Listen up ...

Old man and boyThose stories of growing up on the farm so lovingly related by your great-uncle at family gatherings may be good medicine for body and soul. Research by psychology professors Howard Thorsheim and Bruce Roberts, authors of I Remember When: Activity Ideas to Help People Reminisce (Elder Books), shows that storytellers experience a greater sense of physical well-being, including lower heart rate, when sharing memories. "Storytelling is one of the oldest and best-known ways to express the meaning and significance of who you are," says Thorsheim. "And when an elder shares these stories, they no longer feel isolated."

— Elisa Bosley

Photography by: VCG/FPG