The 1975’s Matty Healy on how therapy with a horse in rehab helped him kick heroin

"It was the most profound experience I've ever had"

The 1975 frontman Matty Healy has discussed how equine therapy helped him to beat his heroin habit during a stint in rehab ahead of the band’s new album.

Healy had previously revealed he undertook a stint in a Barbados rehab clinic ahead of recording their upcoming album ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships‘ – with the honest admission coming after he referenced his drug battles on comeback single ‘Give Yourself A Try’.

Now in a frank interview for this week’s NME Big Read, Healy has opened up about how he came to overcome his drug habit after a ‘profound’ experience with a horse named Favor.

“One of my therapists there asked did I want to do equine therapy,” said Healy. “And I thought, because I’m a very cynical English person who doesn’t believe in energy and vibes and is a sceptic at heart, I thought, fucking hell, what am I going to do? Stand next to a horse for two weeks?”

“So I’m stood there, and the first day, to be honest, I am stood next to a horse, and I’m thinking, ‘What a fucking dickhead I am, stood with a horse thinking that I’m going to have a profound moment’. Then three days in, my therapist takes me into this round pen and tells me, ‘Breathe,’ shows me this thing where I’m spinning a rope near the horse, and he basically teaches me how to get the horse to trust me in about five minutes.”

Healy continued: “And when it happened, and the horse came up to me and put his thing next to me, and he was just with me for the whole day, feeling safer with me than not, it was the most profound experience I’ve ever had, because I just got it. In that time, and probably if I went back now, I cared a million times more in a human way about the approval of that horse than I did anybody else.”

Healy then came round to the idea of the horse putting its trust in him.

“I thought, hold on, this thing wants to be with me,” Healy went on. “He has the ability to destroy whatever he wants and the desire to hurt nothing. He’s so strong, so independent, so graceful, so elegant, so generous with his time, so understanding of my fragility… there were so many human qualities that I envied in this horse. I’m not as good with other people as he is; I’m not as strong as he is, I’m not as forgiving as he is, I’m not as elegant as he is.”

“And he had great hair. I mean, you can get a mangy horse, but Favor was good looking.”

  • Read the full Matty Healy NME Big Read here

The 1975 release ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ on November 30.

The band’s full upcoming UK and Ireland tour dates are below. Visit here for tickets and more information.

Wednesday 9 – BELFAST SSE Arena Belfast
Thursdat January 10 – DUBLIN 3Arena
Saturday January 12 – GLASGOW SSE Hydro
Monday January 14 – CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Wednesday January 16 – BRIGHTON Centre
Friday January 18 – LONDON O2 Arena
Saturday January 19 – LONDON O2 Arena
Monday January 21 – EXETER Westpoint Arena
Wednesday January 23 – BIRMINGHAM Arena Birmingham
Thursday January 24 – MANCHESTER Arena
Friday 25 – SHEFFIELD FlyDSA Arena Sheffield