive ways to pamper themselves. In fact, some economists point to rising lipstick sales as a reliable indicator of a sagging economy [source: Schaefer].
The bedroom is also an excellent (and free, in most cases) treat during the recession. But budget-conscious couples are making sure to avoid any unplanned expenses. During the first two months of 2009, contraceptive sales were up 12 percent [source: Gregory].