Smashing plates will make you 'feel like a bad arse' at Melbourne's new Break Room.

Image: supplied. 


Whether you have steam coming out of your ears or are just looking for a stress relief, one savvy Melbourne entrepreneur has a smashing new space for you.

Ed Hunter has set up The Break Room — a place where visitors can don protective gear and smash things in the Brunswick cafe space bounded by plastic.

Patrons are given a baseball bat and a tub of crockery. The demolition is only limited by one’s imagination.

Mr Hunter said “breakers” had constructed wine-glass towers, frisbeed dinner plates against the wall, or thrown teacups into the air ready to smash like a tennis serve.

He said some come for a fun new activity, others for stress release and he has seen everyone from frazzled workers from the Department of Human Services, to those unlucky in love.

“We had a couple of broken hearts come through, couple of people who’d just recently broke up with their boyfriend or girlfriends,” he said.

Designer Harry Brown joked he had had a frustrating week, so he had come to channel his inner Van Gough.

“You get to a certain age where you’ve done all your taboos, you can drink, do whatever, drive a car,” he said.

“Now you do this and it’s still on the edge, still something a little bit risky and you can feel like a bit of a bad arse at the end of it.”

Breaker Cam Wishart said he had a rough week at uni.

“There are other ways of venting stress but a really nice primal way is smashing stuff you’re not supposed to,” he said.


‘Aggression keeps anger alive.’

Interestingly though, aggression has not been linked with catharsis, quite the opposite according to some.

At Ohio State University, a study by Professor Brad Bushman found lashing out aggressively only reinforced aggressive tendencies.

"It keeps angry feelings alive, it keeps aggressive thoughts active in memory," Professor Bushman said.

"It's just like using gasoline or petrol to put out a fire. It just feeds the flame."

He said just because something felt good, did not mean it was cathartic long-term.

"When angry people hit something or kick or swear or shout, afterwards it feels really good, so they think 'wow, it must work'," Professor Bushman said.

"But it also feels good after people take street drugs or eat chocolate, and just because something feels good, doesn't mean it works."

But Mr Hunter said The Break Room was just a controlled environment, for some stress relief or fun.

"I don't pretend to be providing any kind of psychological help here, this is all about just having a great time in a safe environment," he said.

Despite the $50 price tag for a tub of crockery that usually takes batters only five minutes to demolish, interest has been such that this initiative is moving to a larger space in Collingwood, to accommodate two break rooms.

© 2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. Read the ABC Disclaimer here.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.