Been there ... done that ... lose the boxes by reframing and installing recessed lighting. You will get a sense of added head height, better lighting, and a more modern look.
Here is a pic from a project I did ... the heavy skip trowel and bullnose edges matched the entire house ... The recessed light over the sink is a single bulb light fixture that had not existed. In addition, I pre-wired the kitchen for under-cabinet LED task lighting. Turn out really magnificent and added to the updating of the rest of the house.