Inspirational Stories

Reader’s Digest has the stories to lift your spirits and fill you with hope in your darkest moments. We’ve promised to be a source of joy, and these stories deliver. From everyday heros to reunited long-lost siblings, we’ve got the stories to inspire you.

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Kindness, Delivered: Restaurant Owner Drives Six Hours to Make Terminally Ill Woman’s Favorite...

A Baltimore restaurant goes above and beyond to make a delicious dish for a special customer.

A Child Lost Her Beloved Baseball Cards in a Wildfire, So a Stranger Stepped Up to the Plate to Help

A longtime baseball card collector seizes the opportunity to do good after a destructive wildfire.


This Veterinarian Helps Pets of Homeless People Out of His Own Pocket

A California veterinarian makes house calls to pet owners who have no place to call home.


Mitch Albom on What It Means to Be a Real Father to a Special Orphan

What is a real father? An orphan in Haiti teaches ­­bestselling author Mitch Albom a wonderful new definition.


After a Woman Rescued an Injured Swan, Strangers Helped Her Get the Bird Across the City to a Rehab ...

This woman went above and beyond to save a swan in the Big Apple—and some passersby stopped to help.

My Father-in-Law Had the Whole Family Select His Final Resting Place Before He Passed

When it came to selecting his final resting place, my father-in-law knew to scout the land he loved, with...


This Woman Has Helped Over 400 Seniors Schedule Vaccine Appointments

She saw a need for help—and didn't hesitate to step up to the plate.


How the Dog Nobody Wanted for 17 Months Became a School’s Unofficial Mascot

When Higgins was found, he had been dumped on the side of the road and appeared aggressive—but with some TLC...


This Biker Rode 1,426 Miles to Meet the Family of His Organ Donor

Her son’s organ donation 
saved his life. So he rode to meet her.

Meet the Pitbull Who Became Her Family’s Caretaker

"At that moment, Emmy Lou came up to me and put my whole wrist in her mouth. She was hugging...


After This Man Rescued a Cow from a Dairy Farm, the Two Developed the Most Unbelievable Friendship

Meet Ryan and his 1,000-pound bestie: Jenna the cow. She's brought joy to his life—and also brought him together...


How This Woman and Her Horse Made a Man’s Final Months Full of Life

A horse shunned by his herd gets rescued by a woman who understands his pain. Then they live, play, and—ultimately—grieve...


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The Seeing-Eye Dog Who’s Always Ripe for a Challenge

I was at my lowest and things were only getting worse—then I met my service dog, Plum.


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How One “Hedgehog Lady” Reignited Her Sense of Purpose

When a baby hedgehog needed a home, this woman stepped in without hesitation.

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This Rescue Dog Helps His Owner Nurse Baby Hummingbirds Back to Health

You don't have to be from the same species to be kindred spirits.


Inspiring Stories from People Who Found Their True Calling Halfway Through Life

Some people don’t 
find their true direction 
in life until they 
are halfway through it.


How an 18-Year-Old Helped Save a Hiker Who Fell 75 Feet Off a Mountain Cliff

An 18-year-old went on a hike with his mom—and returned home a hero. Here's how his quick actions saved...



30 Stories About the Touching Kindness of Strangers That’ll Make You Tear Up

We asked readers for firsthand accounts of compassion. Here are 30 stories on kindness that touched your lives—and our hearts.


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When the World Shut Down, This 9-Year-Old Created an Unlikely Bond with 6 Chickens

In a time of isolation from the rest of the world, this little girl found friendship in her family’s new...



15 Amazing Facts About the Women of NASA

The sky is not the limit for these incredible pioneers.

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How an Activist with Disabilities Went from Being a Role Model to a Runway Model

A disabled activist won’t let Twitter trolls stop her 
from seeing herself as she really is—a star.


This Musician Asks Kids to Trade Their Guns in for Trumpets to Help Combat Violence in New Orleans

Alarmed by a tragic shooting in 
his hometown, a New Orleans musician 
gives hope to kids—for a song.


A Surf Board Drifted from Hawaii to the Philippines and Started a Friendship Between the Two Owners

It traveled over 5,000 miles across the ocean and was still in one piece.


I Was Bullied on Valentine’s Day as a Kid. Here’s How I Spread Kindness on February 14 a...

As a child, I had a humiliating experience on February 14. Now that I’m a teacher, my students celebrate...


A Dog Was Trapped in a Cave for 30 Hours. It Took 8 Cavers to Find Him.

Buzzman the dog hadn't returned home for a few hours. Thinking it was unusual, his owner tracked his collar and...


15 People Share the Silver Linings They Found Amid a Pandemic

This year, many of us have new appreciation for life’s simpler joys. RD readers share their discoveries.