Real Life Stories

You’ve got to read it to believe it! These true stories seem almost too good to be true, but we promise that we couldn’t make these up. From love to loss and from survival to unbelieavable coincidences—we’ve got the wildest stories to keep you informed, entertained, and inspired.

View More in:

Add Filter

Tout icon

17 Short, Sweet Stories About Moms (That Will Make You Want to Call Yours)

In 100 words or less, readers share their poignant tales of the bond between mother and child. Have a story of your own? Tell us here for the chance to be published in Reader's Digest.

My Dad Sent Me a Fruitcake Every Year for Christmas. The Last One Didn’t Arrive Until a Year A...

My father resembled a fruitcake. One year, he even sent one. It never arrived.


A Teacher Told Her Students to Draw What They Were Thankful for—This Was One Student’s Moving ...

As this teacher learned, some of the most moving lessons are taught by students.


Tout icon

I’m a Teacher—Here’s Why I Won’t Go Back to School When It Reopens

A college professor explains why online learning can benefit both teachers and students—and it’s not just about staying safe during...


My Immigrant Family Took on White-Sounding Names—And Here’s Why That’s a Problem

Is an Anglicized name key to a successful life in America? The issue is complex.

Students Noticed One Boy Was Wearing the Same Clothes Every Day, so They Stepped in to Help

"They went home and hunted through their own drawers and closets."


Tout icon

Read One Teacher’s Genius Response to the Question “What Do You Make?”

Teacher Taylor Mali's unforgettable, searing retort to a thoughtless question certainly put a dinner companion in his place—and can make...


Two Nurses Working at the Same Hospital Discover They’re Half Sisters

Holly O'Brien and Meagan Hughes noticed startling parallels in their lives. They are originally from South Korea. They were adopted....


Tout icon

10 Clever Ways People Are Celebrating Birthdays Under Quarantine

While COVID-19 may have limited people's abilities to actively go out and celebrate their birthdays, that doesn't mean creative celebrations...


Tout icon

11 Ways Teachers Are Going Above and Beyond During Coronavirus

Teaching isn't just a profession—it's a calling. No one embodies this more than these inspirational, innovative teachers, who are doing...

How Star Wars Helped Me Bond with My Dad

The film holds a special place in many people's hearts, but its place in my heart also includes my dad.


Tout icon

16 Things We’re All Looking Forward to Once Social Distancing Ends

Real-people share stories about what they're most looking forward to doing after self-quarantine restrictions finally let up.


Why I Stopped Complaining About Quarantine—And You Should Too

Staying at home provided me with a golden opportunity to embrace mindfulness and gratitude.


The New Quarantine Hobby I’m Never Giving Up

From making stained glass to growing sourdough starter, 14 people share their new passions—and some great ideas to fill your...


Tout icon

I’m an Extrovert—Here’s How I’m Surviving Quarantine

This "new normal" will never feel normal, but these five things are helping me feel a little more at peace...


Tout icon

Anonymous Donor Writes Check for $55,000 After Reading a Reader’s Digest Article

In one of the Nicest Places in America, high school students lead the way in caring for those in their...


Tout icon

12 Famous Sibling Rivalries Throughout History

Just because you're related to your brother or sister doesn't mean you have to like them. Here are the best...


This Family Raised a Baby Goose for a Year—20 Years Later, It Returned Home

When two adult geese left their gosling behind, a human family stepped in to raise him. Many years later, the...



A Man in His 60s Working Towards His Masters Proves That You’re Never too Old to Learn

At 63, Jerry Valencia was determined to get his 
college degree—and his master’s too.


24 Stories About Meeting Santa That Will Fill You with the Christmas Spirit

Santa Claus has a lot of kids to visit each year, but he never fails to get his job done....


I Was Adopted at 13, and Now I Dedicate My Life to Helping Others in Foster Care

After growing up in the foster care system, Shanté Elliott is working to help others transition out of it.

Magazine Cover

Subscribe & SAVE

Save Up To 84%!

My Grandfather Left the Structure of His Old House to Rot in a Field. Here’s Why I’ll Never Tear it ...

The old farmhouse was abandoned and falling apart. But tearing it down 
would be like razing the author’s past.



A 4-Week-Old Baby Was in Desperate Need of a Home. The Couple That Took Him in Knew He Was Meant to ...

Sarah Mouracade thought she would never have a child—then a miracle happened.


17 Reasons My Favorite Teacher Changed My Life

It only takes one person to make a difference in the life of another—and teachers are often that person. Check...


What It’s Really Like to Live with Someone with Autism

While living with someone who has autism may have plenty of challenges, overall, the experience can be an absolute gift.


This Girl Wrote Her Dad a Letter to Cope with His Death—and Got a Response

Desiree was only four when she lost her Dad. She desperately wanted to talk to him one last time.