Recurring chest pain and other cardiac symptoms that cannot be adequately explained by organic pathology are common and can be associated with substantial disability, distress and high healthcare costs. Common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety frequently co-occur with these symptoms and, in some cases, account for their presentation, although they are not universally present. Due to the frequency of functional cardiac presentations and risks of iatrogenic harm, physicians should be familiar with strategies to identify, assess and communicate with patients about these symptoms. A systematic and multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and management is often needed. Health beliefs, concerns and any associated behaviours should be elicited and addressed throughout. Psychiatric comorbidities should be concurrently identified and treated. For those with persistent symptoms, psychosocial outcomes can be poor, highlighting the need for further research and investment in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches and multidisciplinary service models.