Stroke is one of the main causes of human disabilities. Experimental observations indicate that several mechanisms are activated during the recovery of functional activity after a stroke. Here we unveil how the brain recovers by explaining the role played by three mechanisms: Plastic adaptation, hyperexcitability and synaptogenesis. We consider two different damages in a neural network: A diffuse damage that simply causes the reduction of the effective system size and a localized damage, a stroke, that strongly alters the spontaneous activity of the system. Recovery mechanisms observed experimentally are implemented both separately and in a combined way. Interestingly, each mechanism contributes to the recovery to a limited extent. Only the combined application of all three together is able to recover the spontaneous activity of the undamaged system. This explains why the brain triggers independent mechanisms, whose cooperation is the fundamental ingredient for the system’s recovery.