Mitochondrial dysfunction is considered as a crucial contributory factor in cardiac pathology. This has highlighted the therapeutic potential of targeting mitochondria to prevent or treat cardiac disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with aberrant electron transport chain activity, reduced ATP production, an abnormal shift in metabolic substrates, ROS overproduction and impaired mitochondrial dynamics. This review will cover the mitochondrial functions and how they are altered in various disease conditions. Furthermore, the mechanisms that lead to mitochondrial defects and the protective mechanisms that prevent mitochondrial damage will be discussed. Finally, potential mitochondrial targets for novel therapeutic intervention will be explored. We will highlight the development of small molecules that target mitochondria from different perspectives and their current progress in clinical trials.