© The Author(s) 2018. With an estimated 38 million current patients, heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although the aetiology differs, HF is largely a disease of cardiomyocyte (CM) death or dysfunction. Due to the famously limited amount of regenerative capacity of the myocardium, the only viable option for advanced HF patients is cardiac transplantation; however, donor's hearts are in very short supply. Thus, novel regenerative strategies are urgently needed to reconstitute the injured hearts. Emerging data from our lab and others have elucidated that CM-specific deletion of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3 family of kinases induces CM proliferation, and the degree of proliferation is amplified in the setting of cardiac stress. If this proliferation is sufficiently robust, one could induce meaningful regeneration without the need for delivering exogenous cells to the injured myocardium (i.e. cardiac regeneration in situ). Herein, we will discuss the emerging role of the GSK-3s in CM proliferation and differentiation, including their potential implications in cardiac regeneration. The underlying molecular interactions and cross-talk among signalling pathways will be discussed. We will also review the specificity and limitations of the available small molecule inhibitors targeting GSK-3 and their potential applications to stimulate the endogenous cardiac regenerative responses to repair the injured heart.