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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    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.

    How This Quadriplegic Man Learned How to Move His Limbs…with His Mind

    Ian Burkhart was the first quadriplegic to regain control of his body using his thoughts.

    This 11-Year-Old Mows Lawns to Raise Money for Social Justice

    Meet Jack, a young boy giving up the money from his summer job to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

    A Girl Wrote a Simple Thank You Note to Her Postman and Got Hundreds of Responses

    The appreciation delivered by an 11-year-old girl is returned to sender—from grateful postal service employees nationwide.

    A 14-Year-Old Boy Helped Save Another Boy’s Life After Meeting Him Through a Video Game

    The friendships that teens build online can be stronger than you think.

    This Tattoo Artist Helps People with Scars Love Their Body Again

    The first fingernail tattoos started off as a joke—but soon he was getting the attention of people from all...

    21 Extraordinary Stories of Generosity That Will Stay with You

    These acts of kindness—big and small—speak to the generosity of the American spirit.

    12 LGBTQ Activists Who Have Changed American History

    It's hard to imagine where gay pride would be without the work and efforts of these LGBTQ leaders and countless...

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    10 Extraordinary Ways Kids Are Giving Us Hope in the Time of Coronavirus

    These ten examples will inspire you and the children in your lives to shake off the pain of the pandemic...

    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."

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    I Rescue 100 Cats a Year—Here’s What I Want You to Know

    Each day a cat is rescued is an emotional rollercoaster of heartache and triumph, and Denise wouldn't have it any...

    16 Photos That Celebrate the Good in All of Us

    As we navigate through this unprecedented time, the number of people who need help continues to grow.

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    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...

    A Football Player Decided to Donate Bone Marrow—He Never Imagined That It Would Save a Little Girl&#...

    When Mike Mushaw decided to donate bone marrow, he not only saved a life but also made a lifelong friend.

    A Toddler Was Playing on Train Tracks as a Train Approached—The Conductor’s Quick Action Saved Her Life

    The engineer could never stop the 6,200-ton train in time. So when the conductor saw a little girl on the...

    After Living on the Streets, This Man Takes Every Opportunity to Help Others

    An imperfect man finds the perfect way to give back.

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    During the COVID-19 Crisis, This Man Helped People in Need Get Toilet Paper

    When Jonny Blue realized that people were hoarding toilet paper, he set out to make sure the people who needed...

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    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...

    14 Nurses Share Stories of Positive Moments Behind-the-Scenes of COVID-19

    These frontline workers spend lots of time bedside—bringing joy to patients and fellow nurses. Here's a glimpse at how they've...

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    21 Moving Photos of Kindness in the Time of Coronavirus

    Tough times can truly bring out the best in people.