JAKARTA, Oct 9 (Jakarta Post/ANN): Situated among Ubud’s peaceful temples, vast rice fields and yoga centres, a local resort has recently introduced a rage room in their facility for those wanting to vent their anger by smashing objects.
Salshadilla Juwita recently visited a rage room in the Kaamala Resort in Ubud, Gianyar regency, Bali. Named the “Smashroom” – it is only 4 meters wide and 4 meters long. In one corner lies the debris of smashed objects including beer bottles, TVs and air conditioners.
Protective gear – gloves and helmet included – hangs by the door. Situated inside the resort’s fitness center, this rage room is not soundproof so people outside can hear the noises.
“I’m interested in [the concept of a] smashroom because I’ve never heard of such a facility before,” South Jakarta-based Salshadilla told The Jakarta Post.
The 23-year-old, who works in an office and is also a singer, said she felt relieved after destroying various objects – even if there were no specific issues that triggered her visit to the rage room.
“But [maybe] because I feel a lot of pressure from [my office] work. We’re entering the fourth quarter now – so there’s a high workload with targets to achieve,” she said, adding that all of the emotions were released in the rage room.
Expressing her interest to return to the facility in her next visit to Bali, Salshadilla said that using the rage room also provided an opportunity to sweat. She noted that many people could use rage rooms to vent their anger during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many people are annoyed because it has been too long of not being able to leave their homes. Others might be angry with the prolonged restrictions,” she said, “better to release it [in rage rooms] than onto other people.”
Ian Belknap, 37, a South African who lives in Sanur, Bali and works as a teacher, used the rage room with his wife, Ajeng Hayu Anandra, 32, over the weekend. The two specifically visited the Kaamala Resort to use the facility and broke two air conditioners and many bottles while they were there.
“We actually weren’t angry enough to need the experience, just seen them on TV and always wanted to try one,” Ian told the Post.
Known for its mystical temples and vast rice fields, as well as yoga and meditation centers, Ubud, is famous among travelers who want to “cool down” or embark on a spiritual journey. Even the town’s name itself came from ubad (Balinese for medicine). The location is so popular that author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about her time there in her bestselling memoir Eat Pray Love, which was later adapted into a feature film.
So will a rage room fit among Ubud’s wellness centers?
“It was a peculiar setting for such an activity, as I would have expected to more likely find [rage rooms] in the city,” said Belknap, adding that it was nice to enjoy the swimming pool and the spa after using the rage room.
Belknap acknowledged that he and his wife were “very satisfied” with the experience and would definitely come back should they have some anger to vent – they also recommended the rage room to a friend.
“[The friend is] keen to hear more, as [Bali] residents are looking for more alternative activities,” he said.
Kaamala Resort Ubud was established in 2020 under Ini Vie Hospitality’s management. Ini Vie Hospitality’s business development manager Gratika Ekawati revealed that Smashroom was introduced in September this year.
“There are many people under a lot of stress during the pandemic – from economic issues to work, family and personal issues. We want to provide a facility for them to vent their emotions safely and comfortably,” Gratika told the Post.
Items such as empty water, beer and even wine bottles come from the resort’s storage; while broken air conditioners and TVs are delivered from the company’s other properties.
Kaamala’s Smashroom in Ubud is currently listed as the only rage room in Bali. In Jakarta, a similar room called Temper Clinic was introduced in Mampang, South Jakarta, in 2018. The Jakarta facility is currently closed until further notice.
Psychologist Edwin Adrianta Surijah, who lives in Denpasar, Bali, is familiar with rage rooms in general, adding that in Japan there were cafes that invited guests to break glassware to vent their anger.
“In psychology, we know the term ‘coping’ to manage stress. Breaking objects fall under emotional coping and it is often known as cathartic, venting or emotional discharge,” said Edwin, who is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Psychology and Counselling at Queensland University of Technology in Australia.
While acknowledging that such a coping mechanism could help someone to temporarily relieve emotions, Edwin said that it would not solve the main problems.
“For us psychologists, we always encourage people to be genuine – they need to express themselves without inhibitions. If you have come to a point where you need to release your emotions in rage rooms, then it may help your stress management,” he said.
However, Edwin warned of the side effects of such acts, adding that sometimes people who break objects to express their anger may feel even more negative emotions. He advised people to focus on the main problems and work on them – and used rage rooms for “recreational purposes.”
“Visiting [rage rooms] as a recreation for one’s mental health can be useful and it is interesting to try – but it’s not the final solution for mental health,” he said.
Indeed, Cece Cordon, 30, a Canadian who is on a long-term visit to Bali, changed her mind about using Kaamala’s Smashroom after hearing loud noises from outside.
“I didn't know that Kaamala had [a rage room] until I [arrived]. I was interested in the experience because I like to try everything once – until I heard someone testing it out and decided it was far too loud for me!” Cordon told the Post.
Cordon heard the noises from the rage room as she was using the resort’s gym. She said the sound made her feel frustrated and she decided to go for a run to process her emotions. She also added that seeing broken leftovers in the room made her realize that it did not fit with her “green” lifestyle.
Nevertheless, Cordon, who also studied psychology, said that people who felt a lot of pent-up rage or fear, or even sadness may find the room freeing.
When asked about the Smashroom as an anomaly among Ubud’s wellness centers that provide courses such as breathwork, sound healing, yoga, meditations and even New Age healing crystals, Cordon noted that people process emotions differently.
“For some [...] perhaps breaking a few beer bottles where no one can get hurt might be just as powerful. Every person is different and we all have emotions - so I think it's great that there is another option that may not be so ‘Ubud’ in Ubud,” she said. -- The Jakarta Post/ANN