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.

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8 Remarkable Stories of the Most Unlikely Friendships

Would you pal around with your spouse’s ex? Or buddy up to someone who put 
a foot in your face? These readers did—
and found lifelong companions.

My Best Friend Scammed Me Out of $92,000, Forcing Me into Bankruptcy

She swindled me out of $92,000, forcing me into bankruptcy and destroying my once sunny outlook. But I finally...


I Broke Up with My Best Friend Because We Couldn’t Agree on Black Lives Matter

This cause is simply too important to just "agree to disagree," even to keep an old friendship.


Coronavirus Canceled Our Wedding—Until a Good Samaritan Stepped In

Getting married in the middle of a pandemic may sound crazy but if COVID-19 has taught us one thing it's...


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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.

How Being a Girl Scout Saved My Life

Their tight-knit Buddy System was a literal life-saver.


How Being Single for Years Made Me a Better Partner

Years of singledom teach us more than what we want in a partner—they also teach us how to be a...

Here’s How a 78-Year-Old Gambler Brought One Woman Humanity

An unlikely friendship teaches one woman the importance of taking a chance on others.


Men and Women Share the Sweetest Thing Their Partner Has Ever Said to Them

It may feel like romance can get lost in the shuffle of everyday life, but these couples remind us that...



10 Lives That Were Forever Changed Thanks to the Power of Generosity

These stories of radical compassion reveal our inner humanitarians, the part of us that believes that if we live with...

This Sales Clerk’s Story Will Make You Long for a Small-Town Christmas

Mr. Johnson showed up at the last-minute every year on Christmas Eve, but this sales clerk had done her homework...


24 Summer Love Stories That Will Make You Swoon

According to these truly epic tales of romance, one way to find a love that lasts in summer is to...


The Number One Thing You Need to Do This Summer to Feel Alive

Life is serious, but carnivals aren't. A recent romp with a gal pal at an old-fashioned carnival was just the...


Two Pilots Were Flying from Oahu to Hawaii—Then They Heard the Engines Go Quiet

They swam through jellyfish, the threat of sharks, and 16 miles of exhaustion before being sighted.


Forget Book Club: This Fishing Club Is the Ultimate Female Bonding Experience

No competitions and no judgment—WI Women Fish brings women from six states and Canada together for fishing trips and female...

He Dialed the Wrong Phone Number. The Guy Who Picked Up Is Now His Best Friend.

You never know what may come of a funny answering machine message.


He Was a Gangster. She Was His Prosecutor. Now Their Unlikely Friendship Is Changing Lives.

DeQuandre Davis was doomed to a cycle of gang violence. Then everything changed.


Why Forgetting Their Anniversary Was the Best Thing This Couple Ever Did

This couple's "every-other-year" anniversary rule is the best idea ever.


A Widow Went White Water Rafting With Her Husband’s Ashes. What Happened Next Was Devastatingly Beau...

How Neshama Franklin wound up paying tribute to her late husband—and healing herself in the process.


I Was Afraid to Tell My Grandmother I Was Gay. Her Reaction Left Me Speechless.

For years, I lived in fear that my conservative grandmother would discover I was gay. Once she did, the reality...


3 Heart-Pounding True Stories About Heroes Who Couldn’t Help But Come to the Rescue

These tales from the Moth, America's premier storytelling group, reveal how striking acts of heroism can arrive in unexpected moments.


How a Boy and His Telephone Operator Formed a Lovely, Lasting Friendship

In this Reader's Digest Classic, originally published in 1966 as "The Voice in the Box," a little boy forges a...


Roxane Gay Makes a Case for Why We Should All Quit Whining

The professor and author was the queen of complaints—until she realized what she was missing.

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Ari & the Cello Chair

A chance encounter with a music teacher filled me with passion and purpose.


A Frustrating Plane Delay, and the Simple Baggie of Cookies That Made It All Better

My delayed flight led to to a life-changing interaction.


A Devoted Husband Confesses: Why I Wear Two Wedding Bands

A man explains to a stranger how wearing a second wedding band has changed his life.


My Family Abandoned Me. Then A Stranger’s Simple Kindness Changed My Life

In a random act of kindness, strangers turned around one writer's awful day by lifting her suitcase up the stairs...


The “Lost Boy” Who Built a Family

One of the lost boys of Sudan, Peter Ter came to America with nothing—except a remarkable gift for turning strangers...


Ann Patchett Tells Everything She Knows About Love

After learning that her boyfriend of 11 years has a potentially fatal heart condition, the author wonders—is it possible that...