Social scientists have documented the power of being heard: Disclosing emotional experiences to others promotes mental and physical health. Yet, far less is known about how listeners digest the sensitive information people share with them. We combined brain imaging and text analysis methods with a naturalistic emotional disclosure paradigm to assess how listeners form memories of others' disclosures. Neural and linguistic evidence support the hypothesis that listeners consolidate memories for others' disclosures during rest after listening and that their ability to do so facilitates subsequently providing the speakers with support. In Study 1, brain imaging methods showed that functional connectivity between the dorsomedial subsystem of the default network and frontoparietal control network increased during rest after listening to others' disclosures and predicted subsequent memory for their experiences. Moreover, graph analytic methods demonstrated that the left anterior temporal lobe may function as a connector hub between these two networks when consolidating memory for disclosures. In Study 2, linguistic analyses revealed other-focused thought increased during rest after listening to others' disclosures and predicted not only memory for the information disclosed but also whether listeners supported the speakers the next day. Collectively, these findings point to the important role of memory consolidation during rest in helping listeners respond supportively to others' disclosures. In our increasingly busy lives, pausing to briefly rest may not only help us care for ourselves but also help us care for others.

You do not currently have access to this content.