People break stuff at French rage room to bid 2023 adieu

Bidding farewell to France

LILLE: The shrill sounds of glass shattering echoed in rage rooms in the northern French city of Lille on Friday (December 29) ahead of New Year’s eve as people took to breaking bottles, plates and used appliances to release their frustration and bid adieu to 2023.

“Right before New Year’s, this is a good way to say goodbye to the past year… and leave all of the problems behind,” said Manon Rudloff, a Parisian visitor of the Le Defouloir rage rooms in Lille. “I feel relaxed, a bit tired, since we use quite a lot of energy, but now, I feel calm.”

Thought to originate in Japan in the late 2000s, rage rooms are confined spaces where visitors don protective suits as they break various materials as a way to vent.

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Opened in 2018, the Le Defouloir usually welcomes 20 visitors per day in its four spaces. Twenty minutes in the rage room costs 50 euros.

But the number of visitors has increased to around 35 daily since the start of this year’s holidays, the facility’s manager Anael Callens said. Many of them aim to “put the year 2023 to a close and to release everything they’ve lived through in the year 2023 so that they could move forward into 2024,” Callens said.

He said people of all ages, most of them women, come to ravage the rage rooms. Half visit as a personal way of release and fun, while half come as a recommendation by therapists and life coaches. “I’m not saying that breaking things is a therapy in itself, but it can be used as a therapeutic exercise,” he said.

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