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This study employed an experimental design to examine: (1) the predictors of the ability to engage in acceptance in individuals with a history of depression, and (2) the effect of acceptance on a negative mood state and altering attitudes toward feeling sad.Sixty-five recovered depressed participants received instruction in the metacognitive style of acceptance before a negative mood induction. The degree to which the participants engaged in acceptance was then rated by independent raters.Forty percent of the sample failed to adhere to an attitude of acceptance. Participants with higher levels of anxiety and greater negative attitudes toward sadness were less able to engage in acceptance. Participants who optimally engaged in acceptance demonstrated greater reduction in their negative mood and increased metacognitive beliefs about acceptance after the use of the technique compared to those who failed to adhere to acceptance.These results imply that acceptance can be difficult to learn, and there may be identifiable individual differences that predict the ability to engage in acceptance. The implications of these results for future research and clinical practice are discussed.