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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    The 50 Nicest Places in America in 2019

    This list of our 50 Nicest Places in 2019 came from over 1,000 stories sent to us by readers.

    I Got Shot in a Place That Loves Guns, and I Still Can’t Bring Myself to Hate Guns

    One Alabama woman’s experience—as an observer 
and as a shooting victim—underscores how hungry Americans are to reach consensus.

    Ex-Gunman Tells Us How to Stop the Next Mass Shooter

    An eye-opening look into the minds of mass shooters—from a wannabe killer who was arrested just in the nick of...

    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...

    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?...

    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.

    When a Scuba Diver Didn’t Return to the Surface for Hours, This Diving Expert Refused to Give ...

    It seemed impossible that anyone could be left alive. But an inner...

    How David Lee Roth of Van Halen Almost Ruined My Marriage

    I thought the man I’d married was a 
rock star. That turned out to be closer 
to the truth than...

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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.

    A Bad Storm Left This Driver Stranded on a Bridge with His Truck Dangling 70 Feet Above a River

    With his truck dangling above a roiling river and a storm whipping 50-mph winds, a trapped 
driver’s only hope...

    These Prisoners Scammed Millions from the Comfort of Their Jail Cells

    A diabolical scam snares everyday Americans. The real shock is that it is pulled off by prisoners.

    This Teacher Saved a Grandmother’s Life Thanks to Virtual School at Home

    “If it wasn’t for them,” said Phillips, 
“I wouldn’t be here.”

    Dozens of My Friends Have Had Coronavirus—Here’s What They Want You to Know

    One by one, I've watched friends and family members contract, spread, and battle coronavirus. They've shared their stories in the...

    When a Medevac Plane Couldn’t Land Because the Runway Lights Were Out an Entire Village Used T...

    “Any time a plane flies over that late, you know something is wrong.”

    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.

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    Reader’s Digest Nicest Places in America

    Every year, our editors read through thousands of nominations from readers to find the Reader's Digest Nicest Places in America....

    40 Years After Falling for a Girl, He Finally Got to Be with Her

    A lovesick teenager gets the girl—
40 years later.

    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.

    What It Was Like to Escape a Wildfire In the Middle of the Night

    Two retirees recount their narrow escape from their home during a wildfire in Oregon.

    How a Determined Detective Caught a Stalker Who Had Been Humiliating High School Girls in a Small Town

    An elusive hacker humiliated high school girls 
from a small New Hampshire town. Then they teamed up with a determined...

    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...