In Phase 1: Trait Emotion Regulation, participants (N = 1625) completed self-report measures of perceived attentional control, habitual use of emotion regulation strategies, and depressive symptoms. Use of rumination, suppression, and reappraisal each significantly partially mediated the relationship between attentional control and depression. In Phase 2: Spontaneous and Instructed Emotion Regulation, dysphoric (n = 66) and non-dysphoric (n = 86) participants completed a measure of cognitive inhibition and watched a sadness-inducing film clip. Participants were randomly assigned to use reappraisal while watching the clip, or were not given specific viewing instructions. No significant associations were observed between cognitive inhibition, emotion regulation, and depression, contrary to hypotheses. However, dysphoric individuals reported greater spontaneous use of rumination and suppression than non-dysphoric individuals, and these strategies were associated with greater negative emotion. Both groups were able to effectively use reappraisal when instructed to do so. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.