Normally when you are indoors and you use your flash the outcome is a dark background with your subject fully lit. It's NEVER flattering or for that matter an accurate depiction of the scene. A speed light basically aims the light away from your subject. See this great example. And this one.
Speed lights can be pricey. But if you want to experiment with the look without the price try this on for size: a simple white piece of cardstock. Totally inexpensive....or free....and fast.
If you want something even better try this. Pretty inexpensive for the results. Even though I have a speed light I'm considering purchasing this because it's light weight and requires no batteries. And from the one review, it sounds like it gets speed light quality results or better! It says it's for sony DSLRs but fits on a hot shoe. Wondering if it would fit a Canon?
I bet, if you were innovative enough you could even make one yourself with a travel mirror and
black cardstock. Perhaps I'll try a tutorial.