Advances in medical and device therapies have demonstrated the capacity of the heart to reverse the failing phenotype. The development of normative changes to ventricular size and function led to the concept of reverse remodelling. Among heart failure therapies, durable mechanical circulatory support is most consistently associated with the largest degree of reverse remodelling. Accordingly, research to analyse human tissue after a period of mechanical circulatory support continues to yield a wealth of information. In this Review, we summarize the latest findings on reverse remodelling and myocardial recovery. Accumulating evidence shows that the molecular changes associated with heart failure, in particular in the transcriptome, metabalome, and extracellular matrix, persist in the reverse-remodelled myocardium despite apparent normalization of macrolevel properties. Therefore, reverse remodelling should be distinguished from true myocardial recovery, in which a failing heart regains both normal function and molecular makeup. These findings have implications for future research to develop therapies to repair fully the failing myocardium. Meanwhile, recognition by society guidelines of this new clinical phenotype, which is coming to be known as a state of heart failure remission, underscores the need to accurately define and identify reverse modelled myocardium for the establishment of appropriate therapies.